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Masseur Confesses to Slaying 7 South Korean Women

A masseur accused of killing a university student has confessed to the slaying and to fatally strangling six other women with stockings in one of South Korea's worst serial murder cases, police said Friday.

Kang Ho-sun, 38, was arrested Saturday at his workplace in Ansan, a city about 20 miles south of Seoul, in connection with the killing of a student who disappeared last month. Her body was found in a nearby town Sunday, police said.

A day after his arrest, Kang confessed to kidnapping and killing the student and then admitted Thursday to slaying six other women between December 2006 and December 2008, said Park Hak-geun, a senior official at the Gyeonggi Provincial Police Agency in Suwon.

Investigators found four bodies on Friday and sent them to the National Institute of Scientific Investigation for DNA analysis, said Na Won-ho, another police official involved with the case.

Another body was found last year. Investigators have not found the body of one victim. Kang said he buried it in an area that has undergone terrain changes since a golf training facility was built there, Na said.

Kang is also suspected in the 2005 arson deaths of his fourth wife and her mother, police said in a statement.

He told police he approached his victims for sex — or with the intent to rape them — and then strangled them with a pair of stockings, Park said at a briefing Friday. Kang said he then buried their bodies.

"I couldn't suppress my urges after committing the first murder," investigators quoted Kang as saying.

The six other women were identified as a 48-year-old housewife, three karaoke bar employees, a 52-year-old office worker and another college student.

Police said Kang has lived since 2006 on a farm in Suwon, a city south of Seoul, and was working as a sports massage therapist.

He has a criminal record that includes theft and other offenses, and in January 2008 was accused of rape, police said.

Kang has denied setting fire to his home in Ansan three years ago — a blaze that killed his fourth wife and her mother — and collecting insurance payments afterward. He had registered their marriage just five days before the fire.

Police said Kang told investigators he felt "helpless" after his wife's death and developed the urge to kill about a year later.

South Korea's worst serial killing spree in decades was carried out by Yoo Young-chul, who was convicted and sentenced to death in 2004 for killing 20 people, mostly prostitutes and wealthy elderly people.