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Classification: Mass murderer
Characteristics: At a High School
Number of victims: 9
Date of murders: November 26, 2004
Date of arrest: Next day (suicide attempt)
Date of birth: 1983
Victims profile: Senior high school male students
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife
Location: Ruzhou, Henan, China
Status: Executed January 18, 2005

Yan Yanming: (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 sentence


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 to police.


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 Thursday.

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 blame me."

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 kindergarten.

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 -

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 communist ideology.

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 University.

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 Post.

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 media.

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 School.


People gather at the gate of Ruzhou Second High School in Ruzhou, a city in central China's Henan Province, Nov. 26, 2004.



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