South Korean woman obsessed with true crime poses as student to kill victim

June 13, 2023

The calm and collected demeanor of a South-Korean woman following a recent murder has shocked the country this week after footage of the suspect was shared across media outlets.

23-year-old Jung Yoo-jung was arrested last month on May 26, 2023, in Busan on murder charges.

Jung Yoo-jung lived alone in Busan and had done so for five years after graduating from high school. She was unable to find a job after graduating and didn't have much of a social life, if any. The suspect was reported to have an intense interest in crime and spent her days consuming books and TV shows on the topic. She borrowed books from a local library on the subject of homicides and searched extensively about murder online in the months leading up to  the slaying.

Soon enough, she began planning a murder of her own, and sought out the perfect victim through an advertisement for a private school tutor.

Jung Yoo-jung connected with a university student, a female around her age (who was also a private tutor) on a tutoring brokerage app, and said she was interested in private English tutoring for her child, whom she claimed was in 9th grade. The suspect was not a mother, but used the fabricated story to gain access to the victim, who agreed to accepting a new student.

Jung Yoo-jung then purchased a school uniform for herself from an online market site, and posing as a student, showed up to the victim’s home in the Geumjeong District in Busan, where she was invited inside under the guise of a private tutoring session. In contrast to Yoo-jung, the victim was outgoing and wealthy, with a good social life. It is believed that because Yoo-jung was quite short in stature, she was able to pass as a school student at a glance while wearing the uniform.

After stabbing the victim to death, the suspect calmly made her way to a nearby supermarket where she purchased bleach to presumably clean up the blood, as well as large bin-liners. She then returned to the victims home and dismembered the body to make it easier to transport.  

 Yoo-jung decapitated the body and began transporting the desecrated remains in a bloodied luggage case with wheels. Because the uniform she had been wearing was saturated with blood, Yoo-jung changed into the victims clothes. From this point forward, she attempted to make the homicide look like a voluntary disappearance on the victim’s part. Yoo-jung collected the victim's personal items, such as her cell phone, wallet, and ID card, to make it appear as if the victim had simply walked away.

Sometime after midnight on the night of the murder, she ordered a taxi to take her Yangsan, where she dumped some of the remains in an undergrowth, and the bloodied luggage case in the woods. The driver was so suspicious of her, that he contacted the police to report the unnerving passenger.

Following the call from the taxi driver, officers arrived at Yangsan, where they quickly discovered trash bags filled with bloody clothing and soon enough, some of the victim’s remains. They later made their way to the apartment where they found the rest of the victims decapitated body.

The suspect was apprehended by officers from the Busan Metropolitan Police.

CCTV footage from that night showed the suspect walking at night on an otherwise empty street, wheeling a small cabin-sized flight bag along side her as she stalled by a zebra-crossing. 

After being arrested, the suspect attempted to convince police that the murder was accidental and had happened during a verbal altercation between the two. She then changed her story saying the murder had been committed by a third party and her only crime was disposing of the body, however, later went on to explain that she had gotten curious after getting into true crime and wanted to "give it (murder) a try." Her family had urged her to confess the truth to police, which she eventually did.

 According to reports about the case, Yoo-Jung had been researching for tips on the homicide as far back as three months before she carried out the actual murder. When investigators analyzed her cell phone, they discovered that she had searched terms online such as “how to conceal a body” and “Homicide without a body.”

Police named Jung Yoo-Jung publicly, putting out a photograph of her as well as basic details. Although disguised with a bucket hat pulled down over her face in the news media, the passport style photograph of Yoo-jung released by the police shows a youthful-looking round faced woman with circular, thin framed glasses, and pulled back hair.

When asked by reporters why she committed such a brutal crime, she responded that she “must have been out of her mind,” and expressed remorse for her actions, apologizing to the victim’s family.

Her family also apologized on her behalf, with her grandfather saying that he was sorry for raising such a granddaughter.

A South Korean Kyonggi University professor of forensic psychology, Lee Soo Jung, weighed in on the case, saying that in his opinion, Yoo-jung's motive for selecting the specific victim was jealousy. He also commented on the suspects calm and collected behaviour caught on surveillance footages, saying:

A person normally panics and becomes terrified when they kill someone, even if they are a criminal, but the scene  shows no sign of panic or horror.”

Police announced that they were going to test the suspects mental health, including a test for psychopathy. It has been reported that the suspect has no history of mental health issues nor any prior history with a psychiatrist or mental health professional.

Sources: [X][X][X]

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