The shocking way China is dealing with rash of boys slaughtering little girls


China is being rocked by a series of shocking murders of little girls committed by boys as young as 12.

But, nearly as shocking is how the communist nation deals with juvenile killers — usually letting them go without jail time.

Often, they are sent to mental institutions for just a few years. In one case, a killer was allowed to return to school shortly after his crime.

As China struggles to answer how to hold children accountable for heinous killings, the most notorious of which are committed against other kids, it’s often the parents of the victims who find themselves waiting for justice that might never come.

Gong Junli, whose 8-year-old daughter was brutally stabbed to death by a 13-year-old boy, is among the latest heartbroken parents waiting to see if the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) will sentence his child’s killer to prison.

The single father’s plight made headlines in March when prosecutors agreed to pursue criminal charges against the teen, who allegedly coaxed the girl to follow him into the woods in the Xinjing Township in September 2022, according to Red Star News.


Offenders of serious crimes who are below 12 are often sent to juvenile detention centers in China even if the crime is murder.

The boy then stabbed her multiple times and abandoned her body in a grove of poplar trees, officials said.

Investigators noted that the 13-year-old allegedly prepared knives, blades, disposable gloves, plastic ropes and other tools for the murder, placing them in the woods where he invited the victim to play.

Officials said the teen showed no remorse for the crime and spoke nonchalantly when questioned by police.

Junli’s surveillance camera captured the moment the young girl was lured away by the teenager, who had come to ask her to join him in the woods twice before.

The grieving father told Red Star that the teenager had allegedly developed a hatred for women after being beaten and scolded by his mother, and had planned to kill her and female classmates with good grades before choosing the 8-year-old as his first victim.

Junli told the outlet he fainted when he first learned about his daughter’s fate, with his family who was babysitting the girl urging him not to see her body.

“You will never recover after seeing this for the rest of your life,” they warned him.


Surveillance footage showed the moment a 12-year-old boy led away a 4-year-old girl before killing her.

Junli, who has spent his days cutting down trees to divert people away from his daughter’s crime scene, initially believed the suspect would undoubtedly pay for what he did, but he has now acknowledged that he might not ever get the justice he seeks.

In 2021, China lowered the age of criminal responsibility from 14 to 12. But, unlike the US, children are not sent to detention centers and adult-level punishments are rarely brought when the crime is murder.

Junli’s case is similar to one from last year, where a 4-year-old girl was killed by a boy under 12 years old who pushed her into a manure tank just 300 yards from her home in Hubei.

The case against the boy was dropped in January because of the boy’s age, the Southern Metropolis Daily reported.

The father, who still wants the case to be heard, claimed the boy killed his child “simply because my daughter and his sister quarreled many times over toys.”

The boy is reportedly being held at a psychological corrections facility, the same sentence given to other young criminals under 12.

A shrine dedicated to a 10-year-old girl who was raped and murdered by a 13-year-old boy.

The lenient sentencing was also the common practice prior to the 2021 amendment, when a 13-year-old boy was sentenced to only three years at a juvenile rehabilitation center after raping and fatally stabbing a 10-year-old girl in 2019.

The victim’s father said the teenager, who was under the former age of criminal responsibility, lured the girl to his home, sexually assaulted her, stabbed her to death and then disposed of her body in the woods in the city of Dalian, Jinyun News reported.

The case caused an uproar in China at the time, with public opinion already at a boiling point after police were forced to release a 12-year-old boy who confessed to stabbing his mother to death.

The child was back to attending school days later, according to Chinese media.

The outrage ultimately led to the 2021 amendment lowering the age of criminal responsibility to 12, but despite the new law, China continues to see an uptick in cases against juveniles.

Between 2020 and 2023, prosecutors charged 243,000 minors, with an average case increase of 5% a year, according to CCTV.

temp-post-imageThe Chinese Supreme People’s Court issued new guidance on how to prevent juvenile crime.

The SPC recently announced that it had handed down sentences against 12,000 minors in the first three months of 2024.

The court also acknowledged that it sentenced four minors aged between 12 and 14 to 10 to 15 years in prison in April, but did not say what their crimes were.

Along with the sentence, the court issued new guidelines on preventing juvenile crime, where it suggested that courts could hold parents and guardians responsible for their children’s actions.

The court specifically pointed out that 30% of those who committed violent crimes between 2021 and 2013 were from “left-behind” or single-parent families.

Left-behind children are those who stay behind in rural areas while their parents move to work in the cities.

Left-behind children also make up a large portion of bullying victims in China, including Junli’s daughter.

A 2019 survey from the Beijing-based NGO found that out of 14,000 left-behind children, 90% of them said they suffered emotional abuse, 65% experienced physical violence and 30% said they had been sexually abused.

The spate of violent incidents have triggered many to call on parents to return home and focus on raising their children and keeping them out of trouble, with the Supreme People’s Court calling for communities to come together and address the issue.

“Collaborative efforts by schools, families, social organizations and government agencies to build a joint work system to address bullying and solve the problem at an early stage is essential and urgent,” the court said.

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