Yoo Young-Chul is a serial killer, sex offender, and self-proclaimed cannibal who had managed to ignite genuine terror on the streets of South Korea in the early 2000s. With his manipulative and horrendous escapades, he set an unprecedented standard for criminals at the time, which is explored on Netflix’s ‘The Raincoat Killer: Chasing a Predator in Korea.’ However, most people don’t know that Yoo was convicted 14 times on different counts of burglary, fraud, identity theft, and rape before his actual killing spree even began. Still, if you’re curious to know more about the latter, we’ve got you covered.
How Many People Did Yoo Young-Chul Kill?
Yoo Young-Chul has been responsible for at least 20 merciless murders in Seoul, South Korea, from September 2003-July 2004. He mainly targeted the elderly affluent of the city or sex workers who nobody would report missing for a short while. Since pure resentment motivated him, he mostly struck his victims over the head with a sledgehammer or stabbed them to let his frustration out. In fact, according to his confession, he’d been filled with rage ever since he turned 30 and was imprisoned for sexual violence. Thus, he said that no matter what his circumstances were, he would never stop killing.
Yoo claimed to have slain roughly 30 people during his initial interrogation, yet that number slowly came down to 21, and he was eventually convicted of 20. He confessed to a motiveless stabbing homicide as well. But it later came to light that he only did so because a detective had promised that they’d take care of his son until he graduates college if he pleads guilty, as per the documentary. This fell through before the final court proceedings. There were other homicides in Southwest Seoul when Yoo was active, targeting women walking alone on the street at night, but no evidence linked the serial killer to them.
Who Were Yoo Young-Chul’s Victims?
Yoo Young-Chul’s first murder victims were retired university professor Lee Deok-Su (72) and his wife Lee Eun-Ok (67) on September 24, 2003. He had broken into their home and bludgeoned them with a hammer. Two weeks later, on October 9, he followed this same process to eliminate Kang Eun-Sun (85), Lee Sook-Jin (60), and Go Jin-Soo (35) — the entire family of entrepreneur Ko Jung-Won. On October 16, Yoo further killed Yoo Joon-Hee (60), and a month later, on November 18, he brought his hammer down on Kim Jong-Seok (87) and their trusted housekeeper, Bae Ji-Hye (53).
The crime scene for the latter was different because Yoo cut himself while attempting to open a safe, so he set a fire inside the house to destroy the evidence. From there, he stalled for a few months owing to his back being captured on CCTV footage near a crime scene before he changed his MO. Yoo executed Chung Young-Dae (47) on February 9, 2004, and Kwon Jin-Hee (23) on March 16. The young girl was choked to death, dismembered, and dumped on a trail near Bongwon Temple. On April 14, he killed a local vendor, Ahn Jae-sun (44), owing to issues between them.
Then, on May 5, Yoo lured an escort of average height and small built into his apartment, where he bludgeoned her with the hammer in his bathroom and mutilated her. He cleaned up the remains, put them in a garbage bag, and buried them on the trail as well. Yoo followed this method for each of his remaining victims, having deemed his bathroom door sill a “threshold between life and death” because he had complete control inside. He even claimed to have eaten the internal organs of four such women during the dismembering process to “cleanse his spirit.”
All these victims were: Shin Min-a (33) on May 7, 2004, Han Sook-Ja (35) on June 1, Jang Kwang (26) on June 9, Kim Ji-Ho (27) on June 18, Woo Koo-Yeon (28) on June 25, Kim Mi-Young (26) on July 2, Go Sun-Hee (24) on July 9, and Im Mi-Yeon (27) on July 13. From once every month to once every two weeks to once a week, Yoo’s desire to kill was only intensifying. Moreover, he was apprehended two days after his last murder while trying to hire another escort, whom he probably would have slain as well.
Read More: Where is Yoo Young-Chul Now?