Sigh of relief as Chinese 'Clyde' shot dead
YOU’VE HEARD of the story of Bonnie and Clyde – but here’s the story of Zhou Kehua, the fugitive described as “China’s most dangerous man”, and how he lived and died. The outlaw’s tale has transfixed China this week.
Zhou was accused of preying on people at cash machines in a number of cities in China, then shooting them dead, and he was linked to at least nine, possibly 10 murders over an eight-year spree.
When police in the southwestern city of Chongqing cornered Zhou and shot him dead, media related how there was a sigh of relief across the country and among police.
“Zhou’s death was a relief for China’s public security officers, who were under great pressure to nab him as soon as possible,” the Xinhua news agency reported.
Xinhua made much of the story. It ran a grisly photograph showing Zhou’s body, with his mobile phone and sunglasses on the ground beside him and a stream of blood flowing from his head.
At one point last week, the top trending story on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, was the news that a woman said to be his girlfriend was under investigation.
The Chinese state broadcaster was quick to pick up on her as being Bonnie to Zhou’s Clyde, alleging a woman called Zhang Guiying was his girlfriend and that he would call her before each heist. Photographs of a glamorous young woman circulated on Weibo, but police stopped short of formally identifying her as Zhou’s girlfriend or linking her to crime.
A Chongqing police officer surnamed Wu told the Global Times the authorities had intercepted a call between Zhou and Ms Zhang in which he said he planned more bloodshed in Chongqing.
A woman tipped off police a day after Zhou gunned down a woman in front of a bank and a railway police officer on August 10th, and was given 600,000 yuan (€63,650) in reward money.
Cases such as Zhou’s are rare in China, where private gun ownership is prohibited.