After a 13-year-old was raped and murdered in her bed in 1988, being the eighth female to be murdered in two years in the rural area near the North Korea’s capital Seoul, a 22-year-old repairman, Yoon, was arrested.
It was said he confessed the crime. But only the police said this. He was convicted of raping and murdering the 13-year-old girl and sentenced to life in prison, though his sentence was later reduced on appeal. He was released after 20 years in prison. By 1991, 10 women and girls had been killed in Hwaseong region, including the 13-year-old killed in her bed. The victims included housewives, schoolgirls, and a department store worker. The oldest victim were 71 years old. Residents formed squads and patrolled the streets at night. There was a big rumor about the red clothes attracting the killer. Police were looking for a serial killer. Some female police officers wore red and tried to lure the killer into a trap. Even a clairvoyant was asked about the criminal. Police logged more than 2 million days on the case, a record for an investigation in South Korea.
Yoon was the only person ever convicted of any of the 10 murders and police suspected that a copycat killer existed. The statute of limitations expired for the last victim and it became clear that, even if the killer was found, there would be no trial or justice for the victims' families. And the mistery was solved: Lee Chun-jae, currently in prison serving a life sentence for the 1994 rape and murder of his sister-in-law, confessed to all 10 of the Hwaseong murders and to other four. Yoon had spent 20 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit. He works at a leather proces sing factory in North Chungcheong Province. Yoon is determined to clear his name, and his retrial began this week.