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Shaanxi police put bounty on mass murderer
Updated: 2004-08-17 10:39

Police in Zhashui County, Shaanxi Province, have raised their reward to 50,000 yuan (US$6,000) for clues leading to the arrest of a villager who hacked eight people to death last Friday, the local Huashang Newspaper reported Monday.

The eight victims were from two families: one of Yang Rongyuan, and the other of his younger brother Yang Rongwen. The suspect, Jian Xueliang, and the victims lived in Mingxing Village, Xialiang Town.

Jian, 35, was jailed in 1999 for raping Yang Rongwen's then newly wed wife, identified only as Yu. Jian was released in October last year.

However, some sources said Jian and Yu had an affair but Yu's grandfather charged that Jian had raped her, the newspaper reported.

Jian reportedly began the slashing spree about 10:40pm on Friday at Yang Rongyuan's home, killing him and his 15-year-old twins, a boy and a girl.

Police found Yang Rongyuan dead in his bed, and the twins in a sofa before a television.

The three had suffered sharp axe wounds in their necks, according to police.

Yang's other daughter, Yang Yan, 19, was at her high school in downtown Zhashui at the time.

Then, Yang Rongwen, Yu, their 4-year-old daughter, Yu's grandfather, 80, and Yu's 10-year-old nephew fell victim to Jian's axe, police said.

Jian's daughter, 14, said she saw him walking in the courtyard about 9pm when she was going to bed.

Local villagers said Jian was a thug and his relations with his neighbors got even worse after he was released from jail.

The county government mobilized 16 officials to help police in the manhunt for the suspect, with one official stationed in each town or township of Zhashui.

Police believe Jian is still in the county.

As of Sunday, the county's Public Security Bureau had increased the cash reward for any information leading to Jian's capture fvie times, from the original 10,000 yuan to a whopping 50,000 yuan.

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