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Last Updated: Friday, 21 November, 2003, 09:04 GMT
Chinese 'serial killer' confesses
An alleged serial killer in central China has confessed to 65 killings, according to Chinese media reports.

The 35-year-old man, Yang Xinhai, has reportedly told police that he carried out the killings over the last three years.

They said the attacks were carried out with axes or shovels, often while the victims were asleep.

The killings took place in rural areas in the provinces of Henan, Anhui, Shandong and Hebei.

Yang was arrested in Cangzhou city in Hebei province on 3 November, during a routine inspection of entertainment venues.

Though DNA testing, he was later linked to the killings.

If convicted, he would rank among the world's worst serial killers.

Yang is also accused of raping 23 of his female victims, according to reports on Friday in the Beijing News.


More details have emerged about the nature of the attacks as police piece together the killing spree.

Most of the victims were bludgeoned on the head with axes and shovels, leaving shocking scenes which were discovered by neighbouring villagers.

Yang is alleged to have used white gloves during the attacks, often leaving them at the scene of the crime.

In all there are believed to have been 22 attacks, in which 65 people were killed, and from which five people managed to escape.

On at least two occasions he is alleged to have killed an entire family - one of his most brutal attacks was in August this year, when a family of five was murdered in Hebei province.

Media reports have said that Yang was the youngest of four children and his parents have described him as a promising but introverted student, who left home when he was in high school.

Concern has been expressed in Chinese internet forums about why these murders, along with other similar cases, were only reported after police had arrested suspects.

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