Korean Sociological Image #34: Child Sex Offender Kim Kil-tae Caught


Whether in response to intense criticism of the government’s policies towards sex offenders or of their own accord, I was still very impressed with the police for sending this wanted notice for Kim Kil-tae (김길태) to all Busan households yesterday, the main suspect in the rape and murder of 13 year-old Lee Yu-ri (이유리) last month. The first time I’d ever received a wanted notice in the mail in 10 years in Korea, let alone for a crime that occurred last Saturday at the other side of a city of 3.6 million, I thought it was significant enough to warrant a post in its own right, but I’m happy to report that literally as I began typing that the news came through that he has been caught.

I’ll update this post as more information becomes available. The reward, by the way, was for 20,000,000 won, or roughly 17,700 US dollars.

Update 1 – I’ll let this news speak for itself:

Rival parties agreed Wednesday to convene a one-day parliamentary session this month to act on a series of bills calling for tougher punishment for sex crimes, an unusual bipartisan move reflecting nationwide outrage over the recent rape and murder of a teenage girl.

Read the rest here. On a more reflective note, see Extra! Korea for a brief discussion on the possible role of absentee parents in this and similar crimes.

Update 2 – The Korea Times has a report about his apprehension here.

Update 3 – The Hankyoreh’s take on it is here. Earlier, it used the original crime itself to criticize unrelated policies of the Lee Myung-bak administration in a cartoon, and while I’m generally sympathetic to the newspaper (it’s the only Korean newspaper which doesn’t caricature and/or deliberately misrepresent foreign English teachers for instance), it does seem to have a habit of that sort of thing.

Update 4 – Via ROK Drop, here are the latest developments in the case:

The police investigation of a recent rape and murder case of a teenage girl in Busan is facing difficulties due to lack of evidence.

The 33-year-old, Kim Gil-tae, caught Wednesday, has denied the charges and remained silent during interrogation, said officials.

He only admitted stealing money and keys in a nearby hair shop while he was hiding from police.

Investigators requested an arrest warrant on Thursday, based on genetic evidence such as Kim’s DNA found in the body of the 13-year-old victim, Lee Yu-ri.

The police, however, have so far failed to collect definitive evidence linking him to the murder.

Read the rest at the Korea Herald here. Personally, I’m a bit confused and surprised though, as how on Earth can the fact that his DNA was found inside the body not be the “definitive evidence” required?

Update 5: Initially denying it, the news has just come in that Kim Kil-tae has now confessed to the crime.

(For all posts in the Korean Sociological Images series, see here)


Filed under: Korean Children and Teenagers, Korean Sexuality, Korean Sociological Images, Rape Tagged: 김길태, 이유리, Kim Kil-tae, Lee Yu-ri

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