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A.K.A.: "The Cannibal Monster"
Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Cannibalism - Dried and cured the leftover human flesh and sold it in the village market as ostrich meat
Number of victims: 12
Date of murders: 1979 / March 2008 - April 2012
Date of arrest: May 9, 2012
Date of birth: 1956
Victims profile: Boys and men
Method of murder: Strangulation
Location: Yunnan Province, China
Status: Executed on January 10, 2013
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Zhang Yongming (1956 – January 10, 2013) was a Chinese serial killer who was convicted of, and subsequently confessed to the murder of 11 males between March 2008 and April 2012.

It is believed that he fed flesh from some of his victims to his dogs and sold other parts at the local market, calling it "ostrich meat". China's state run Xinhua News Agency announced that he was "escorted to an execution site and executed" on January 10, 2013.


Little is known about Zhang's early life. He was arrested and sentenced to death in 1979 for intentional homicide, but was released in September 1997 after receiving sentence reductions. Upon his release, he was given some land near his village of Nanmen in Jincheng Township, Jinning County, China.


In early May 2012, the Ministry of Public Security of the People's Republic of China sent a team of investigators to Yunnan Province after media reports of missing teenagers in the area. One of the missing persons, a 19-year-old boy, identified as Han Yao, was confirmed as having been murdered.

The investigation showed that an alleged serial killer had begun attacking males who were walking along on a road near Zhang's home starting 2008. After the murders, it was alleged that Zhang used various means of disposing of the bodies, including dismemberment, burning and burial, to destroy the evidence.

Residents of Zhang's village stated they had seen plastic bags hanging from his home with what appeared to be bones protruding from them. Upon entering his home, police reported discovering human eyeballs preserved in bottles and what appeared to be human flesh drying. It was further alleged that Zhang fed his dogs flesh from some of his victims as well as selling it at the local market, calling it "ostrich meat".


During his trial, it was reported that Zhang refused to apologize for the killings and did not show any remorse.

On January 10, 2013, China’s state run Xinhua News Agency announced that he was "escorted to an execution site and executed".

Twelve police officers were penalized for dereliction of duty regarding the murders, including Da Qiming, Jinning police chief, and Zhao Huiyun, head of the Jincheng Township police station, who were both dismissed from office.


Chinese Cannibal Dried, Cured & Sold Human Flesh

By Bruce Gain -

January 15, 2013

When Chinese cannibal Zhang Yongming was executed, it was for murder, but his acts go far beyond just killing. Yongming ate his victims. He also dried and cured the leftover human flesh and sold it in the southwestern village market of Kunming as ostrich meat, according to Hong Kong newspaper The Standard.

Local police were criticized for taking so long to question Yongming, who previously served 18 years in prison for a murder which involved bodily mutilation. Police were slow to search Yongming’s house or even question him when at least 20 people went missing (of which seven were teenagers) in or around Kunming since 2007. While 20 people within a two-mile radius of Yongming have been reported missing, police were only able to tie Yongming to 11 of the victims.

Prior to his arrest, Yongming, 57, attempted to capture a 17-year-old boy from behind by putting a leather belt around his neck. The teenager screamed for help, which prompted Yongming to release him after several local villagers came to his aid. Police arrested Yongming after the incident, but released him after Yongming convinced them that he was only playing with the boy. Police also dismissed Yongming as a local lunatic who they claimed was not a threat when prompted to investigate him in connection to the missing persons reports.

Witnesses reported that Yongming began selling meat at the local market, which he had never done before, after 1997. The meat, which he sold as ostrich meat, was cured and dried.

When police finally searched Yongming’s house, they found strips of human flesh that were hung up to dry around his house. He kept dozens of human eyeballs preserved in alcohol in bottles, which police said looked like “snake wine.” Investigators said Yongming likely fed human remains to his dogs. In a nearby vegetable garden, police found bones believed to be human. According to the Daily Mirror, witnesses reported seeing garbage bags overflowing with bones hanging from his house.

Police were able to conclusively tie Yongming to one of the victims when they found ID, a phone card, and other items belonging to a missing 19-year-old inside Yongming’s house.

Despite the sensationalist aspects of Yongming’s crimes and his execution, the practice of cannibalism has occurred frequently throughout China’s history. Cannibalism was a common practice during the Tang Dynasty in the seventh and eighth centuries when soldiers would eat their enemies after an attack.

Cannibalism was also practiced on a massive scale during the 1950s in China, which is documented in “The Black Book of Communism” by Stephane Courtis and Nicolas Werth. During the ill-planed Great Leap Forward, tens of millions of Chinese inhabitants died of starvation due to an ill-fated industrialization project that the Chinese government attempted to implement at the time. Exact figures remain murky, but cannibalism was practiced to ward off starvation among perhaps millions.

The death penalty is also commonly practiced in China. According to Amnesty International, China executes “thousands” of its citizens every year. But while Yongming was one of many Chinese to be executed in China every year, his crimes will definitely stand out as one of the most heinous in a country of 1.35 billion people.


Chinese ‘Cannibal Monster’ Sentenced to Death

By Cora Van Olson -

July 30, 2012

Chinese serial killer Zhang Yongming was sentenced to death last week for the second time in his life. Yongming, 56, was found guilty of strangling 11 boys and men to death between 2008 and 2012 in southwest China’s Yunnan province. A suspect in as many as 20 murders, Yongming dismembered, ate, burned and buried his victims’ remains.

He was known as the “cannibal monster” in his village of Nanmen for the garbage bags left hanging outside his home that contained what looked like human bones. What Yongming didn’t destroy or eat himself he reportedly fed to his dog or butchered and sold at the local market to the unsuspecting.

Yongming was not arrested until May 2012. At the time police reportedly discovered human eyeballs preserved inside wine bottles and pieces of human flesh hanging in his home.

As surprised as police must have been, Yongming was no stranger to law enforcement. He had already received a death sentence for intentional murder in 1979, but his sentence was reduced, and he was released in 1997. Yongming was given a piece of land and subsistence wages by the government, but it wasn’t enough to keep him on the straight and narrow.

The official Xinhua news agency reported that 12 local police officers were disciplined or fired for ignoring the increasing number of missing person reports … and the eerie green garbage bags … and all the local chatter. In court he reportedly showed no remorse, and would not apologize to the victims’ families.


Serial killer sentenced to death in SW China

July 28, 2012

KUNMING, July 28 (Xinhua) -- A man was sentenced to death on Saturday for killing 11 people in southwest China's Yunnan province, a court ruling said.

Zhang Yongming, 57, was accused of fatally strangling 11 people in Jinning county from March 2008 to April 2012, according to the Kunming Intermediate People's Court ruling.

After the murders, Zhang used various means, including dismemberment, burning and burial, to destroy the evidence, it said.

Zhang was given a death sentence with a two-year reprieve in 1979 for the crime of intentional homicide. He was released in September 1997 after receiving a number of sentence reductions, the ruling said.

Zhang was given a piece of land by the village and a subsistence allowance from the local government, but he did not feel grateful and continued to commit crimes, the ruling said.

Zhang did not show any remorse in court and refused to apologize to the relatives of the victims.


Man arrested for killing 11 in SW China

May 27, 2012

KUNMING, May 27 (Xinhua) -- A man has been arrested for allegedly killing 11 people in southwest China's Yunnan province, police authorities said Sunday.

A large amount of physical evidence and DNA comparisons show that Zhang Yongming from Nanmen village, Jinning county, killed the 11 males, the Ministry of Public Security said in a statement.

The statement did not reveal the range of the victims' ages, but said local police authorities have contacted the victims' families.

Following a 20-day-plus investigation launched by the ministry and local police authorities, the 56-year-old suspect was arrested on charges of murder, it said.

Zhang was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve for murder in 1979. He was freed and returned home in 1997 after receiving a number of sentence reductions.

The investigation shows that the alleged serial killer started to attack males who walked alone on the quiet road near his home where he lived alone since 2008.

After the murders, Zhang used various means, including dismemberment, burning and burial, to destroy the evidence, it said.

The Ministry of Public Security has pledged to work with local authorities to punish any police officers found to be guilty of dereliction of duty.


Chinese 'serial killer' farmer suspected of killing 17 people

A 56-year-old farmer has been arrested for murder in a southern Chinese village where 17 people, almost all teenagers, have vanished in recent years.

By Malcolm Moore -

May 24, 2012

When children started disappearing in Nanmen village, near the Chinese city of Kunming, their distraught parents believed they had been kidnapped to work in illegal brick factories.

No one thought, according to the parents of one missing teenager, that Zhang Yongming, a quiet, chess-playing, farmer who lived in a wooden shack on the edge of the village, might be responsible.

But on May 9, police investigating the disappearance of Han Yao, a 19-year-old boy, found his bank and telephone calling cards inside Zhang's home. They arrested the farmer shortly afterwards.

The teenager had gone missing in April, and was last seen near a large cold storage unit a few hundred yards from Mr Zhang's house. As his family asked around the village of a few thousand people, they discovered that at least eight other youths had gone missing in exactly the same area in the last five years, six of whom vanished in the last 15 months.

Now there are suspicions that Mr Zhang may be linked to as many as 17 deaths. As the families of the missing children gathered outside his house earlier this month, they witnessed policemen removing several green plastic bags of evidence, including one that appeared to contain at least one bone.

"I know Zhang. Not a single person in the village doubted him until now," said Li Yudong, 42, whose 12-year-old son Hanxiong went missing on May 1, 2007. "Zhang never spoke to anyone, not even the people who lived next to him. We used to see him every day but we never paid any attention to him. Now, like everyone else, I think he may be responsible for my son's disappearance. We are all worried in the village, and the children are being escorted to and from school these days."

Mr Li said he had been working on the farm on the day his son had disappeared, and was surprised not to find him at home for lunch. When he did not return by 5pm, he reported the case to the police.

"We searched for him for months. We thought he must have been sent to work in a sweatshop or brick kiln. We spent all of our savings, some 80,000 yuan (£8,000) searching for him".

The local police has now admitted that Mr Zhang was sentenced to life for murder in 1978, in a case where he had dismembered his victim.

However, he was released in 1997.

Then, last December, he was found trying to strangle a 17-year-old, Zhang Jianyuan, with a belt outside his house. At the time, the villagers called the police, but Zhang laughed off the episode, saying that he was just fooling with the boy.

"We reported to the police that Zhang had tried to strangle this boy, but they simply told us he was mentally ill," said Xie Shunsheng, 39, whose 16 year-old boy Haijun went missing in January 2011.

"We are now going to the police station everyday, but they are not releasing any news, so we have no idea how the investigation is going," he added.

A special team has been sent from the Ministry of Public Security in Beijing to carry out the investigation, while the local police chief, Da Qiming, and another police official Zhao Huiyun, have been dismissed for failing to act on so many disappearances. The police declined to comment on the case.

Cai Wen, 40, whose 17-year-old boy Cai Yunwei went missing in February, said the entire village was tensed for the findings of the investigation. "People are nervous. We are begging the government to find our son for us."

Although China has a relatively low rate of violent crime, it has seen a spate of serial killings in recent years. In January, 13,000 police officers and two helicopters were deployed to search for Zeng Kaigui, a former People's Liberation Army soldier, after he shot dead his latest victim in the city of Nanjing. Zeng is suspected of killing six people in a rash of armed robberies since 2004, and has yet to be caught.

Last November, police arrested Yang Shubin and three of his associates. Yang would seduce women in bars before bringing them home, where his gang would tie them up and torture them for their bank details. Later, they chopped up their victims and fed them through a mincing machine. Between 1998 and 2004, the gang made 2 million yuan (£200,000) from its victims.

In September, a low-level government official in Henan province was found to have set up a sex dungeon in which he had kept several women captive, and killed at least two.

In 2006, Yang Xinhai, the "monster killer" was convicted of killing 65 men, women and children.


Team sent to investigate missing children's case

May 23, 2012

KUNMING, May 23 (Xinhua) -- The Ministry of Public Security has sent an inspection team to Yunnan Province to supervise and reinforce the investigation of a case concerning at least seven missing teenagers, the ministry said Wednesday.

The ministry sent a special group of criminologists to look into the case earlier this month, after media reported that seven or eight teenagers had gone missing over the years near the village of Nanmen in Jincheng Township, Jinning County, which lies under the jurisdiction of the provincial capital Kunming.

Among the missing youngsters, a 19-year-old boy, identified as Han Yao, has been confirmed murdered.

Local police also launched an investigation and detained on May 9 a middle-aged man named Zhang Yongming, in whose home the dead boy's telephone card, bank card and other cards were found.

Zhang, 56, is currently under interrogation.

Families of the missing youngsters suspect that they were likely to have been forced to work in illegal brick kilns.

The ministry has urged the team to resolve the case as fast as possible.

Jinning county authorities have decided to remove the county's police chief Da Qiming from his position following the case, sources with the provincial authorities said Wednesday.

Another official Zhao Huiyun, head of the Jincheng Township police station, will also be dismissed, according to the sources. Their removal is being handled according to procedures.



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