Where is Kim Dae-doo now? The shocking story of South Korea’s most notorious serial killer

What did Kim Dae-doo do?

Kim Dae-doo was the first serial killer in South Korea, and one of the most prolific in history given the number of people he killed in such a short space of time. Between August and October 1975, Dae-doo killed 17 people.

His first murder was recorded on 13th August 1975, where he attacked a sleeping elderly couple. After killing the husband with a scythe, he hit the wife with a pestle before stealing a flashlight and running.

6 days later, he attacked a family running their store, killing an elderly couple and their 7 year old grandson before stealing 250 won (about 1p in today’s money). He also stole some drinks and ran.

Two weeks later, Kim fled to Seoul and killed a man in his 60’s. Then, on the 25th September he committed the worst of his crimes, killing a family of 4, including a grandmother and 3 grandchildren. These grandchildren ranged in age from 5 to 11. If that wasn’t enough, Kim also sickeningly tied the 11 year old granddaughter to a tree and tried to rape her before smashing her face in with a hammer.

Two days later, Kim attacked a family in Guri Village, killing a 3 year old kid and their parents. Three days later (30th September by this point), he attacked another family and killed a 3 month old girl, stomping and beating her with a blunt instrument. He then raped and murdered her mother.

On the 2nd October, Kim killed another elderly couple, beating the husband with a blunt instrument and binding the wife before killing her.

The last murder took place on 7th October where he killed an old prison inmate from his time behind bars earlier in his life. 

How was Dae-doo caught?

After murdering his former inmate, Kim’s spree came to an end after handing over bloodied pants to a concerned dry-cleaner worker in Cheongrangyi.

Despite Kim nonchalantly claiming he got in a fight with a friend and the blood was as a result of a nosebleed, the owner reported Kim to the police, who then arrived and arrested him.

What was Kim Dae-doo’s childhood like?

Kim Dae-doo was born on November 17th 1949 in a small, rural community in Yeongam County, South Jeolla. The eldest of three sons and four daughters, Kim’s parents had high aspirations for their son. They wanted to send Dae-doo to a top-class middle school but he failed his exams.

After a brief stint of working on the farms in his hometown, Dae-doo moved to Mokpo. There, he ended up doing odd jobs in the general area.

Dae-doo ended up back in Seoul, where he received an exemption from military service However, he got involved in an assault case and was jailed twice. His reputation as a convict followed him everywhere, making it difficult to find work. Unfortunately, Dae-doo felt resentment toward society and lashed out in the worst way possible.

What happened during the trial?

At the trial, Dae-doo was convicted on charges of murder, rape, robbery and attempted robbery. He was sentenced to death. On March 18th 1976, the death sentence was also sentenced in the appeals court too. However, Kim gave up his appeal and the death penalty was confirmed.

It’s reported that while awaiting execution, Dae-du converted to Christianity and openly repented for his actions after attending church services.He spent his last days reading the Bible and singing hymns.

Where is Kim Dae-doo now?

On December 28th 1976, Kim Dae-doo was hanged in Seoul, at the Seodaemun Prison. Protests from his lawyer Lee Sang-hyeok fell on deaf ears, who had initially requested that his sentence be commuted and his case examined to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Just before his execution, Kim is said to have left behind a will, requesting the justice system segregate small time offenders from dangerous criminals. He also said that he “hopes the social coldness toward ex-convicts will be corrected.”

Furthermore, he also told the pastor before his execution: “I deeply regret the sins I committed.”

Despite Dae-doo being hanged to death, he remains one of the most prolific serial killers in history. His frightening murder spree is eloquently referred to as a case that “plunged the nation into a crucible of fear“.

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