A South Korean court has handed down a life sentence to 23-year-old Jung Yoo-jung, a self-proclaimed true crime fan who confessed to murdering a stranger “out of curiosity.” Jung, obsessed with crime shows and novels, had scored highly on psychopath tests, according to police reports.
Fixated on the idea of “trying out a murder,” Jung utilized an online tutoring app to find a victim, ultimately selecting an English-language teacher. The brutal killing, which occurred in May, shocked South Korea.
Prosecutors sought the death penalty for Jung, emphasizing the gravity of her actions. Described as an unemployed loner living with her grandfather, Jung had actively sought potential victims for months, contacting over 50 individuals, particularly focusing on women who conducted lessons at home.
Posing as the mother of a high school student in need of English lessons, Jung contacted a 26-year-old victim in the city of Busan. After gaining entry into the tutor’s home, she launched a frenzied attack, stabbing the woman over 100 times, even continuing the assault after the victim’s death. Jung then dismembered the body and disposed of some remains in a remote parkland area north of Busan.
Jung’s arrest came after a taxi driver reported a blood-soaked suitcase dumped by a customer. Police revealed her extensive online research on methods of killing and disposing of bodies but noted her lack of caution, as she made no effort to avoid CCTV cameras.
During the sentencing, the judge stated that the murder had “spread fear in society that one can become a victim for no reason” and had “incited a general distrust” within the community. Despite Jung’s plea for a more lenient sentence due to alleged hallucinations and mental disorders, the court rejected her argument, highlighting the careful planning and execution of the crime.
South Korea, while still retaining the death penalty, has not executed anyone since 1997.