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Evidence suggests possibility of hate crime

With the probe into a South Korean man suspected of killing a woman and burning her body inside her car underway, police said Friday that they discovered notes with a list of 28 names that the suspect may have accused of treating him badly.

Kim Il-gon, the 48-year-old murder suspect, had two pieces of paper in his pocket that listed the names and occupations of 28 people, which included female restaurant owners, judges, police officers, doctors and nurses he once came across or worked with.

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)

Kim, who had 22 criminal convictions including one for assault, was arrested Thursday, eight days after he allegedly stabbed a 35-year-old woman, surnamed Joo, outside a discount store before abandoning the body in the trunk of her car.

The murder suspect said during the probe that he wrote down the names upon being treated badly and being unhappy with them. He even mumbled to himself, “I should kill them all,” according to the police.

That the notes contained mostly female names raised the possibility that the crime had been motivated against women, though the suspect claimed he killed the victim only to steal her car and mobile phone.

The police, however, dismissed speculation that the list could have indicated potential targets for his crimes.

“There was no one on the list victimized by Kim,” the police said. “We see the list as a meaningless scheme.”

Kim is suspected of kidnapping Joo as she loaded groceries into her car in an underground parking lot in Asan, Chungcheong Province, on Sept. 9. He dragged the victim around the country in her car before killing her and setting the vehicle on fire to destroy the evidence of his crime.

The unemployed man, who lived on government subsidies, was apprehended in a separate case in Seoul after he broke into a veterinary hospital and threatened a nurse with a knife, demanding a euthanasia drug used on pets.

A veterinarian and another nurse allegedly locked themselves in the office and made a distress call to the police.

The police are said to be having difficulties in questioning him, as he has been emotionally unstable and refused to make statements.

The police requested a court issue an arrest warrant to further investigate him and find out his motives.

(laeticia.ock@heraldcorp.com)
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