Let’s unveil the 4 most terrifying real-life serial killers in Korean history that inspired Korean crime thriller films. What they have in common is that they are all psychopathic and extremely obsessed with women.
Korea’s most notorious killers have become compelling material for filmmakers to exploit. There are even many Korean films that gained so much attention and thereby forced the government to reopen and continue to investigate the case.
1. The Chaser
The serial killer Yeong Min (Ha Jung Woo) in The Chaser was inspired by the real-life serial killer Yoo Young Chul. Most of Young Chul’s victims were wealthy people. After each case, he made his crime scenes look like a robbery to confuse the investigation. After that, he turned to prostitutes. The killer called prostitutes to his house and hit them with a hammer until they died after having sex with them. He cut the bodies of the victims into small parts, militated their faces to hinder their identification, and buried them in various places. In 2004, he admitted to killing 20 people and ate the livers of 4 victims. However, this cold-blooded killer was only sentenced to life imprisonment because, after 1997, the Korean Government abrogated capital punishment.
2. Where The Truth Lies
Where The Truth Lies was created based on the true story of a murder of a college student, Cho Chong Pil. The murder took place in the bathroom of a Burger King restaurant in Itaewon. Arthur Patterson and a Korean-American man, Edward Lee were arrested at the birthday party as suspects. Due to the problem between the U.S and Korea at that time and the fact that no specific evidence was found out, the two were released in 1998. However, thanks to the success of the movie, the police decided to investigate this case again. IN 2016, Arthur was sentenced to 20 years in prison for killing while Edward was the accomplice. However, the motive that made them kill Cho Chong Pil remains unknown till now.
3. Dark Figure of Crime
The image of cold-blooded killer Kang Tae Oh (Joo Ji Hoon) in Dark Figure of Crime was inspired by the 2011 Busan mass murder case. Accordingly, once the perpetrator was apprehended and sentenced to 15 years in jail, he abruptly admitted to having perpetrated 11 more murders. However, investigators eventually determined that he was only the culprit of two other crimes. The murderer died in solitary confinement in 2016, leaving the mystery of his confession unanswered.
4. Memories Of Murder
Memories Of Murder is loosely based on the true story of Korea’s first confirmed serial murders, which took place between 1986 and 1991 in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province. Song Kang-ho and Kim Sang-kyung star as Detective Park and Detective Seo, respectively, two of the detectives trying to solve the crimes. Director Bong Joon Ho’s masterpiece in 2003 revealed Korea’s most notorious case at the time. However, it wasn’t until the end of 2019 that Lee Chun Jae, the true killer in this case, was exposed. Lee Chun Jae stated in court that he murdered 14 women and girls in the 1980s in Hwaseong and Jeonju.