“Huang Yong is a tumor in society. Even handing down the death sentence will not appease family members.”
-Lu Ningbo, father of Yong’s first victim.
China has had its fair share of killers over the years but few were as driven as Huang Yong. Born in 1974, ever since a young age, Huang had displayed the warning signs of a true monster. He idolized killers and would often write school papers on wanting to be an assassin. Reports of his early life talked about how he enjoyed watching films about murder and hitmen, how he would express that all he needed was a chance. That chance arrived on a hot day in 2001.
Yong was a migrant worker who lived in Henan Province, Central China, in a small home on the outskirts of Dahuangzhuang village. The village itself was large, with several internet cafes and arcades. As well as a growing problem with truant or homeless young men. It was among the neon lights of the arcades, that Yong began to hunt. Teenagers started to disappear at an alarming rate and the local police did there best to squash rumors that a killer was on the loose.
Yong would approach the young men while they were gaming or on the computer and lure them back to his house with the promise of a good paying job or maybe a nice dinner. Once there he overpowered them, either physically or with drugged drinks. Then Yong would drag them into a shed behind his home where he had set up a horrible device.
Called by Yong the “Intelligent wooden horse”, the table was a modified stand used in noodle making. Yong repurposed it to help facilitate the rape and strangulation of his victims. It is said that when police discovered the table it was covered in feces and semen. Upwards of 17 teenage boys met their end on this awful tool.
Interest in the disappearances spiked after severed body parts were left on the doorstep of an internet cafe where Yong frequented and chose many of his victims. Parents of the missing teens even took their complaints to the capital. The police still failed to make any headway until they received a very strange report from a local hospital. 16-year-old Zhang Lei had a story to tell.
Zhang was well known to the local cops as a bit of a delinquent. However, as they listened to his account of what happened to him over the course of four days, and spoke to the doctor about the multiple needle wounds on the kid’s stomach, their disbelief turned to horror.
The teen claimed that he was approached by Yong who told him that he had developed a new game, one he called “God Ridding A Wooden Horse.” Zhang was interested and went back to Yong’s home. There the killer convinced the child that the game involved being tied to a table and counting to a thousand. Zhang was then strangled until he passed out. He would come to three times throughout the brutal sexual assault and during those times he would talk to Yong. These struggled conversations are what saved his life.
Yong decided to prolong killing Zhang because the boy kept talking him out of it. For four days he kept the monster at bay, often having to listen to Yong arguing with himself about whether he should kill or not. Zhang even got Yong to drop his guard completely by promising to take care of him when he was old. As soon as he was left alone, Zhang ran for his life.
When the police arrived at Huang Yong’s home they were met with overwhelming evidence that they were in the lair of a killer. Not only did they find Yong’s trophy collection of his victim’s belts but many of the poor souls themselves were still bound up in his shed. The smell was overwhelming and caused even hardened officers to go weak at the knees. The room with the table wasn’t just used to torture and murder, Yong also used it as storage for the bodies of those he killed.
When Yong was arrested on November 12, 2003, he expressed no remorse over what he had done. During the trial, he stated that he was happy to have lived out his dream of being an assassin. The families spoke out against him but also against the police force for not taking the disappearances seriously. They argued that if the police had investigated properly, they could have ended Yong’s spree sooner and saved many lives. Due to the fallout, many senior police officials were let go and an investigation was launched into how this could have been mishandled so badly.
Huang Yong was executed by a single gunshot to the head on December 26,2003. Not long after, two other bodies were found that police feel matched his other victims. Bringing his kill count to a possible 20.
(If you enjoyed reading about Huang Yong, feel free to check out other killers
in my Human Monsters category.)
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