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Last Updated: Sunday, 18 July, 2004, 14:16 GMT 15:16 UK
Seoul man 'admits killing spree'
Handcuffed Yoo Young-chul with police as bodies are unearthed
TV footage showed the suspect with police as bodies were unearthed
A South Korean man has confessed to killing 19 people - many of them women who worked as masseuses or bar hostesses, police say.

Yoo Young-chul, 33, was taken under heavy guard to a site near a mountain temple in northern Seoul where police have unearthed 11 bodies.

He was arrested in connection with killings from last September to July that spread panic in Seoul.

Police said Yoo had a hatred of women and the rich.

The suspect has 14 previous convictions, including rape and theft. He was released from prison last year.

He was arrested early on Thursday following an attack on a masseuse in southern Seoul.

He escaped from custody after police unlocked his handcuffs but was re-arrested on Friday.

Investigators believe Yoo lured female victims to his room and bludgeoned them to death with a hammer after having sex with them. He then allegedly used axes, knives and scissors to cut them into pieces.

Hatred

"He has strong hatred towards wealthy people, women and society," said Seoul police chief Huh Joon-young, adding that Yoo became "mentally unstable" after his marriage broke down in 2002 while he was in prison.

Police vowed to recover all the victims' bodies.

"We will concentrate all our efforts so that we can promptly identify the victims and deliver the bodies to their families," said the police chief.

Yoo's wife, herself a former masseuse, lives with their 11-year-old son.

Police said Yoo had tried to kill himself before he was captured, and hundreds of sleeping pills had been found in his bag.




WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Charles Scanlon
"The suspect looked on as the search continued"



SEE ALSO:
Country profile: South Korea
14 May 04  |  Country profiles


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