[Korean History] In 2004, serial murderer with goal to kill 100 was stopped at 20
The chilling saga inspired several movies and documentaries, including the 2008 film “The Chaser,” directed by then-novice Na Hong-jin, and Netflix’s 2021 documentary “The Raincoat Killer: Chasing a Predator in Korea.”
Despite having been sentenced to death by hanging in June 2005, Yoo still lives in jail, as South Korea has not carried out any executions since 1997, making it "abolitionist in practice" on the death penalty, according to Amnesty International in May 2023.
Recent debates about resuming the most severe form of punishment have brought him back from fading memory. In September, Yoo, along with other death row inmates, was relocated to the Seoul Correction Center, which is equipped with an execution chamber.
Yoo’s killing spree began in early 2003. His first targets were a 72-year-old university professor and his wife, murdered in January 2003, according to a 2007 analysis of Yoo’s crimes by the Department of Forensic Medicine at Kyungpook National University.
The first four of his victims were murdered in their homes, after Yoo broke in using different types of weapons, including knives and hammers.
After the police expanded their investigation into a series of his earlier murders, he began to plot out a more discreet plan.