A deaf man who communicated by pen and paper, he was captured by Chinese police on March 19, 2001 after a nationwide manhunt, as a suspect in a set of 4 bombings that killed 108 people and injured 38 more in the city of Shijiazhuang in northern China. He was also charged with murdering an ex-lover, Wei Zhihua, in the southern province of Yunnan on March 6, 2001; he had a previous criminal record, a conviction for a 1988 rape. The bombs, in workers' dormitories at three cotton mills and one private residence, all exploded within one hour of each other. Jin Ruchao had been a resident of one of the dormitories. Motive for the killings was laid to hatred and desire for revenge against several other people, including the ex-lover, his stepmother, his sister, and some of his neighbors. Three farmers were also arrested on charges of selling him the explosives. Jin Ruchao was quickly tried, found guilty, and executed. However, people both inside and outside China doubted his guilt in the bombings, despite his nationally-televised confession during his trial, since it was improbable that one person could coordinate all four bombs alone, the locations being 15 minutes or more apart even though all went off within one hour. Suspicions were that Jin Ruchao had been scapegoated by the police, who were under pressure to solve a high-profile crime that had attracted international attention. The true perpetuators may have been disgruntled ex-soldiers laid off from the Chinese military, or crime gangs running a terror campaign against local government, or workers protesting layoffs.
1960?-29 April 2001