Netflix‘s serial killer docu-series The Raincoat Killer: Chasing a Predator in Korea told the bloody and disturbing story behind Yoo Young-chul. Yoo is one of South Korea’s most prolific serial killers that operated in the early 2000s. While the docu-series gave more insight into the investigation, viewers were disappointed authorities never revealed a photo of Yoo’s face.
The Raincoat Killer gave a short and brief explanation of why his face was concealed after his arrest. In the age of technology, Yoo’s face is quick Google search away. But viewers will be stunned to learn only two photos of Yoo’s full face exists to the public.
South Korean law requires a perpretrators face to be concealed from the public
South Korea has a strict law that protects a perpetrator’s identity during a criminal investigation and arrest. According to The Korea Herald, “In accordance with the criminal code and Korean National Police Agency guidelines, it is typical for a suspect’s face to be covered and for only their surname to be used when they appear in the media.”
Yoo was arrested by police in July 2004 when the law was still in practice. In The Raincoat Killer, a police detective found a hat, mask, and raincoat on his desk to hide Yoo’s face before leaving the precinct. The Korean public has often debated the law’s fairness as it undermines the principle of being innocent until proven guilty. The Korean Herald explains the GNP revised the law in 2010. The identity of a perpetrator can be revealed by authorities after they have acquired a confession or sufficient evidence.
There are only 2 concrete photo of Yoo Young-chul’s face to the public
Throughout the investigation, the docu-series, and Yoo’s imprisonment, his facial features are never fully revealed. As of yet, only two photos of Yoo exist online. One photo is a portrait taken of the killer in what could be his mid 20’s. In front of a light green backdrop, Yoo is wearing a dark blue suit with a shirt and tie. The other photo is from his younger school years.
A quick Google search of the serial killer results in a series of the same photo. A majority of images of Yoo are when he leaves the precinct swarmed by police and the media. According to the docu-series, the images took place shortly after he was arrested a second time. Authorities took Yoo to the location where he buried his victims. One mind-boggling fact about the investigation is why Yoo is called “The Raincoat Killer.” Yoo never wore a raincoat during his murders. Instead, a detective had Yoo wear the coat because it was raining.
After Yoo’s arrest, his face was always concealed by police using a hat. In some photos of Yoo, he was already in prison and can be seen wearing prison attire while sporting noticeable facial hair. Despite one full photo of Yoo’s face online, the infamous serial killer remains an allusive character.
Veiwers might confuse a photo from a K-drama with Yoo Young-chul
When Googling Yoo’s face, there is another photo that often pops up on the search engine. The image looks similar to photos of Yoo leaving the precinct to visit the burial site. While the photos hold many similarities, one photo is from the acclaimed crime K-drama Taxi Driver. The 2021 K-drama used real-life Korean crime cases as a basis for their storylines.
Taxi Driver introduced a serial killer named Oh Chul-young played by actor Yang Dong-tak. Chul-young was inspired by Yoo and had a similar Modus Operandi and backstory. In the K-drama, Chul-young bludgeoned his victims and has a young son who once called during one of his murders.
During Chul-young’s arrest, it mimics the same event that happened in real life with Yoo. He is escorted by police outside the precinct wearing a yellow coat and black hat. Viewers of The Raincoat Killer might be led to believe the photo of Chul-young is of the heinous killer Yoo.
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