China's 'Jack the Ripper' Gao Chengyong executed for murders
A Chinese serial killer convicted of murdering 11 girls and women between 1988 and 2002 has been executed.
Gao Chengyong, dubbed "Jack the Ripper" by Chinese media, followed his victims home before robbing, raping and murdering them. He cut their throats and mutilated their bodies.
Gao, a married father of two, was arrested in 2016 at the grocery store he ran in Baiyin, Gansu province.
Police managed to trace the 53-year-old through a series of DNA tests.
A DNA breakthrough
Gao's first murder was in May 1988, the year his son was born.
A 23-year-old woman was found in Baiyin with 26 stab wounds to her body.
Subsequent murders followed a similar pattern, with the killer often targeting young women who lived alone.
Gao also cut off parts of his victim's reproductive organs, according to the Beijing Youth Daily. His youngest victim was eight years old.
Women in Baiyin would not walk alone in the streets without being accompanied by male relatives or friends after the spate of attacks.
The killings stopped in 2002 but it was only years later that a breakthrough came, when Gao's uncle was arrested for a minor crime.
He gave a DNA sample which police then linked to the crimes, determining they must have been committed by a relative - which was later confirmed to be Gao.
He was sentenced to death last year. The court in Baiyin called his actions "despicable".
His execution on Thursday was announced on the court's Weibo account.
It is not clear how the execution was carried out, though death sentences in China are mostly carried out by lethal injection or a firing squad.