Hwaseong serial murders

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The Hwaseong serial murders (Hangul화성 연쇄 살인 사건; Hanja華城連鎖殺人事件; RRhwaseong yeonswae sarin sageon) are 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 woman or girl was found bound and murdered. The murders are considered to be the most infamous in the modern history of South Korea and have been compared to those of the Zodiac Killer.[2]


The women, 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.[citation needed] Each woman was strangled to death with her own clothes.[citation needed] The evidence compiled from forensics pointed to a man in his 20s, about 165 to 170 cm tall, with blood type B.[citation needed]

The case is infamous within Korea for being the first truly identifiable string of murders with a modus operandi.[citation needed] 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]

Until it was lifted in July, 2015 by the National Assembly, the statute of limitations for murder in Korea was fifteen years. The statute for the killings had expired in April 2, 2006,[4]. However, police records were still kept due to the significance of the case.[citation needed] With the statute's lifting, cold cases have been re-visited.[citation needed]

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][7]


  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. ^ "Hwaseong serial murders victims". Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  7. ^ Julie Jones (2015-08-26). "More Writers And Actresses Opt For Cable Dramas". KDramaStars. Retrieved 2015-09-09.