‘The Raincoat Killer: Chasing a Predator in Korea’ is a three-part Netflix killer docuseries based on the infamous real-life story of Yoo Young-chul, a self-confessed serial killer and a sexual offender who feasted on his victims. This murdering maniac, who was born in Gochang Country in the 70s, spent seven years in prison on various convictions before executing his first kill in 2003. His key targets were commercial sex workers and wealthy elderly people in Seoul, Korea. This psycho used to beat his victims to death with a sledgehammer or stab them severally, then bury their bodies in a mountainous trail above a temple in Korea called Bongwon.
When the authorities finally nabbed him after committing these atrocities for years, he cited shows like ‘Normal Life’ and ‘Public Enemy’ as his inspiration, in addition to his overwhelming hatred towards women and wealthy people. Eventually, his murdering reign ended, and he was charged with 20 murders, and his story gave birth to the Korean thriller, ‘The Chase,’ released in 2008.
Something that makes this documentary pretty interesting is that Yoo isn’t described as a typical serial killer. It is intriguing to see how the detectives investigated the case and eventually brought him to book. One valuable aspect of his crimes is that he didn’t take anything from his victims; hence, establishing a motive or predicting his next kill was challenging for the police force involved. Initially, there was an MO, which he changed along the way when he felt like the police were closing in on him.
This documentary series takes the usual well-known format that combines police details regarding the case comprising footage that has never been seen before with interviews with experts and detectives who worked the case. Despite being as usual as any other documentary of its sorts, it is intriguing, has fantastically detailed knowledge from the experts and will definitely sit pretty well among the diehard fans of murder-serial killer kind of content.
The editing isn’t exaggerated, giving a really refreshing take of the documentary. One can’t help to get the impression that the filmmakers were more focused on bringing the story to life rather than impressing audiences with overdone visuals. The usual; strobing light effects common with serial killer documentaries are nowhere to be found. There is absolutely zero drama, the settings for the interviews are just standard and the music is not too loud. Everything is presented in a much-tamed manner that allows audiences to actually watch, listen to, and understand the information being communicated or passed across.
The story is also told in terms of re-enactments to portray exactly how the events transpired, which might put off those viewers who are not big fans of such storytelling techniques. However, the details and the knowledge are way better compared to the tiny aspects of re-enactments. Every person interviewed for the documentary presents a vivid and raw recollection of what happened back then.
The reviews are like these horrific events that took place just the other day. It’s incredibly heartbreaking to hear the victims narrate what they went through in the hands of a heartless killer who murdered people for sport and self-glorification. The series also shines a light on the hard work and countless hours that go into the investigation and the emotional effects of a case like this.
While the description of how this cold-blooded killer used to dispose of the dead bodies of his victims is crucial for propelling the story forward, one can’t help to feel like it’s included for shock value. Despite the motive, it is understandable since it is utterly brutal and disgusting, involving a staple dish loved by residents, which helped mask the awful stench of the decaying bodies. Many victims fell prey to his snare as the murders moved from being every month to a weekly thing as his hunger to satisfy his desire to take away human life escalated the more he killed.
The profiler added in the case makes it more intriguing as his job was to investigate the behavioral analysis of precisely what transpired at the crime scene. This layer adds a fantastic lure to the plot. Audiences also learn that a profiler is normally used when there is no clear or obvious motive for the crimes committed, which was the case with Yoo Young-chul. This aspect also gives the viewers the opportunity to participate in the investigation and examine what kind of an animal in the form of a human could be capable of such horrendous crimes and what might have pushed him towards this deadly path.
Another pretty interesting aspect is how the documentary touches on the failures by Korean authorities as the implication is that if the police invested more in terms of time, resources and personnel, this particular perpetrator and many others could have been brought to justice sooner hence saving tons of lives who suffered at their hand. Hopefully, this will be taken as a crucial lesson not only by the Korean authorities but also by many other police departments spread across the globe as these deadly bad apples live amongst every community in each country.
‘The Raincoat Killer: Chasing a Predator in Korea’ is gripping from the start till the credits roll. The audience gets the chance to learn a lot regarding how politics were conducted in Korea during that time and how the influence of those in power and decisions made affected the investigation into this crucial case.
Overall, if you are a big fan of documentaries based on actual events, especially in the murder mystery genre, then this one will be an exciting watch. In addition to each part running for only 45 minutes, there is a lot one can learn regarding how these kinds of cases are handled, the downsides, perks and challenges, the what’s and whys, and how politics can play in for cases like this. This miniseries is easy to binge, and once you start with the first part, you will get hooked and enthralled at the same time.