When I first began the documentary, The Raincoat Killer: Chasing a Predator in Korea, I had never heard of the case. I decided that along with watching the documentary. I would do a deep dive and discover just who is the ‘raincoat killer’.
The man who became known as the ‘raincoat killer is Yoo Young-chul. He was a 33 year old jobless man when he was caught by police in 2004. Newsweek reports that Yoo confessed to a series of murders from September 2003 to July 2004. Yoo targeted the wealthy elderly and female sex workers. He had 14 prior counts of robbery and rape on his record.
Yoo was married to a masseuse in 1992 and they had a son together. She allegedly divorced him while he was serving time for a rape charge in 2002. This would be the same while dating a woman after his release from prison. She left him after finding out about his record.
Yoo was a self-proclaimed smart person and often tried to fake an illness to lower the police’s guard while arresting him. He allegedly faked a seizure when he was arrest in 2004 and managed to briefly escape.
Chosun Media reports that Yoo confessed to the murders of 26 people when police were only aware of 19 confirmed cases. Yoo at the time was the deadliest serial killer that South Korea had ever seen. Reports indicate that Yoo suffered from epilepsy and blamed the wealthy and women for the hardships in his life. His hatred for these groups caused Yoo to commit these murders.
According to the Toronto Sun, Yoo committed these murders by bludgeoning his victim with a hammer. He would later dismember the bodies and then dispose of them. He committed the acts in a yellow raincoat and was wearing it when he was arrested.
Esquire reports that Yoo was convicted of 20 murders in December 2004. He was sentenced to death. He remains in prison today. As of 2019, he is one of 60 death row inmates awaiting execution.