Hwaseong Serial Killer Confesses

  • By Kwon Sang-eun

    October 02, 2019 12:21

    A photo of Lee Chun-jae from his high school yearbook

    The suspect in a series of grisly serial murders in Hwaseong south of Seoul in the 1980s has confessed to the crimes.

    Lee Chun-jae (56), who serves a life sentence in Busan for murdering his sister-in-law in 1994, confessed to the serial killings during interrogation in prison that started late last month after he was recently identified from DNA samples.

    Police intend to investigate any links Lee may have with other unsolved murders, but he will not face additional punishment since the statute of limitations on the grisly murders has expired.

    Police questioned him nine times over the last two weeks and called in the help of a criminal profiler.

    Lee confessed to three murders where traces of his DNA were found at the crime scene as well as another six in Hwaseong. He also confessed to another five murders, including two unsolved cases in Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province, where he was living in the early 1990s and murdered his sister-in-law. That means he committed 14 murders in total.

    "We need to investigate further to corroborate his confession, so I cannot confirm specific details," a police spokesman said. "We will make an official announcement after comparing the confession to police records and interviewing witnesses."

    Police sought the help of the National Forensic Service in July of this year to analyze pieces of evidence obtained from the murder scenes in Hwaseong, which matched DNA samples from the fifth, seventh and ninth murders. Then a database search led them to Lee.

    A total of 10 grisly murders were committed in Hwaseong between 1986 and 1991, but one of them turned out to have been committed by a copycat, who was arrested.

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