The victimology was close, to say the least.
On the one hand, the dead were desperate young sex workers. On the other, wealthy old men.
All were victims of South Korea’s Raincoat Killer, the subject of a Netflix documentary series describing the murders, described by a detective as “chilling.”
In the fall of 2003, the first bodies began to appear in Seoul. Wealthy old people who lived in nice neighborhoods and who had been beaten to death by a mallet.
Due to the economic state of the first victims, the police were suspicious of the killings and their increasing intensity was related to the financial crisis in Korea that devastated the economy.
“The rich got richer and the poor got poorer,” said one official, adding that the era saw an increase in violent crime.
The murders terrorized Seoul between September 2003 and July 2004 until the maniac behind them was arrested on July 15, 2004.
Yoo Young-chul had been in prison before. Rape was his poison, and before his murderous rampage ended, he had murdered at least 20 people, some of whom were dismembered and eaten.
When his relationship with a prostitute was ruined, Yoo went on to murder sex workers. He would call them to his seedy apartment and murder the women there.
“Yoo testified that to cleanse his spirit, he ate some of the internal organs from the bodies of four of his victims,” prosecutors said in 2004, adding, “It’s hard to believe Yoo’s statement because serial killers tend to exaggerate. “
Yoo replied, “Women shouldn’t be whores, and rich people should know what they’ve done.”
Now the three part series, The Raincoat Killer: Chasing a Predator in South Korea, take a closer look at the serial killer, his background and motivations. The series is told through interviews with investigators who sent Yoo to death row, where he remains unrepentant.
The series reveals that detectives and various law enforcement agencies were initially reluctant to use the chilling words “serial killer” because they feared it would trigger a widespread panic in the South Korean capital.
The third episode tells how the detectives approached Yoo and managed to enter his apartment, which was full of creepy drawings. In the bathroom, a large amount of blood spatter led them to the terrifying conclusion that many women died inside the room.
His trademark was a yellow raincoat. Yoo killed on it and got arrested on it.
Yoo was convicted of 20 murders in 2004, although some investigators fear his death count could be considerably higher.
He is now one of 60 people on death row in the Asian nation. No one has been executed since 1997.