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Serial Killer: Cops Should Have Easily Caught Me

South Korea's Lee Chun-jae says he didn't try very hard to cover his tracks
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2020 10:50 AM CST

(Newser) – One of South Korea's most notorious serial killers spoke publicly about his crime spree for the first time on Monday, and he expressed surprise police didn't catch him sooner than they did. "I still don't understand [why I wasn't a suspect]," Lee Chun-jae said in court, where he admitted killing 14 women and girls three decades ago, along with another 30 sexual crimes, reports CNN and Yonhap News Agency. Lee had previously confessed, but this was the first time he has publicly testified about the spree. "Crimes happened around me and I didn't try hard to hide things, so I thought I would get caught easily." He said he "bumped into detectives all the time, but they always asked me about people around me." Once, he said he even had the watch of one of his victims on him while he spoke with police.

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Lee appeared in court in Monday as a witness, not a defendant, per the Hankyoreh. A man identified as Yoon served 20 years for one of the murders to which Lee has confessed, and his case is being retried to have his conviction overturned. "I sincerely apologize to Mr. Yoon, who was falsely charged with the killing I committed and served prison time," Lee told the court. "I am the real criminal." He also apologized to his victims' families. Lee can't be tried for his old crimes because the statute of limitations has expired. But he will nonetheless spend the rest of his life in prison because he was convicted of raping and killing his sister-in-law in 1994. (Read more serial killer stories.)

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