Recently, while browsing Netflix, the platform recommended a documentary film called "Korean Raincoat Killer: The Pursuit of Liu Yongzhe" based on my viewing habits. Curious, I searched for it and found that this incident was quite sensational at the time and was later adapted into a film called "The Chaser".
Curiosity piqued, I decided to watch the film to learn about this incident.
With the mindset of avoiding spoilers, I decided to watch the movie first and then the documentary.
The movie tells the story of a retired police officer who runs a brothel and investigates the consecutive disappearances of several prostitutes, only to discover that they were all killed by a mysterious man, unraveling a series of murder cases.
There were many unreasonable aspects of the plot, and the supporting characters were forcibly portrayed as mentally challenged, which I felt was a waste of emotions. However, when I watched the documentary, I surprisingly understood the director and screenwriter... because the Korean police at that time were indeed quite foolish.
Koreans dare to make films that truly depict the cruelty of Liu Yongzhe. Dismemberment, decapitation, and bloody scenes are vividly presented... creating strong visual tension. But this also made me feel that the director's storytelling was immature, using visual impact to replace incomplete story development.
The documentary is of average quality and analyzes the underlying reasons for this incident from the perspectives of the country, society, and law enforcement agencies. However, it did not delve into Liu Yongzhe's personal background, which is a major regret. Behind a serial killer who murdered dozens of people, there must be profound reasons, but the documentary only scratched the surface in this regard.
Many of the people in the documentary were former police officers. When the police captain recounted the past, there was a slight smile on his lips... as if he was quite proud. I thought to myself: you couldn't even solve a case with so many consecutive murders, and in the end, you had to rely on clues provided by a brothel owner to catch the killer. And even after catching him, he managed to escape once. What are you so proud of? I felt like going up and giving him a slap.
After watching it, it reminded me of the dismemberment case of Diao Aiqing at Nanjing University in China in 1996. Although the perpetrator did not kill as many people as Liu Yongzhe, the method of dismembering over two thousand pieces was equally chilling. What's even more unbelievable is that this case remains unsolved to this day, and the killer is still at large.
Although the Korean police deserve criticism, after this incident, the Korean police force accelerated its internal reform, which is commendable. Just like the social attention and subsequent enactment of the "Furnace Law" sparked by the movie "The Crucible".
It must be said that Korea has such an open environment that allows directors to dare to make films and performers to act, and the authorities can reflect and make corrections after incidents occur. This is something worthy of admiration.