The afternoon of Chinese New Year’s Eve in 2018, one of the most important days of the year for Chinese people, descended into violence and death in a village in Shaanxi province, after a 35-year-old man murdered his elderly neighbor and his two sons. The man, Zhang Koukou, stabbed 71-year-old Wang Zixin to death in the courtyard of his home, after killing his two sons, Wang Xiaojun and Wang Zhengjun, as they headed home. The killer then set fire to the Wang family’s sedan and fled the scene.
The murders occurred on February 15, 2018, 22 years to the day after Zhang’s mother perished during a scuffle with Wang Zhengjun, who was 17 at the time. Wang Zhengjun spent seven years in prison for manslaughter as a result of his role in the woman’s untimely death.
Zhang, who was just 13 years old at the time, witnessed his mother’s death and his 2018 triple murder was reportedly motivated by revenge. He committed the crimes while his father was visiting his deceased mother’s grave and turned himself in at a local police station 40 hours after the killings.
Zhang Koukou's home. Image via The Paper
Zhang was sentenced to death by the Hanzhong Intermediate People's Court two days ago, on January 8. At the sentence, Zhang said he would appeal the decision.
“I confess to the things I’ve done and hope to be given a chance. For the bad impact I caused on society, I apologize and hope to receive forgiveness and understanding,” said Zhang after being read his sentence.
[Cover image via Xinhua]