South Korean serial killer identified after 28 years

New DNA tests link man, already serving life term for separate murder, to cold case

A high school graduation photo of Busan prison inmate Lee Chun-jae shows striking similarities to a facial composite sketch of the Hwaseong Strangler provided by the police based on eyewitness accounts.
A high school graduation photo of Busan prison inmate Lee Chun-jae shows striking similarities to a facial composite sketch of the Hwaseong Strangler provided by the police based on eyewitness accounts. PHOTOS: HANKOOK ILBO
The killings inspired the critically-acclaimed 2003 thriller Memories Of Murder by award-winning director Bong Joon-ho.
The killings inspired the critically-acclaimed 2003 thriller Memories Of Murder by award-winning director Bong Joon-ho.PHOTO: CJ ENTERTAINMENT

Madam Susie Park recalls the day when news of a serial killer on the prowl sent chills down her spine.

At least five women, aged 19 to 71, had been raped, strangled to death with their own belongings such as stockings or scarves, and abandoned half naked with their hands tied behind their backs, in the paddy fields of Hwaseong, south-west of Seoul.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 29, 2019, with the headline 'S. Korean serial killer identified after 28 years'. Print Edition | Subscribe