중앙데일리

Profiler leads Anyang suspect to reveal details

Mar 24,2008
Murder suspect Jeong Seong-hyeon, center, reenacts the killings of two schoolgirls at his home in Anyang on Saturday. By Choi Seung-shik
A full picture of the gruesome Christmas day slayings of two schoolgirls in Anyang has emerged after a top criminal profiler was dispatched to question the suspect.
Seven days into the investigation, Jeong Seong-hyeon, 39, the suspect, also confessed to killing a 44-year-old woman in 2004. He also admitted that he sexually abused the two schoolgirls before suffocating them at his residence in Anyang, police said.
Earlier, Jeong told investigators that he murdered Lee Hye-jin, 10, and Wu Ye-seul, 8, both of whom went missing on Christmas day, but he had denied abusing them. Mutilated body parts belonging to the children were found in two separate locations in Gyeonggi Province, but since Jeong’s arrest on March 16, he kept changing his stories.
In a 10-hour session with the suspect, criminal profiler Kwon Yong-il, a lieutenant in the National Police Agency, led Jeong to his additional confession and other statements.
Kwon became well known as a profiler after his interrogation of the notorious serial killer, Yoo Yeong-cheol, who killed 20 people and was caught in 2004. Kwon said he has focused on analyzing crimes and suspects since 1993. He says he tries to understand the personality and mental state of a suspect.
On Saturday, the veteran profiler engaged in a bit of psychological warfare with the Anyang slayer. “I can’t tell you my interrogation strategy in detail,” Kwon told a reporter. “But people like Jeong, who live in isolation, lose their self-control easily. So, to get him to tell the truth, investigators have to question him on accurate circumstantial evidence.”
According to the police, the suspect told Kwon that he killed the 44-year-old woman in a Gunpo motel and dumped her body into the sea near Incheon. Her last four mobile phone conversations before she disappeared in July 2004 were all with the suspect, police said. He also told Kwon that he had been sniffing glue and was high when he found the two schoolgirls near his home on Dec. 25. “After the sexual battery against the two girls, I killed them in order to conceal the incident,” Jeong was quoted as saying by the police.
With progress in the investigation, police speculate that Jeong’s links to other disappearances near Anyang may come into the open. “Based on his testimony, we think he may be involved with other missing persons cases near Anyang,” an officer, who declined to be named, said. “We are inquiring into other crimes while questioning him.”


By Park Yu-mi JoongAng Ilbo/ Park Sang-woo Contributing Writer [enational@joongang.co.kr]


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