Police requested arrest warrants Thursday for three suspects in the shocking stabbing death of a college student in Seoul.
The murder may have been sparked by a text message dispute over a local occult community, the police said.
A 20-year-old man was stabbed to death at a park in Sinchon, Seoul, on Monday. He was found to have had an argument with a teenager he met through the mobile messenger Kakao Talk.
The man peppered the 16-year-old with vicious comments threatening to release his personal information on the Internet. This prompted the teenager to set up a plot to kill him with help from a 20-year-old college student, according to police.
The victim had been frustrated by his former girlfriend who had “gone weird” after joining “Dead Spirit Cafe,” of which his attacker is a member. Members of the cafe believe they can summon dead spirits to protect themselves from evil spirits.
She was booked without detention for abetting murder.
The victim met the teenager to tell him to stop seeing his ex-girlfriend on the day of the murder, according to one of the victim’s friends. Moments before he was killed, he sent his friends messages saying he was “being dragged into an alley” and “something is wrong.”
The police looked into whether the murder was induced by the occult-related quarrel, based on the fact most of the messages exchanged were related to the subject. However, they have concluded that it was not the main reason for the crim. They will seek arrest warrants for the teenager and his accomplice.
The brutal manner of the murder, and the fact that one of the culprits was a teenager, brought the case nationwide attention.
Experts said that this case highlights the “dark aspect of the Internet era” and expressed concerns over the lack of interpersonal relationships and online violence leading to an insufficient sense of reality.
Professor Song Won-yeong of Konyang University said that young students who are preoccupied with the Internet tend to have problems connecting with people and pointed out a need for preventive measures.
By Yoon Min-sik (firstname.lastname@example.org)