Man in NW China executed after decades-long blood feud

BEIJING (AP) — A man in northwest China was executed yesterday for killing three neighbours in apparent revenge for his mother’s death more than two decades earlier.

The Supreme People’s Court in Shaanxi province announced that it implemented the death penalty on Zhang Koukou for intentional homicide against three men — two brothers and their father — surnamed Wang.

The court statement detailed the two families’ longstanding enmity — a blood feud that dates back to 1996.

That year, a dispute between Zhang’s mother and one of the brothers, then 17-year-old Wang Zhengjun, resulted in her succumbing to a fatal injury. Taking into consideration Wang’s youth and the behaviour of Zhang’s mother during the quarrel, the court at the time fined Wang 9,639 yuan (USD1,400) and sentenced him to seven years in prison for intentionally injuring another person.

Zhang was still a teenager when his mother died. Over the following 22 years, the Supreme Court says, he continued to harbour resentment for her death. He struggled with his job, lifestyle and mental health.

But there were no further conflicts between the two households — until last year.

In early 2018, Zhang learnt that Wang would be returning to their village to celebrate the Spring Festival.

On the eve of the Lunar New Year, after Wang and his brother had just come back from offering sacrifices to their ancestors, Zhang approached and stabbed them to death. Then, he went to the home of Wang Zixin, the father, and fatally stabbed him as well before setting the family’s car on fire.