KANG Ho-sun


KANG Ho-sun

Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Rape - Arson - To collect insurance money
Number of victims: 10
Date of murders: 2006 - 2008
Date of arrest: January 24, 2009
Date of birth: 1970
Victims profile: Women aged between 20 and 52 (including his wife and mother-in-law)
Method of murder: Strangulation - Fire
Location: South Korea
Status: Sentenced to death on April 22, 2009

Korean serial killer sentenced to death

April 22, 2009

A South Korean serial killer who murdered 10 women including his wife and mother-in-law has been sentenced to death, news reports say.

Kang Ho-Sun met most of his victims in karaoke bars or picked them up from isolated bus stops, according to police investigators who described him as a typical psychopath who feels no remorse.

The 38-year-old was sentenced by a court in Ansan south-west of Seoul on Wednesday after being convicted of murder, rape and arson, Yonhap news agency and other news media said.

Court officials could not immediately be reached.

Hanging remains on the country's statute books despite an informal moratorium on its use since 1997.

Kang was arrested in January and admitted kidnapping and murdering eight women since 2006.

The court also found him guilty of killing his wife and mother-in-law in an arson attack so he could cash in their life insurance policies, a charge he had denied.

The blaze broke out a week after Kang bought several insurance policies for his wife. He escaped the deadly fire at his home and received 480 million won ($505,000) from insurers.

Kang claims the fire was accidental.

Last week a separate civil court at Ansan ordered Kang to pay damages totalling 1.3 billion won ($1.37 million) to the families of his victims after they filed a lawsuit.

Police suspect additional hidden killings

February 2, 2009

The police are expanding their investigation into the serial killer who confessed to killing seven women to uncover possible additional crimes during the blank period between his murders, officials said yesterday.

"Though the suspect said that he led an ordinary life in between the admitted murders, we plan to go through the similar unsolved cases that were committed during the period to verify his involvement," said a police official in a recent briefing.

The Gyeonggi Provincial Police Agency, with the cooperation of the National Police Agency, will trace the life of Kang Ho-soon, who was recently arrested for murdering a female university student in Gunpo, according to officials.

Kang admitted, in addition to the murder of the 21-year-old student who was found dead last Sunday, the killing of six more women in the past.

As Kang said, during the police investigation, that he often felt impulses to murder women, the police suspect him of committing other impulsive murders.

As the Gyeonggi Province performed a major roundup campaign when five women went missing from December 2006 to January 2007, the police assume that Kang took precautions in the region during the period.

The further reinforced police research, aroused by the disappearance of the two missing children in the nearby Anyang region, made it even harder for him to risk committing additional crimes, according to police officials.

"After my fifth murder on Jan. 7, 2007, I was afraid of getting caught, with all the attention from the police and the media," said Kang. "This is why I lived quietly for some time, working ordinarily in a farm."

During the 22 months before his Gunpo murder last November, Kang received 480 million won ($ 347,826) from the insurance of his fourth wife, who died in a fire in October 2005 and bought himself an expensive car in a secondhand store.

The police also suspect Kang may be responsible for this fire, which killed not only his then-wife but also his mother-in-law. He had registered his marriage and signed up for life insurance policies just days prior to the accident.

He also took 180 million won for car fire, which is suspected of being intentional.

Recently, further public attention has been drawn to the case as some of the local newspapers published Kang`s photo and personal information, despite the policies of the investigation headquarters.

"We, too, want to disclose the suspect`s face to the public," said investigation head Lee Myung-gyun last Saturday, soon after two of the newspapers made Kang`s photo public. "However, the official message from the National Human Rights Commission prevents us from doing so."

The principles of protecting the suspect`s personal information were reinforced in 2004, with a scandalous rape case by middle school students. The police, while investigating the case, put caps and masks on these underage suspects.

In the following year, the NHRC officially recommended the police to improve the criminal convoy processes, pushing the agency to forbid the disclosure of the suspect`s face.

Though humanitarian issues remain controversial, the majority of the citizens agree that the aggressor should come public in such notorious cases.

"I was shocked to see such a calm and smiling face on a notorious murder," said Lee Jeong-seon, a female university student. "I would not have suspected him either, had I been the murdered girl."

Many say that the publication of Kang`s photo will help prevent future crimes.

SKorean confesses to killing 7 women

January 29, 2009

SEOUL, South Korea—A masseur accused of killing a university student has confessed to her death—and to strangling six other women over the past two years, police south of Seoul said Friday.

Kang Ho-sun, 38, was arrested Saturday at his workplace in Ansan, a city about 20 miles (30 kilometers) south of Seoul, in connection with the killing of a student who disappeared last month. Her body was found in a nearby town Sunday, police said.

Kang confessed Thursday to kidnapping and killing the student—and six other women between December 2006 and November 2008, said Park Hak-geun, a senior police official in Suwon, the capital of Gyeonggi Province.

Kang also is suspected in the 2005 arson deaths of his fourth wife and her mother, the Yonhap news agency reported.

Police said Kang told them he approached his victims for sex—or with the intent to rape them—and then strangled them with a pair of stockings, Park said at a briefing Friday. Kang said he then buried their bodies.

"I couldn't suppress my urges after committing the first murder," investigators quoted Kang as saying.

Police said Kang had lived since 2006 on a farm in Suwon, a city of about 1 million people some 20 miles (30 kilometers) south of Seoul, and was working as a sport massage therapist.

He pointed investigators to spots within a 4-mile (7-kilometer) radius of the farm where he said he buried the bodies. Investigators were working Friday to locate the bodies.

The six other women were identified as a 48-year-old Suwon housewife who disappeared on her way home, three karaoke bar employees, a 52-year-old office worker and another college student.

Kang has a criminal record that includes theft and other offenses, and in January 2008 was accused of rape, police said.

He also is suspected of setting fire to his home in Ansan three years ago—a blaze that killed his fourth wife and her mother—and collecting insurance payouts afterward. He had registered their marriage just five days before the fire broke out, Yonhap said.

Kang has denied setting the fire. Police said the suspect told investigators he felt "lost" after his wife's death and developed the urge to kill about a year later.

South Korea's worst serial killing spree in decades was carried out by Yoo Young-chul, a thief and sexual predator who was convicted and sentenced to death in 2004 for killing 20 people, mostly prostitutes and wealthy older people.

South Korean masseur Kang Ho-sun,38, is questioned by reporters after he was arrested at Ansan police station in Ansan, south of Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, Jan. 25, 2009.
(Yonhap, Shin Young-keun /AP Photo)

Serial killer suspect Kang Ho-sun covered up his face with a hat and a hood when he was taken into custody on Jan. 25. Controversy and debate mounted as the police allowed him to wear a mask to conceal his face from the public.

South Korean police investogators work to find one of bodies of six victims in Hwasung, south of Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Jan. 30, 2009. Kang Ho-sun, accused of killing a university student has confessed to her death, and to the deaths of six other women over the past two years.
(Yonhap, Han Sang-kyun /AP Photo)

Suspected serial killer Kang Ho-sun, center, re-enacts a burial during an on-the-spot inspection of a murder scene in Ansan, southwest of Seoul, Monday, Feb. 2. Kang has confessed to killing at least seven women in one of the country's worst murder sprees, police said. (Reuters)

Kang Ho-sun, 38, re-enacts a burial during an on-site inspection of the scene of a murder
in Hwasung, south of Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2009.
(Yonhap, Shin Young-keun /AP Photo)

South Korean police officers carry the body of a victim known as Kim who killed by Kang Ho-sun, 38,
in Ansan, south of Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Jan. 30, 2009.
(Yonhap, Shin Young-keun /AP Photo)