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The Netflix Korean unscripted survival series Physical 100 has impressed fans with its dynamic array of contestants. Fans meet Olympic skeleton racer Sun Yung-bin and notorious MMA fighter Choo Sung-hoon. Out of all the contestants of Physical 100, Park Jung-ho has one of the more unique backstories about his career. The buff corrections officer has had some of Korea’s more infamous serial killers under his watch.

Prison officer Park Jung-ho in 'Physical 100.'
Prison officer Park Jung-ho in ‘Physical 100’ | via Netflix

Park Jung-ho stands out in his prison guard uniform among the other athletes in ‘Physical 100’

One hundred contestants enter a large room full of plaster busts of their chiseled physics. While fans are blown away by Olympic athletes and UDT soldiers like Agent H on Physical 100, there is no denying Park Jung-ho had everyone’s eyes bulging. In his prison guard uniform, Park is undoubtedly one of the most impressively buff officers the contestants have ever seen.

“I’ve been a prison guard for 17 years,” explained Park. “I work at the Korea Correctional Service under the Ministry of Justice.” His kind smile is a striking difference from his stature and broad shoulders, where another contestant called him “Robocop.”

Working to keep criminals behind bars requires strength. As Park explains, “Most inmates’ physical abilities are beyond that of an ordinary person. In order to protect myself and protect other inmates, I must have decent physical abilities. The ability to take inmates down.”

But fans’ ears may have stood up at attention when Park mentioned who was under his watch during his early years as a prison guard. “In my early days as a prison guard, I watched over Sin Chang-won. Yoo Yung-chul and Kang Ho-sun were also under my supervision.” The names would sound familiar. Two of the inmates are known as South Korea’s most notorious and horrid serial killers.

Park Jung-ho watched over The Raincoat Killer and serial killer Kang Ho-sun

It is hard to believe that the kind-smiled Physical 100 contestant Park watched over the worst serial killers in Korean history. The name Yoo Yung-chul will certainly be remembered by crime fans as he was the subject of Netflix’s docu-series The Raincoat Killer: Chasing a Predator in Korea. In the early 2000s, Yoo wreaked havoc, targeting prostitutes, sex workers, and wealthy older women as his victims. His victim pool was believed to have originated from his poor childhood. Yoo’s Modus Operandi included sexual assault and bludgeoning to death using a specially made hammer that fit his hand grip.

While not fully proven, Yoo was also a self-proclaimed cannibal. He would mutilate and dismembers the bodies of his victims in the bathroom to get rid of evidence and bury them in a secluded location. During his reign of terror, Yoo admitted to murdering 19 victims. He was taken into custody on July 15, 2004, but faked an epileptic seizure and escaped. Yoo was arrested again hours later. Yoo became Korea’s most notorious serial killer, with many crime K-dramas using him as inspiration for storylines like Taxi Driver.

Physical 100’s Park also watched over Kang Hu-sun, a serial killer who operated from 2008 to 2009. He was arrested on 10 counts of murder, including his wife and mother-in-law. Kang would find his victims at karaoke bars or bus stops. His youngest victim was a 19-year-old university student. According to WAToday, he was also charged with sexual assault and arson. Kang was sentenced to death by hanging but is still alive. The K-drama, Through the Darkness, uses his crimes as part of its storyline.

Sin Chang-won gained fame for his escape from prison in 1997

On Physical 100, Park Jung-ho revealed he also watched over Sin Chang-won. Sin was a criminal, but his story would surprise people. He was first arrested as a teen when his father turned him in for stealing a watermelon. In the following years, he would be arrested again for theft and battery. In 1989, he was given a life sentence for fleeing an armed robbery where a victim died. But it is not the crux of his story.

Sin gained notoriety when he escaped Busan Penitentiary on January 20, 1997. According to Koreaboo, Sin lost weight to fit through the bathroom’s ventilation. He successfully escaped and began a cat-and-mouse chase with authorities, evading them for two years. Reports state he had help keeping a low profile thanks to his many girlfriends.


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But Sin’s image is divided. Some saw him as “Robin Hood” for donating the money he stole to charitable organizations and people in need. Authorities arrested him on July 16, 1999, at the home of a woman he was staying with. Sin’s popularity skyrocketed, and his colorful Missoni T-shirt became a hot ticket item in Korea. K-drama fans may remember one of the central characters in Twenty-Five Twenty-One wearing a similar knockoff item at school and being reprimanded by his teacher.