China executed a man Tuesday believed to have killed 11 boys and young men before selling human flesh at a local market.
A court in the Yunnan province of southwest China convicted Zhang Yongming of murder last July, China Daily reported.
Local media have called the 57-year-old farmer China’s most notorious serial killer and the Cannibal Monster of Yunnan.
“He used cruel means to kill the victims, and the circumstances and consequences were especially serious,” a court statement said, according to China Daily.
The crimes occurred between 2008 and 2012, when parents began to worry that their children were being abducted for slave labor.
He was a suspect in 17 disappearances, The Telegraph said.
An investigation led police to realize several boys had disappeared near Zhang’s home.
“Not a single person in the village doubted him until now," Li Yudong, whose 12-year-old son was among the missing, told The Telegraph.
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“Zhang never spoke to anyone, not even the people who lived next to him.”
Parents believed the boys were being kidnapped to work in brick kilns, Global Times said.
Authorities later admitted that Zhang served 19 years in prison for murder, a case where he dismembered his victim.
Police found human remains inside Zhang’s home – including suspected human remains hanging to dry and eyeballs in alcohol-filled wine bottles, The Standard said.
At least one boy escaped when Zhang allegedly grabbed him around the neck with a belt, but let him go when his shouts for help alerted residents.
Zhang said he was simply playing with the boy, The Standard said.
More from GlobalPost: China: Serial killer Zhang Yongming given death sentence for killing 11 people