(b. 1983 in Ruzhou, Henan, China - January 18, 2005 in
Pingdingshan, Henan, China) was a Chinese mass murderer
who killed on November 26, 2004 eight boys and injured
four at a High School.
On November 26, 2004, Yanming entered
in a dormitory at the School and attacked the boys with
a knife and killed eight of them.
After killing them, Yanming escaped
and was arrested after he failed to commit suicide
following the attack thanks to his mother that had
reported him to the local police.
After trial, Yanming was sentenced to
death and executed on January 18, 2005 in Pingdingshan.
Killer of 9 students gets death
ZHENGZHOU, Jan. 19 (Xinhuanet) -- Yan Yanming, a
21-year-old man who killed nine senior high school students and
injured four others, was executed Tuesday in Pingdingshan City in
central China's Henan province.
Yan broke into a high school in Ruzhou City under
Pingdingshan's jurisdiction on November 25 in 2004, with a knife in hand.
He chopped nine students to death and four others to injury.
He was seized the next day after his mother reported
China Executes School Knife Killer
Thursday, January 20, 2005
BEIJING — A 21-year-old man who broke into a high
school dormitory and stabbed nine Chinese boys to death has been
executed, less than two months after the attack, the government said
Yan Yanming was put to death Tuesday in the central
province of Henan, where he was convicted of attacking the boys on Nov.
25 in the city of Ruzhou, the official Xinhua News Agency said.
The trial and execution were unusually swift for
Chinese courts, and might have been expedited in an effort to reassure
the public amid a series of such knife attacks at Chinese schools.
Yan's mother turned him in to police after he
attempted suicide on the day following the attack, according to earlier
reports. The agency said Yan confessed and said he slashed the students
out of hatred.
The ordeal was the fourth knife attack reported at a
Chinese school or day care center in as many months. The earlier
assaults left one child dead and 42 people injured.
The earlier violence prompted Chinese President Hu
Jintao to issue a nationwide order in September for schools to hire
guards and tighten security. It wasn't clear whether those new measures
were in place at the school in Ruzhou.
The reason for the surge in knife attacks isn't clear.
They have taken place in areas throughout China and involve attackers
from different backgrounds.
In the November attack, police said Yan broke into
the school dormitory at 11:45 p.m. on a Thursday night. The government-run
China News Service cited a survivor who quoted Yan as saying, "Don't
Ruzhou, a city of 920,000 people, is located about
450 miles southwest of Beijing in Henan province, southwest of the giant
industrial city of Zhengzhou.
Just before the attack there, a court executed a man
who slashed 25 children with a kitchen knife in September at a grade
school in eastern China. Though no one was killed, a court ruled that
the penalty was justified because the violence was "especially cruel."
Police said that attacker had a grudge against the
parent of a student at the school.
In August, a man with a history of schizophrenia
killed a student and slashed 14 children and three teachers at a Beijing
In September, a man armed with a knife, gasoline and
homemade explosives broke into a day-care center in the eastern city of
Suzhou and slashed 28 children before police stopped him. Police haven't
disclosed a possible motive.
China's School Killings
By Matthew Forney - Time.com
Monday, Nov. 29, 2004
China's central plains city of Ruzhou is nondescript
in most ways, known to the rest of the country mainly as a source of
prized decorative porcelain produced during the graceful Song dynasty
eight centuries ago. Last week, the city's place in the nation's
consciousness acquired a stain that may take years to fade.
At midnight, a 21-year-old named Yan Yanming
reportedly entered the dormitory of Ruzhou's No. 2 High School and
slipped into the rooms where male students slept.
Yan slashed some students' throats, according to
Xinhua, the state news agency. Others he stabbed in the heart. Eight
died without rising. Four survived.
Hours later, witnesses saw the smears where their
blood flowed down the school's front steps. Police caught Yan the next
day after he overdosed on drugs at his parents' home. The attack left
the city in shock. "People couldn't believe that their school could be
so unsafe," says Cheng Honggen, a local Xinhua reporter.
The Ruzhou killings are
part of a chilling rite of passage endured
by modern societies all over the world.
Ruzhou was the sixth in a string of deadly
attacks on Chinese schoolchildren that began
in August, when a schizophrenic janitor at a
Beijing kindergarten stabbed 14 children,
killing one, according to police.
A bus driver in Shandong
province was executed earlier this month for
slashing 24 kids in September; last month, a
teacher in Hunan province was arrested for
killing four students and wounding 12; two
weeks later a man in Beijing was arrested
for killing a six-year-old and stuffing him
into the school's washing machine.
The violence stalking the
land of one-child families is not confined
to the lower grades. In April, a college
student named Ma Jiajue hacked four
classmates to death after an all-night poker
game. Ma said he was "too poor to afford
shoes" and killed from jealousy.
The number of murders,
rapes and batteries committed by juveniles
in China is growing faster than 10% a year,
says criminologist Pi Yijun of the China
Politics and Law University. Stunned parents
and authorities are searching for reasons
for the surge.
Some blame greater
individual freedom and the decline of
authoritarian control. Others explain it as
the result of epochal social change and the
loss of moral ballast once supplied by
But criminologists also
see something new. China's rapidly expanding
media have included a proliferation of
tabloid newspapers and reality cop shows.
Just as Americans believed violent media
images were partly to blame for the 1999
school massacre in Columbine, Colorado,
Chinese law-enforcement specialists see a
link between the recent rash of killings and
the violent messages delivered by newspapers
and movies. "It seems that the day after
crimes appear in the media, someone will
imitate it," says Kang Shuhua, director of
the criminology research center at Peking
Kang isn't alone in
asserting this connection. In the western
city of Chengdu, an 18-year-old "continuously
improved his skills" in murder by watching
China's top-rated reality cop show, "China's
No. 1 Criminal Cases," learning not to leave
behind clothing fibers and to destroy murder
weapons, according to the Tianfu Morning
In the same city, a gang
of 14-year-old students mimicked the Hong
Kong gangster film series Young and
Dangerous by robbing people after
urinating on their heads and burning them
with cigarette butts, according to state-run
But the police may have
to accept some of the blame. The Ministry of
Public Security runs production studios that
create some of the country's most popular
reality police shows, which have been
proliferating so rapidly that government
censors in March barred 40% of applications
for new programs based on police work.
But in part because the
censor the State Administration of Radio,
Film and Television isn't powerful enough to
block shows produced by the police, it had
to settle for restrictions on those already
on the air. The police-produced show "Zero
Distance," an organized-crime expos, is now
broadcast after 11 p.m.
In other countries,
similar remedies have done little to prevent
sporadic school violence. Some Chinese
parents appear to be taking matters into
their own hands. Beijing Special Protection
Security Consulting, which provides
bodyguards to rich entrepreneurs, is
planning later this month to expand their
services to schoolchildren.
They are having no
problem drumming up new business, says
company owner Cui Fengxian. "Our clients
have been growing steadily" since the
schoolyard killings began in August, he says.
Bodyguards, however, can't protect kids from
the violence they see on TV.
A mother grieves inconsolably for her son, killed at Ruzhou's No. 2 High
People gather at the gate of Ruzhou
Second High School in Ruzhou, a city in central China's Henan Province,
Nov. 26, 2004.