A spate of serial killings which have come to light over the last few days in China is triggering waves of shock and anger.
Academics and ordinary people in internet forums are raising thorny issues about why the authorities only reported the cases after police had arrested suspects.
One bulletin board said people's right to know should come above everything else.
The most grisly case involves the torture and strangling of at least 17 teenage boys from the poor central province of Henan.
They are reported to have been lured to their deaths from internet cafes and video-game parlours.
Their gruesome remains have been found at the house of the man whom police have arrested as the suspected killer.
Chinese media reports say the man was only detained after a boy he was preparing to kill managed to escape.
They say police brushed off attempts by families of the other murdered boys to get their disappearances investigated, until some desperate parents went to Beijing to seek central government help.
Among the other cases that have come to light in the last few days is one involving the stabbing to death of 65 people across four provinces and the murder of another 12 women.