BEIJING – A man has been arrested on suspicion of killing 11 men inChina, the official Xinhua news agency confirmed on Sunday,breaking its silence over the capture of a loner dubbed the”cannibal monster”. News reports from China and Hong Kong on Friday alleged the56-year-old, a convicted murderer who was released from prison in1997, had chopped up the bodies of the dead and sold the flesh tounsuspecting consumers. Zhang Yongming was detained more than two weeks ago in his villagein southwest China, where he was known as the “cannibalmonster”, the Guangxi News website reported last week. It quoted residents as saying they had seen green plastic bagshanging from his home, with what appeared to be white bonesprotruding from the top. The influential Xinhua made no mention of cannibalism in its”exclusive” story on Sunday of the arrest of the man itcalled “the alleged serial killer” and made few of thegraphic revelations contained in the earlier reports. Clean Room Wipers
A previous Xinhua report said only that Beijing had dispatched ateam of experts to Yunnan province, where the accused lives, tosupervise an investigation into missing teenagers. Almost all last week”s reports on the grisly case –which made headlines around the world – were later removedfrom Chinese websites and online searches for the words”missing in Yunnan” were also blocked. Chinese media normally face few restrictions on reporting aboutnon-political crimes, and it was not immediately clear why detailsof the Yunnan case had been originally censored. Cannibalism is a particularly sensitive subject in China, where itwas practised as a survival tactic during periods of massstarvation, for example in the wake of a failed industrialisationdrive launched in the late 1950s. Clean Room Sticky Mat
“A large amount of physical evidence and DNA comparisons showthat Zhang Yongming from Nanmen village, Jinning county, killed the11 males,” Sunday”s report said, citing the ministry ofpublic security. “After the murders, Zhang used various means, includingdismemberment, burning and burial, to destroy the evidence.” Zhang is said to have attacked his victims while they were walkingalone near his home. Hong Kong newspaper The Standard had said police discovered humaneyeballs preserved inside wine bottles – “like snakewine” – and pieces of what appeared to be human fleshhanging up to dry when they entered Zhang”s home. Police feared that Zhang had fed human flesh to his three dogs,while selling other parts on the market, calling it “ostrichmeat”, according to The Standard. China Silicon Sticky Roller
Xinhua”s Sunday report quoted the public security ministry assaying that it would work with local authorities to punish anypolice officers found to be guilty of dereliction of duty. Internet users have expressed dismay that officials had not tackledthe case sooner.