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Yoo’s history hints at drive to kill, escape punishment

July 19,2004
The personal history of Yoo Yeong-cheol, the suspected serial killer who has confessed to murdering 26 people, hints at a person who is obsessed with murder.
A self-proclaimed “smart person” who says his IQ is 140, Mr. Yoo apparently has devoted much of his brainpower to the dark art of murder and deception.
He has a history of faking ailments to keep police off guard and during the questioning that led to his confession displayed some knowledge of the charges he faces and his possible punishments.
After his arrest Thursday on charges of beating a masseuse, he confessed to having killed at least 26 people, and also commented on the status of other serial killers in recent Korean crime history.
In particular, he commented on the Woo Beom-gon case in 1982, noting that Mr. Woo had killed many more people ― 56 ― than he had.
He also told his interrogators that 58 murderers are in Korean prisons now, having escaped the death penalty. He also showed an interest in the current movement by Uri Party legislators to abolish the death penalty in Korea.
In 2002, when he was arrested on a rape charge, he faked an epilepsy fit. After he was hospitalized, he tried to escape. During this arrest, he walked with a limp, presumably to lull the police into lowering their guard.
In the suspect’s home, police found some items that they said could give some insight into his character and thought processes. They found a few DVDs of Korean movies, including Public Enemy, in which a policeman pursues a killer who murdered his aged parents.
They also found a collection of stories and articles about firearms.


by Lim Mi-jin, Park Jun-suk


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