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The true story behind Memories of Murder and how the killer was caught

parasite made Oscar history, and ever since, audiences have been eager to see the Best Picture winner’s earlier work.

One of director Bong Joon-ho’s most acclaimed films is the 2003 film Memories of Murder, a South Korean crime thriller starring Song Kang-ho, who has worked frequently with the filmmaker.

It is his second directorial film – after that Barking dogs never bite — and addresses serial killings that plagued South Korea in the 1980s and early 1990s.

You will know that Memories of Murder is based on a true story, so what happened in real life?

Still from the Memories of Murder trailer, NEON, CJ Entertainment

The real story behind Memories of Murder

acc The Hollywood ReporterThe murders depicted in Memories of Murder took place between 1986 and 1991 in Hwaseong, a city in Gyeonggi province south of the capital Seoul.

There were ten female victims linked to the serial killer, ranging in age from teenagers to one woman in her 70s. All victims were raped before being brutally killed. The killer’s modus operandi was that most of the victims were strangled with part of their own clothing.

As the killings mounted and terrified the district, the crimes culminated in the largest crime case in South Korea, with thousands of suspects being interrogated.

However, the case remained unsolved for 30 years.

Has the real killer of Memories of Murder been caught?

Yes, although the killer was still not caught when Bong Joon-ho finished filming Memories of Murder.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, officers at the Gyeonggi Nambu Provincial Police Agency announced in September 2019 that a match had been found for the killer after DNA was sent to the National Forensic Service.

That DNA belonged to Lee Choon-jae, and he confessed to the 2019 murder of 14 women, 10 of whom were linked to the Hwaseong murders.

When the match came about, Lee Choon-jae was already in prison, having been sentenced to life in prison for the 1994 rape and murder of his sister-in-law.

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“I kept bumping into detectives”

IndieWire reports Lee Choon-jae, who expressed surprise at not having been caught earlier:

“I still do not understand [why I wasn’t a suspect]. Crimes were happening all around me and I didn’t bother to hide things, so I figured I would be easily caught. There were hundreds of police officers. I bumped into detectives all the time, but they always asked me about people around me.”

tec depths adds that Lee Choon-jae saw Memories of Murder in prison but showed no emotion when he saw it.

https://www.hitc.com/en-gb/2022/04/11/memories-of-murder-true-story/ The true story behind Memories of Murder and how the killer was caught

Brian Ashcraft

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