|“||Women shouldn't be sluts, and the rich should know what they've done.||”|
Yoo was born on April 18, 1970 in Gochang, Jeonbuk. His family lived in poverty, which was the reason why he was bullied in school. As a result, he began to hate rich people.
Even before becoming a serial killer, Yoo had a criminal record; in 1988, he was arrested for theft. In 1991, he committed theft again and was sentenced to ten months in prison. In 1993, he was arrested again for theft and sentenced to eight months in prison. Yoo was caught selling child pornography in 1995. He was also sentenced to two years in prison for theft, forgery, and identity theft in 1998.
In 1991, Yoo married his girlfriend and had a son with her. In 2000, he was arrested again for raping a 15-year-old girl; he was sentenced to three years and six months in prison. On October 27, his wife divorced him. He was released on September 11, 2003.
Killings, Capture, and Incarceration
On September 24, 2003, Yoo broke into the home of a wealthy couple. The homeowner, a university professor named Lee Deok-su, was stabbed in the neck with a knife; he and his wife were then bludgeoned to death with a hammer. Yoo staged the scene to look like a murder motivated by robbery, but nothing was stolen.
Yoo struck again on October 9. Having forced his way into another house, he smashed a grandmother's head in with his hammer. The homeowner's wife ran down the stairs and encountered her mother-in-law's killer, whereupon he kicked her in the stomach and demanded to know if there were more people in the house. She said that her husband and son were upstairs. He proceeded to bludgeon her skull in and ran into her disabled son. Yoo forced him to kneel down and hammered him to death. The husband was not actually home at the time of the murders.
Another killing took place on October 16. Yoo Joon-hee, the wife of a millionaire, was threatened with a knife after Yoo broke in. He asked her if anyone else was home; when she said that there was nobody else present, he dragged her into the bathroom and bludgeoned her. She was found by her son but later died.
Yoo forced his way into one more home on November 18. The housekeeper, Bae Ji-hye, asked him whom he was. In response, he showed her his knife and demanded to know where the master bedroom was. Upon getting there, he found the homeowner, Kim Jong-seok, lying in bed. Yoo immediately hammered him to death. Bae, who had been holding a baby that she was taking care of, tried to protect the infant. He took the child from her, placed it on the sofa, and covered it with a blanket. He then fatally bludgeoned her. After accidentally cutting himself while trying to open a safe, Yoo set the house on fire to destroy any possible DNA evidence. Fortunately, the baby was rescued.
On December 11, 2003, Yoo began dating an escort girl. At some point, however, she inevitably discovered his criminal record and told him not to see her ever again. This enraged him and gave him motivation to start murdering again. On February 9, 2004, he killed Chung Young-dae, a street vendor, and set his van on fire. On March 16, he fatally choked Kwon Jin-hee, dismembered her corpse, and dumped her remains on a trail near Sogang University. He murdered another street vendor, Ahn Jae-sun, on April 14 for selling fake viagra to him.
In May, Yoo lured an escort girl to his apartment. He then bludgeoned her unconscious with his hammer and decapitated her in his bathroom. He smashed her head, mutilated her body, and buried the rest. He did this new M.O. to eight more prostitutes and escort girls.
Two days after committing his final murder, Yoo was arrested. He had raised suspicion by calling a massage parlor where several employees had recently gone missing after receiving similar phone calls. He confessed to the killings. He also escaped from custody after pretending to have a seizure; however, he was captured twelve hours later.
Yoo first appeared in court on September 6, 2004. He apologized to the families of his victims but maintained that he had no intention of stopping his murders. Two weeks later, he lunged at three judges. Yoo was supposed to appear in court again on October 4, but he had attempted to kill himself the night before. He attacked a spectator three weeks later for cursing him and later agreed to not cause any more commotion in the courtroom. On December 13, he was found guilty and sentenced to death. Yoo was convicted of 20 murders and is currently incarcerated at Seoul Detention Center.
In the beginning, Yoo attacked rich elders; he would break into their homes and beat them to death with a hammer. After doing this, he made the crime look like a robbery-murder (even though he did not take any money). Later, Yoo started killing prostitutes and escort girls. He would lure them to his home, beat them unconscious with a hammer, and decapitate them in his bathroom. He usually dismembered and mutilated the bodies, then buried them. In addition, two street vendors were murdered. Yoo said that he sometimes removed his victims' livers and ate them, but it has never been proven if he actually did so. He also pretended to be a cop, even using a forged police ID. He also burned some of the victims' bodies. Other times, Yoo stabbed his victims and choked one of them. He often wore a yellow raincoat and baseball cap during the killings.
- Unspecified dates from 1988 to 2000:
- Four unspecified thefts
- Unnamed girl, 15 (raped only)
- September 24: Mr. and Mrs. Lee (both bludgeoned with a hammer)
- Lee Deok-su, 72 (was also stabbed in the neck)
- Lee Eun-ok, 67
- October 9: Mrs. Kang, Mrs. Lee, and Mr. Go (all bludgeoned with a hammer)
- Kang Eun-sun, 85 (grandmother)
- Lee Sook-jin, 60 (mother)
- Go Jin-soo, 35 (son)
- October 16: Yoo Joon-hee, 60 (bludgeoned with a hammer)
- November 18: Mr. Kim and Ms. Bae (both bludgeoned with a hammer; burned the house post-mortem)
- Kim Jong-seok, 87
- Bae Ji-hye, 53 (the housekeeper)
- September 24: Mr. and Mrs. Lee (both bludgeoned with a hammer)
- February 9: Chung Young-dae, 47 (burned his van post-mortem)
- March 16: Kwon Jin-hee, 23 (choked; dismembered post-mortem)
- April 14: Ahn Jae-sun, 44 (stabbed 20 times; sawed his hands off and burned his van post-mortem)
- May: Kim Hee-sun, 25 (bludgeoned into unconsciousness with a hammer and decapitated; dismembered post-mortem)
- May 7: Shin Min-a, 33 (bludgeoned into unconsciousness with a hammer and decapitated; dismembered post-mortem)
- June 1: Han Sook-ja, 35 (bludgeoned into unconsciousness with a hammer and decapitated; dismembered post-mortem)
- June 9: Jang Kwang, 26 (bludgeoned into unconsciousness with a hammer and decapitated; dismembered post-mortem)
- June 18: Kim Ji-ho, 27 (bludgeoned into unconsciousness with a hammer and decapitated; dismembered post-mortem)
- June 25: Woo Koo-yeon, 28 (bludgeoned into unconsciousness with a hammer and decapitated; dismembered post-mortem)
- July 2: Kim Mi-young, 26 (bludgeoned into unconsciousness with a hammer and decapitated; dismembered post-mortem)
- July 9: Go Sun-hee, 24 (bludgeoned into unconsciousness with a hammer and decapitated; dismembered post-mortem)
- July 13: Im Mi-yeon, 27 (bludgeoned into unconsciousness with a hammer and decapitated; dismembered post-mortem)
- Note: Yoo claimed to have killed six other people and eaten the liver of some of his victims, but this has never been proven.
On Criminal Minds
- Season Eleven
- "Tribute" - While Yoo was never directly mentioned or referenced on the show, he appears to have been an inspiration for the episode's unsub, Michael Lee Peterson - Both were serial/spree killers and rapists (Peterson budding serial) who grew up in poor neighborhoods (which caused them to resent the wealthy), racked up lengthy criminal records at an early age, targeted both single victims (usually prostitutes) and couples, stabbed some of them to death, and in one case a female victim was left for dead and found, but was unable to be saved in time.
- Per Korean naming customs, articles revolving around criminals from Korea start with the family name first. In this case, the family name is Yoo, not Young-chul.