Matricidal student had no one to turn to

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Matricidal student had no one to turn to

The 18-year-old high school senior who allegedly stabbed his education-obsessed mother to death and kept her corpse in her bedroom for nine months told police he had no one to share his troubles with.

On Friday afternoon, police brought the student, surnamed Ji, back to his home for a re-enactment of the crime, which he went through unemotionally.

“He was calm and remembered the entire order of the crime,” an investigator for the Gwangjin Police Precinct said.

Ji allegedly fatally stabbed his 51-year-old mother in the neck in the kitchen of their apartment in Guui-dong, eastern Seoul, on March 13.

Ji told police that his mother incessantly told him he had to get into Seoul National University’s School of Law, demanded he get excellent test scores and hit him with a golf club or baseball bat when he scored badly in mock exams.

Ji began altering the test scores he showed his mother in the ninth grade and then allegedly killed her because he was afraid she would discover the fabrications.

In questioning, the police said Ji admitted to being tormented by family problems since his parents separated in 2006.

After the separation, his mother allegedly began to obsess about her son’s academic success. Some of Ji’s aunts and uncles told the police the mother wanted to accompany Ji whenever he went out of the home and controlled his personal relationships, including one with a girlfriend.

The police said Ji and his father only met once a year since the separation. “I couldn’t tell anyone about my feelings because I’ve always thought that I’m alone,” Ji said during questioning, police said.

“Ji didn’t have anyone who could listen to his stories,” Kim Dong-il, a professor at the Education Department of Seoul National University, told the JoongAng Ilbo. “If there was someone who could have curbed his mother’s behavior or suffered from the same type of problems, Ji’s stress might have been reduced.”

Experts said Ji might have chosen such an extreme step to resolve the anger and pressure produced from his parents’ separation and his mother’s unhealthy obsession with his life.

“We can’t say that Ji is mentally disordered,” psychology Professor Choi Gyu-man of Sungshin Women’s University told the JoongAng Ilbo. “He just didn’t have anyone who could listen and help him.”


By Lee Ji-sang [sakwon80@joongang.co.kr]

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