Serial murders have long history in KoreaThe series of killings revealed yesterday, along with further apparent serial murders that have recently taken place in Seoul, have created a climate of fear for some city dwellers.
“I feel like I am watching a terrible horror movie,” said a 33-year old woman identified as Ms. Kim. “I don’t think I will be able to relax until ‘the rainy Thursday murderer’ is arrested.”
The case referred to is a string of unsolved killings that have taken place in southwestern Seoul since early this year: Five women have been murdered, while two have narrowly escaped. Most of the attacks took place on rainy Thursdays, with young women as the targets. None showed any evidence of attempted sexual assault or theft of valuables; all were executed in a brutal manner.
Yoo Yeong-cheol, arrested yesterday in connection with the murders of 19 people, does not seem to have been involved in the “rainy Thursday” cases.
Citizens have expressed dismay that the police have not made an arrest in the case. They pointed to the facts in yesterday’s serial killing case: Police did little despite the killings of 19 people in less than one year, and failed to notice anything suspicious when the murderer, Mr. Yoo, buried the dead bodies of a dozen victims in hills near residential areas of western Seoul.
According to police, an average of 1,000 murders take place in the nation annually, with high occurrence rates in July and August. The police say they have solved more than 90 percent of them.
Korea’s criminal history includes a number of serial killings. In one of the most brutal cases, 10 women were raped and murdered in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi province, between September 1986 and April 1991. The case remains unsolved. In 1975, a man named Kim Dae-doo killed 17 citizens; he was executed in 1976. In 1994, two serial killing sprees took place: Two separate criminal gangs kidnapped and murdered a total of 11 people without specific cause. More recently, a man named Jeong Doo-yeong killed nine wealthy people in South Gyeongsang province.
by Kim Seung-hyun, Min Seong-jae
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