October 07, 2019 12:01
Police have been rattled by Hwaseong serial killer Lee Chun-jae's confession that he committed another murder that had been ruled out as part of the grisly crime spree in the 1980s.
Lee claims he also committed a eighth of 10 murders in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province, which police had pinned on a copycat who was arrested and convicted.
The murders terrified locals from 1986 to 1991, but the eighth, which was committed in 1988, was the only one in which a perpetrator was identified.
The victim was a 13-year-old middle school girl who was found raped and strangled in a house in Hwaseong on Sept. 16, 1988. In July the following year, a 22-year-old man surnamed Yoon was caught and sentenced to life in prison.
Yoon was identified by the National Forensic Service from pubic hair found at the crime scene. His sentence was commuted and he was paroled sometime between 2009 and 2010.
A police investigator said, "From the beginning, we classified the eighth case as a copycat crime given the different location and method than the other cases."
There is speculation that Lee's confession aims to plant a seed of doubt in the police investigation. The investigator said, "We're now checking whether his confession can be true."
Lee already serves a life sentence for the murder of his sister-in-law and cannot be prosecuted for the serial killings because the statute of limitations has expired.
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