Hwaseong serial murders

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The Hwaseong serial murder (Hangul화성 연쇄 살인 사건; Hanja華城連鎖殺人事件; RRhwaseong yeonswae sarin sageon) is an unsolved serial murder case that occurred in the South Korean city of Hwaseong between September 15, 1986 and April 3, 1991.[1] In each case, a female was found bound and murdered. The murder is considered to be the most infamous in the modern history of South Korea and has been compared to the Zodiac Killer.[2]


The females, ages ranging from fourteen to seventy-one, were each found gagged and murdered over a four-year and seven-month period in the rural city of Hwaseong in Gyeonggi Province. Each woman was strangled to death with their own clothes. The evidence compiled led to a description of a man in his teens (around 20s or within), about 165 to 170 cm high, and having the blood type B based on forensic testimony.

The case is infamous within Korea for being the first truly identifiable strings of murders with a modus operandi. Police officers involved spent two million man-days on the case.[3] The total number of suspects also grew to enormous numbers, eventually ending with a total count of 21,280 individuals.[4]

In Korea, the statute of limitations for murder is fifteen years. The statute for the killings ran out in April 2, 2006.[4] However, police records are still kept because of the significance of the case.

In 2004, a female college student was murdered, sparking new interest in the Hwaseong serial murders, though the case also remains unsolved.[5]


Crime Date Location Victim Remarks
1 September 15, 1986 Hwaseong, Annyeong-ri (Now called Hwasan-dong) pastures Lee Wan-im (71 years old) Statute of limitations expired on September 15, 2001, at 12 am.
2 October 20, 1986 Hwaseong, Jinan-ri (Now called Jinan-dong) canal Park Hyun-sook (25 years old) Statute of limitations expired on October 19, 2001, at 12 am.
3 December 12, 1986 Hwaseong, Annyeong-ri (Now called Hwasan-dong) embankment Kwon Jung-bon (25 years old) Statute of limitations expired on December 11, 2001, at 12 am.
4 December 14, 1986 Jeongnam-myeon, Gwanhang-ri canal Lee Kye-sook (23 years old) Statute of limitations expired on December 13, 2001, at 12 am.
5 January 10, 1987 Hwaseong, Hwanggye-ri (Now called Hwasan-dong) rice paddy Hong Jin-young (19 years old) Statute of limitations expired on January 9, 2002, at 12 am.
6 May 2, 1987 Hwaseong, Jinan-ri (Now called Jinan-dong) hill Park Eun-joo (29 years old) Statute of limitations expired on May 1, 2002, at 12 am.
7 September 7, 1988 Paltan-myeon, Gajae-ri canal Ahn Gi-soon (54 years old) Statute of limitations expired on September 6, 2003, at 12 am.
8 September 16, 1988 Hwaseong, Jinan-ri (Now called Jinan-dong) house Park Sang-hee (14 years old) On July 27, 1989, Yoon-mo (22 years old) was arrested.
9 November 15, 1990 Hwaseong, Byeongjeom-dong (Now called Byeongjeom 1(il)-dong) hill Kim Mi-jung (14 years old) Statute of limitations expired on November 14, 2005, at 12 am.
10 April 3, 1991 Dongtan-myeon, Bansong-ri (Now called Dongtan 1-dong) hill Kwon Soon-sang (69 years old) Statute of limitations expired on April 2, 2006, at 12 am.

In Media[edit]

Several films and television shows are based on these murders.[2][6]


  1. ^ Kyung-Hyun Nam (2006-04-01). "Hwaseong Killings Still Baffle Police". english.donga.com. Retrieved 2015-09-09. 
  2. ^ a b Cho, Seongyong (2012-05-23). "A South Korean "Zodiac"". RogerEbert.com. Retrieved 2015-09-09. 
  3. ^ ""화성사건은 아직 끝나지 않았다" 당시 담당형사 책펴내" (in Korean). DongA Ilbo. 2003-09-08. Retrieved 2016-03-24. 연인원 200만명의 경찰이 투입됐고... 
  4. ^ a b "화성연쇄살인사건 '살인의 추억' 으로 묻히나" (in Korean). The Hankyoreh. 2006-04-01. Retrieved 2016-03-24. 
  5. ^ "Hwaseong Fears Return of Serial Killer". english.chosun.com. 2007-09-01. Retrieved 2015-09-09. 
  6. ^ Julie Jones (2015-08-26). "More Writers And Actresses Opt For Cable Dramas". KDramaStars. Retrieved 2015-09-09.