Number of victims: 13
Date of murders: 1991 - 1996
Method of murder: Stabbing / Strangulation / Bludgeoning
Location: Guangzhou, China
In 1991, police in the Chinese province of Guangdong were hunting a ferocious serial killer. The fiend first emerged on February 22, when he stabbed a 20-year-old woman to death, then severely mutilated her genitals with a knife.
Over the next six months, five more women fell prey to the vicious killer. Each of the victims was raped, then either strangled or stabbed to death before being mutilated and dismembered. The bodies were then dumped at the many informal rubbish dumps that dotted the the city of Guangzhou.
So far there had been no press coverage of the crimes in China, since the Communist regime denies the existence of serial killers and thus suppresses all such information. But after the seventh victim washed up in Hong Kong in March of 1992, the story of the "Guangzhou Ripper" was out.
Not that it helped the police in any way. The Ripper remained at large for another four years, claiming an eventual 13 victims and all the while adding new levels of depravity to his crimes. Some women were suffocated with plastic bags, others were bludgeoned to death with a hammer.
Then in 1996, the Ripper made his first mistake. A victim escaped his clutches and went to the police. Given a photo array to sift through, the women unerringly picked out Li Wenxian as her attacker. Li had once been a farmer, but hard times had forced him to move to Guangzhou in 1991 to look for work. The murders had started soon after his arrival.
In custody, Li confessed to the attacks, telling police that he had acted out of revenge, after a prostitute cheated him. He was convicted and sentenced to death in December 1996. Given the protocols of the Chinese state he would have been executed soon after.
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