중앙데일리

Police work on other murder ties

July 20,2004
Police said yesterday that they were still interrogating Yoo Yeong-cheol, a suspect in a recent series of murders.
They said they want to establish whether he was responsible for even more than the 20 slayings he now has been connected with.
Mr. Yoo was arrested last Thursday and on suspicion of murdering wealthy elderly people and young female prostitutes and masseuses. He told police, without elaborating so far, that he had murdered other people as well.
Police said several murders in the Seoul area this year are still unsolved. Those murders include the killings of four young women in southern Seoul that occurred beginning in April and continued through this month.
The police said, however, that they have not yet found conclusive evidence of additional crimes by Mr. Yoo.
Police said they would compare Mr. Yoo’s genetic fingerprints to DNA collected at the murder scenes in southern Seoul.
Mr. Yoo has claimed that he killed 11 women, all of them masseuses. But the friends of two of the victims said yesterday that these two murdered women were not masseuses, but a housewife and a skin therapist.
If that is true, police said, it suggests that other unreported victims of Mr. Yoo’s murder spree remain to be found.
Some of the victims’ families, officials said, will be able to receive compensation from the government.
Korea enacted a law in 1988 that obliges the government to compensate victims or their family members for crimes if the criminal cannot pay compensation.
The statute says, “The state shall provide benefits to victims as it is responsible for not properly protecting the safety of its citizens.”
Under the law, victims of hit-and-run accidents, for example, in which police failed to identify or apprehend the criminal, are also eligible for government compensation.
Mr. Yoo, police said, is destitute and has no recoverable assets with which to compensate the victims’ families, so Seoul will step in. If families apply for those funds, they can receive up to 10 million won ($8,620) in compensation.
Last year, 517 million won in compensation was paid to victims or their families from government funds in 57 cases.
In 2002, the figure was 472 million won in 50 cases.


by Im Jang-hyuk, Chun In-sung


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