‘The Raincoat Killer’: How Was Yoo Young-Chul Arrested by Authorities?

Netflix‘s The Raincoat Killer: Chasing a Predator in Korea takes viewers on a deep dive into how authorities uncovered Yoo Young-chul as the serial killer plaguing the city. The 3-episode docu-series goes behind the scenes talking to lead detectives on the case and forensic scientists who handled the evidence. After hitting a standstill in the investigation, authorities managed to arrest Yoo Young-chul.

From uncovering the killer’s Modus Operandi to the victims he targeted, authorities barely put the pieces together. The Raincoat Killer explains how a phone call made by a citizen lead to Yoo’s arrest.

Yoo Young-chul after his arrest being held by police wearing a yellow coat.
Suspected serial killer, Yoo Young-Chul is escorted by South Korean police during an inspection of suspected murder sites. | Kim Mi-ok via Getty Images

The murder of a family sparked the investigation into the case

The Raincoat Killer episode 1 sparks how authorities started to weave together the bigger picture of a possible serial killer. Authorities were dispatched to the brutal murder of a family reported by the grandfather when he returned from work. Evidence at the crime scene connected to another case two weeks prior. But the docu-series explains police did not make the connection because jurisdictions kept to themselves.

CCTV footage at a fourth crime scene revealed the perpetrator wearing the victim’s jacket. But leads went cold as the police became preoccupied with a string of crimes in the red-light district and the fall of Korea’s economy. In a change of events, Yoo started to target sex workers leading to a break in the case.

A pimp called in a tip to the authorities leading to Yoo Young-chul’s arrest

The docu-series does not delve deep into why Yoo specifically chose sex workers as his preferred victim. Authorities believed it was because sex workers keep their identities and real lives hidden. More often than not, no one would notice a sex worker missing. Yoo was able to target them, knowing it would not raise suspicion. In The Raincoat Killer episode 2, police caught a break.

The owner of a brothel noticed many of his girls had gone missing. He could not believe it was simply a coincidence until he received a phone call from a man asking for a specific girl. The number the man was calling from was his employees who went missing. The owner contacted a detective he knew and set up an operation to apprehend the culprit.

Authorities apprehended the man whose name was Yoo Young-chul. One of the shocking details about Yoo’s interrogation was the use of brutal force by the lead detectives to gain a confession. In the end, Yoo admitted to killing the elderly victims, but the police would commit a grave mistake.

The Police’s incompetence led to Yoo Young-chul’s escape and sheer luck for his arrest


‘The Raincoat Killer: Chasing a Predator in Korea’: Who Is Yoo Young-Chul?

Many viewers who watched the docu-series were stunned by the details portrayed in The Raincoat Killer. Viewers were dismayed at the lack of proper investigative technique and incompetence by the police. While in custody, Yoo faked a seizure to get free of the handcuffs. A lead detective then left the room to retrieve his laptop. Unknown to him, his fellow partner followed him out of the room. Yoo was left alone and took the opportunity to flee.

Yoo escaped custody barefoot and did not alert the attention of a precinct full of officers. “Yoo’s post-arrest escape attempt, which was the byproduct of almost staggering incompetence on Park (team leader) and company’s part, and was only rectified due to seasoned detective Kim Sang-joon’s quick thinking and some miraculous luck,” said The Daily Beast.

Kim worked on a hunch that Yoo would visit the red-light district in Yeongdeunpo. By a sheer stroke of luck, Kim and his team arrested Yoo as he crossed the street. In another interrogation, Yoo confessed to the murders, and the authorities corroborated his confession with evidence. Yoo now awaits his date of execution on death row.