‘The Raincoat Killer’: Where Is Yoo Young-Chul Now After His Conviction?

Serial killers are some of the world’s most heinous monsters. Netflix‘s The Raincoat Killer: Chasing a Predator in Korea shocked viewers as they learned more about South Korea’s most prolific murderer in the country’s history. Yoo Young-chul confessed to killing over 20 victims in the few short years he was active in the early 2000s. After Yoo’s conviction in 2004, where is the killer now?

During his murder spree, Yoo initially targeted the rich and elderly before changing his victim pool to include sex workers. Yoo had a body count that shocked the nation. Due to the gravity of his crimes and the lives he took, the Korean justice system gave him the death penalty.

Yoo Young-chul for 'The Raincoat Killer: Chasing a Predator in Korea' docuseries escorted by police.
Yoo Young-chul for ‘The Raincoat Killer: Chasing a Predator in Korea’ docu-series | via Netflix

Yoo Young-chul had a surprising response to his death penalty verdict

The murderer admitted to 19 murders and even bosted to authorities about dabbling in cannibalism. According to Korea Joongang Daily, the prosecutors asked Yoo to be given the death penalty for his crimes in November 2004. In response to the request, Yoo answered, “I am thankful for the prosecutors’ request for the death penalty. I will be repenting what I have done until I die.” On Dec. 13, the judicial court accepted the prosecution’s request, and Yoo was sentenced to death row.

According to Newsweek, the last death penalty carried out in South Korea was in 1997. Esquire explains the presidency of Kim Dae-jung a year later put a hold on capital punishment. Yoo is currently one of the 60 prisoners sitting on death row waiting for their execution date at Seoul Detention Center.

What is South Korea’s law regarding the death penalty?

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According to The Korea Times, “South Korea is classified as “abolitionist in practice,” which means that the government retains the death penalty but has not actually executed a criminal in the past 10 years or longer.” Executions in Korea have existed since 1895, but the presidency of Kim Dae-jung since 1998 put them on hold.

The justice system can still sentence a perpetrator to death row but wait for their execution date. Korea’s form of execution involves hanging. Over the years, Korean citizens have debated on the reinstatement of death row executions due to the rise of heinous crimes.

According to Amnesty International, the Constitutional Court of Korea ruled in 2010 that capital punishment did not violate “human dignity and worth” in the Constitution of the Republic of Korea.

Yoo Young-chul is not the only killer with a death penalty

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Yoo is inarguably one of the worst killers Korea has seen in its history. So much so that many crime Korean dramas use his story as a basis for their characters and storylines. The docu-series killer is not the only heinous monster South Korea has on death row. Kang Ho-sun is a serial killer who confessed to murdering 10 women, including his wife and mother-in-law.

Since 2009, Kang has currently sat on death row due to the moratorium of the death sentence since 1997. On death row is also the Jijon Family, a South Korean gang that assaulted, murdered, and kidnapped multiple victims. After their arrest, the police convicted them of five murders. The Jijon Family was sentenced to death and executed in 1994.