Police reveal details of murderer who killed three women at their home

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Police reveal details of murderer who killed three women at their home

Police made a rare decision Monday to reveal the name and face of a man who fatally stabbed three women from the same family in their apartment.
 
Kim Tae-hyeon

Kim Tae-hyeon

 
Police accused 25-year-old Kim Tae-hyeon of consecutively murdering the women –– a mother and two daughters –– after gaining entry into their home on March 25.
 
Disguised as a delivery worker, Kim induced his first victim, the younger daughter, to open the front door, upon which he stabbed her in the neck. He then waited in the apartment and killed the mother and elder daughter as they returned home.
 
Police were dispatched to the apartment two days later after receiving a report from the elder daughter’s friend that she could not be contacted. They discovered Kim lying unconscious in the apartment with his victims.
 
Kim was immediately taken to the hospital for his wounds and then taken into police custody on last Saturday after he was released.
 
According to police, Kim met the elder daughter at an in-person gathering for online gamers in December and had stalked her ever since. Kim discovered the daughter’s address by examining a photo she had uploaded to a mobile messenger, which included a delivery box with an address printed on the label.
 
The elder daughter reportedly told a friend that she felt uneasy whenever she returned home and changed her route multiple times to avoid running into Kim, who showed up at her address several times prior to the murder.
 
Kim confessed to police that he wanted to confront the elder daughter for ignoring him.
 
“After she changed her number and avoided contact with me, I became angry and decided to kill her. That day, I went to a supermarket and stole the weapon,” Kim confessed under police questioning.
 
Although Kim deleted records on his phone, digital forensic analysis showed that he searched online for the location of vital spots on the day of the murder. When attacking his victims, he stabbed them deep in the neck, targeting vital arteries.
 
He also brought a bag with spare clothes to the scene, which he changed into after removing the clothes splattered with his victims’ blood.
 
Police are viewing the case as a premeditated murder.
 
The decision to name and unveil the identity of the murderer came after a 40-minute deliberation at the Seoul Police Agency. The meeting consisted of three police officials and four outsiders, which included academics, lawyers, and media representatives.
 
The group said they decided to reveal Kim’s photo and personal details because public attention gathered on the gruesome nature of the crime and members of the public filed petitions for the killer’s identity to be made known.
 
After the serial murders committed by Kang Ho-sun in 2009, the personal details of those who commit particularly heinous or violent crimes may be made public under a law passed in 2010.
 
Kim is due to be indicted April 8.
 
BY MICHAEL LEE   [lee.junhyuk@joongang.co.kr]
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