Crime-fighting stridesThe murder of a female university student in Gunpo, Gyeonggi, who went missing on her way home and was later found dead, was a terrible tragedy. Just how long we must shudder in fear of such a horrible crime is anyone’s guess. On the other hand, though, at least the police relied on scientific data in their relentless investigation and nabbed the suspect. The authorities let the world know, in no uncertain terms, that if you commit a crime, you will be caught.
It’s difficult to locate physical evidence in missing person cases like this one. Robbery and theft take place in actual space, and murders leave corpses. But when working on a missing person incident, it’s difficult to determine just where to begin. But the police overcame challenging circumstances. They analyzed records from 310 closed-caption television cameras located on roads on which they believed the suspect had traveled. The police then selected 7,200 vehicles caught on camera during the hours in which they determined the incident took place. And the investigators also concluded that, based on previous cases, suspects have tended to search the Internet for news related to their own crimes. This time, they traced Internet users who attempted keyword searches on this particular incident. The police even profiled serial killers based on their criminal records and categories of their crimes.
Yet those committing heinous crimes are increasingly becoming smarter. In the Gunpo case, the suspect removed the victim’s nails and reformatted his computer hard drive in an attempt to destroy evidence.
If the police can’t overcome such attempts, they will lose the battle and atrocious criminals will be left loose on the streets. The police have previously come under fire for sloppy starts to their investigations and for their general mediocrity.
But as their work in the Gunpo case shows, our police have made strides in scientific investigation. They must keep reminding themselves that they’re the last line of defense for our safety, and must continue to improve their investigation techniques and fortify their crime prevention.