Suspect alleged to have botched murder scheme

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Suspect alleged to have botched murder scheme

Police said on Sunday that it appeared that the main suspect in an ongoing murder case was targeting another woman but instead kidnapped another victim and then attempted to blow up her dead body inside her car.

A day after Kim Il-gon, 48, was issued a detention warrant on homicide charges, the Seoul Seongdong Police Precinct told local media that the suspect had testified to authorities that a hostess working at a noraebang (karaoke room) was his initial target, and that the 35-year-old woman he is alleged to have killed was kidnapped as bait.

The victim, whom Kim reportedly abducted at knife-point as she tried to get into her car on Sept. 8 at a mall in Asan, South Chungcheong, was reportedly strangled after attempting to escape.

Kim confessed to stabbing her in the stomach and neck several times out of anger after he failed to enact his revenge on the hostess, whom police would only identify as “K.”

The relationship between Kim and K dates to early May, when the two were involved in a minor traffic collision in Yeongdeungpo District, western Seoul.

Kim was slapped with a 500,000 won ($426) fine but denied he was at fault, showing up at the woman’s house and workplace seven times afterward and asserting that she should pay instead.

Police said Kim was scheming to have the victim call K to say she was interested in finding a job at her workplace and then lure K into a remote alley.

Kim has a criminal record with 22 convictions, including for theft and robbery.

Authorities are looking into a list with the names of some 28 people that police found in his pocket during Kim’s arrest.

They added that it appeared to be a hit list. K was also on the list, the police said.

BY LEE SUNG-EUN, KIM MIN-KWAN [lee.sungeun@joongang.co.kr]

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