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January 8, 2010

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Trial begins for long-sought accused serial murderer of 13

A MAN who was accused of being one of the most prolific serial killers in China stood trial yesterday on charges of murdering 13 people including police officers, a rich businessman and teenage girls.

Cheng Ruilong, a 37-year-old Guangdong Province native, allegedly committed robbery, rape, and extortion in six provinces since May 1996.

He is also accused of raping an eighth-grade school girl before killing her in 1999, the prosecutors said in Foshan Intermediate People's Court yesterday. His trial will last two days, according to the Guangzhou Daily.

Cheng was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2005 in Jiangxi Province for robbery.

Yet the police didn't know it, because he was serving the jail time under the name "Zhou Quan."

Yet a set of fingerprints issued by China's Ministry of Public Security linked the prisoner with the former killing mania that put him on the top wanted list.

Cheng was said to have used more than a dozen fake names in his flight and even cut himself several times on the face, hoping to be unrecognizable.

He was identified by Foshan Police in Nanchang City last June. He allegedly confessed all his crimes to police after he was promised the chance to see his son.

Cheng allegedly said that he could not even remember his mother's name.

The man started his crime spree after he abducted a businessman and extorted 200,000 yuan from him.

An accomplice named Lan Qirong got him a gun, which was stolen from a police officer whom Lan hammered to death. Cheng ran away to other cities in Guangdong Province with the gun and committed more killings and robberies.

No relative from the families of those killed will be present at the trail.

An unnamed relative of Jiang Minghua, one of the police officers in Foshan killed by Cheng, said they did not want their normal lives to be intruded again by the horrid memory.

"The only thing I want is that Cheng get due punishments as soon as possible," the relative said.

Guangdong Police said that after the case is concluded, they will cooperate with three other provinces to examine Cheng's criminal mind and psychological history to find what has contributed to his serial killing.


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