He Spent 20 Years in Prison, Until a Serial Killer Confessed to the Crime

SEOUL, South Korea — A person in South Korea who spent 20 years in jail for the homicide of a 13-year-old lady was acquitted in a retrial on Thursday after the nation’s most notorious serial killer confessed to the crime final 12 months.

The acquitted man, Yoon Sung-yeo, 53, was sentenced to life in jail in 1989 on homicide prices involving the demise of the younger lady in Hwaseong, a county south of Seoul, the earlier 12 months. Mr. Yoon spent 20 years behind bars earlier than he was launched on parole in 2009.

He would have lived the remainder of his life as a former convict however for a sensational twist in what was South Korea’s longest unsolved serial homicide case. Final 12 months, the police introduced {that a} man serving a life sentence in jail for raping and murdering his sister-in-law in 1994 had confessed in that case, the so-called Hwaseong serial killings, by which 10 ladies have been discovered brutally murdered across the county from 1986 to 1991.

The confessed serial killer, Lee Chun-jae, additionally admitted to having killed 4 others, together with the 13-year-old lady. Mr. Yoon instantly demanded a retrial.

Park Jeong-jae, a district court docket choose in Suwon, south of Seoul, stated on Thursday in his ruling on Mr. Yoon’s case, “It was a fallacious verdict primarily based on defective investigations.”

“I, as a member of the judiciary, apologize to the accused that the judiciary had did not serve its function correctly because the final bastion for human rights,” he added.

When the decision was introduced, Mr. Yoon’s supporters exploded into applause and introduced him with flowers. Prosecutors determined to not enchantment the ruling.

“I hope no extra individuals will probably be wrongfully accused, as I used to be,” Mr. Yoon instructed reporters on Thursday.

For many years, the Hwaseong murders terrorized South Koreans. The victims, ages 7 to 71, have been typically strangled to demise after being raped. Their our bodies have been discovered with their mouths full of their very own stockings, bras or socks. Among the our bodies have been mutilated with umbrellas, forks or razor blades.

“I nonetheless don’t know why I did what I did,” Mr. Lee stated final month, when he testified throughout Mr. Yoon’s retrial. “I wasn’t pondering or planning. I dedicated the crimes like a moth drawn to a flame.”

A complete of two million cops have been mobilized to hunt for the killer over time, and greater than 21,000 males have been interrogated within the case. The killings additionally impressed the 2003 blockbuster film “Memories of Murder.”

The instances remained unresolved till final 12 months, when advances in DNA evaluation allowed forensic specialists to extract samples from among the proof collected on the homicide scenes. The samples matched Mr. Lee’s, and he later started confessing to the murders.

Throughout Mr. Yoon’s retrial, one of many former police detectives who had investigated his case admitted that Mr. Yoon had been crushed and disadvantaged of sleep for 3 days as he was compelled right into a confession. On Thursday, the court docket stated that the case towards Mr. Yoon had been constructed upon unlawful detention and torture and “no dependable proof.”

Mr. Lee’s confession, nonetheless, was “very credible,” it stated.

The Nationwide Police Company issued an announcement on Thursday apologizing for “stigmatizing an harmless younger man as a assassin.”

“We bow our head deeply in apology for him and his household,” it stated.

Mr. Yoon’s attorneys stated that the unique police investigation had bordered on absurdity: The police argued that Mr. Yoon had entered the murdered lady’s house by climbing a wall. However once they took him there to re-create the homicide scene, Mr. Yoon, who suffered from polio as a toddler and walks with a limp, couldn’t climb the wall.

Mr. Yoon’s argument that he was tortured into confession was not admissible throughout his unique trial.

When Mr. Lee appeared as a witness throughout Mr. Yoon’s retrial in November, he, too, testified that the police investigation had been shoddy.

Earlier than he went on his killing spree in 1986, he was questioned by the police a couple of rape however walked free when officers determined to not pursue the case, he stated. At one level, he stated he had been carrying the watch of considered one of his victims when the police questioned him as a part of their investigation into the Hwaseong murders. Once more, he walked free.

“I nonetheless don’t perceive how come it has taken so lengthy for them to catch me,” Mr. Lee, 57, stated. “I used to be questioned by police detectives a number of instances, however they at all times requested me about my mates and neighbors, however by no means severely about me.”

Law enforcement officials stated that Mr. Lee could have determined to cooperate with them after the DNA evaluation as a result of he not confronted any extra legal prices. The 15-year statute of limitations on the final of the Hwaseong murders expired in 2006. However his possibilities of parole have evaporated.

Mr. Lee stated he would slightly keep in jail than be set free on parole, citing the case of Cho Doo-soon, who was launched from jail this month after serving 12 years in jail for the rape of an 8-year-old lady. For months earlier than his launch, South Koreans issued demise threats towards Mr. Cho, forcing the police to extend safety round his house.

“It’s not like I haven’t considered what life could be like if I have been launched on parole,” Mr. Lee stated final month. “However I’d slightly keep in jail. I’ve heard how the individuals have been reacting to Cho Doo-soon’s launch. I can think about what it will be like in the event that they heard I used to be popping out.”

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *