Netflix Tracks Korea’s Most Notorious Serial Killer Yoo Young-chul — Who Targeted the Rich, Then Prostitutes

For all of its melodramatic thrives, The Raincoat Killer: Chasing a Predator in Korea takes homicide—and the trauma it inflicts on others—very severely. A 3-part Netflix docuseries about South Korea’s most infamous serial killer rampage, it repeatedly fixates on the grief, remorse, guilt and anguish of each the cops who labored the case, and the family members of the fiend’s many victims. Such sensitivity lends emotional weight to its non-fiction story, which concerned the inexplicable deaths of quite a few people from numerous walks of life, and which ultimately performed out in a trend that was so movie-ish, it might be borderline unbelievable if it weren’t true.

The Raincoat Killer (out now) tells the terrifying story of Yoo Younger-chul, who from September-November 2003 broke into 4 totally different properties and viciously murdered their rich homeowners in Seoul’s well-off Gugi-Dong district. Contemplating that not one of the victims had been associated, and that no valuables had been taken, investigators had been baffled. Making issues tougher, there was solely scant dependable proof discovered on the grotesque scenes: matching footprints at three of the 4 areas, and pictures from a CCTV digital camera that depicted a younger man, from behind, strolling down the road sporting a sufferer’s jacket. In all of those situations, the killer had bludgeoned his targets within the head with a sharp-edged weapon. Nevertheless, with out that instrument of their possession, police discovered it unattainable to specify the exact object used within the assaults.

Even linking these homicides was difficult, since as detectives and chiefs clarify in The Raincoat Killer, on the time, South Korea’s police departments largely saved to their very own districts, speaking little with their fellow officers and, in actual fact, going out of their method to preserve quiet about unsolved instances; protocol was to solely publicize crimes as soon as they’d been solved. That was the primary of a number of critical errors that helped Yoo proceed to function undetected. To their credit score, multiple speaker takes possession of these failings all through the collection, admitting that bureaucratic and private blunders had been so widespread throughout their investigation that, in its aftermath, South Korea’s regulation enforcement operations had been considerably reformed in an effort to stamp out inefficiency and corruption.

Although the path went chilly following these late-2003 slayings, police had been quickly consumed with one other string of random crimes, this time in southwestern Seoul, the place scores of younger ladies had been attacked whereas strolling house alone late at night time. These victims suffered head accidents much like these seen within the preliminary crimes, and suspicions promptly grew—each amongst police and the media—{that a} serial killer was not solely on the free however might need now switched up his modus operandi as a method of evading seize. Extra homicides had been additionally happening in and across the red-light district, albeit unbeknownst to cops, because the disappearance of prostitutes was hardly ever one thing that landed on their radar—thus making these susceptible ladies good prey for a predator like Yoo.

The Raincoat Killer swiftly contextualizes this killing spree in a post-2000 Seoul that was wracked by economic hardships and rising homelessness and inequality—and guarded by a police power that wasn’t geared up for the brand new challenges it confronted. On this atmosphere, the nation’s first prison profiler, Kwon Il-yong, and forensic officer Kim Hee-sook, had been at an immense drawback, left to place collectively a puzzle that was lacking key items. The collection confidently supplies a historic framework for its narrative whereas sustaining suspenseful ahead momentum. Furthermore, its wealth of speaking heads—together with the Seoul Cell Investigation Unit’s chief Kang Dae-won, group chief Park Myung-sun and detective Yang Pil-joo, all of whom performed starring roles within the hunt for Yoo—lend it a measure of authenticity and immediacy, the latter peaking with recollections about Yoo’s post-arrest escape try, which was the byproduct of just about staggering incompetence on Park and firm’s half, and was solely rectified attributable to seasoned detective Kim Sang-joon’s fast considering and a few miraculous luck.

Interviews, household photos, graphical maps, and archival crime scene footage and information stories are all employed by The Raincoat Killer. So too are staged reenactments, that are produced in such an over-the-top method—all portentous slow-motion, fuzzy-faces, and evocative imagery—that they verge on the parodic. The floridness of these sequences is instantly at odds with the sober testimonials of its on-camera topics, whose feedback in regards to the accountability they felt to the useless, and the toll their work took on their very own psyches, are unaffected and heartrending. The result’s a docuseries that always feels as if it’s of two minds about the best way to deal with its chosen materials, though for essentially the most half, its stronger instincts prevail, particularly because of its unwavering deal with the reminiscences of those that endured this horrific ordeal.

“The result’s a docuseries that always feels as if it’s of two minds about the best way to deal with its chosen materials, though for essentially the most half, its stronger instincts prevail, particularly because of its unwavering deal with the reminiscences of those that endured this horrific ordeal.”

Given how comprehensively it paperwork the pursuit of Yoo, it’s stunning that The Raincoat Killer by no means gives up a lot details about, or perception into, the killer himself. Multiple particular person discusses Yoo’s resentment and hatred of girls and the wealthy, in addition to the dual-personality nature that allowed him to stay nameless for thus lengthy. But except for the randomly revealed revelation that he had a son (and, presumably, a spouse), Yoo’s childhood, relationships, skilled profession, and prior prison report—which, it seems, was in depth—is rarely addressed by the proceedings. His uncovered face isn’t even seen on-screen; all we get are TV clips of him addressing the press whereas sporting a masks.

Yoo in the end confessed to killing 26 folks (and was convicted of killing 20), and denying him the notoriety he so desperately coveted is an admirable goal, however The Raincoat Killer goes virtually too far in withholding very important particulars in regards to the madman, leaving him such a thriller that he comes throughout because the very kind of mythic boogeyman he wished to be. Higher is its censure of institutional ineptitude and affecting portrait of the lingering scars that also plague the women and men whose job it was to cease Yoo from finishing up his depraved deeds—and people, like Ahn Jae-sam, who went by their very own dwelling hells attempting to grapple with the mindless slaughter of their family members. | Netflix Tracks Korea’s Most Infamous Serial Killer Yoo Younger-chul — Who Focused the Wealthy, Then Prostitutes


ClareFora is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. ClareFora joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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