Horrifying Murder of Gimhae Teen Leaves Koreans in Shock

Article from Hankook Ilbo:

Murder of Gimhae Schoolgirl, Shock at Evil Nature of Crimes

Gimhae Murder

After boiling water was poured over her body, she was forced to, “sit down and stand up.”

Gasoline poured over her corpse and set on fire, buried in cement.

“I want to go home …”

After running away from home, 15-year old Yoon, first year student at a girls’ high school in Gimhae suffered terrible violence and bullying from her peers. Before her last breath she expressed a desire to go back home. Even after her death, a long time passed before going back to her father’s arms. The frightening fact of these crimes is that they were committed by immature kids, who damaged Yoon’s body and secretly buried her body in unimaginable ways. In only a little over a month since she had left home, one is left to wonder what could have happened.

The misery begins. A meeting gone wrong.

Last May, an investigator from the Changwon Regional Police Station (Shin Myeong-ho, chief of the criminal department) made a statement saying that those jailed for the damage to Yoon’s body after committing acts of violence and murder are 15-year-old Yang, 15-year-old Heo, and 15-year-old Jeong. Also jailed for the same crime at Daejeon Regional Police Station were Lee (25), Heo (24), another Lee (24), and another Yang (15). Currently they have been committed and are in trial court.

According the the arraignment at the Changwon District Prosecutor, middle schoolers Yang, Heo, and Jeong had a senior-junior relationship with Lee and the others. [The victim,] Yoon, had spent time with Kim (24) who was friends with Heo (25).

Going back to this past March 15th, Yoon had recently started her first year of high school. Following Kim, she left home and went with him to Busan. They stayed together in an inn there. Kim and the others uploaded information about Yoon to look for a man for her to meet, and pressured Yoon into sex work. This sex work is how they made money for living expenses.

On March 29th, when Kim and the others found out that Yoon’s father reported her disappearance, she was sent back home to set her father’s mind at ease. They made her promise “not to tell anyone about being forced into sex work.” However, fearing she would tell someone, the next day on the 30th, they found her at her church, made her get into a car, and took her to an Ulsan motel.

Murder of a high school girl in Gimhae.  "I saw the devil."

Murder of a high school girl in Gimhae. “I saw the devil.”

Fed vomit and covered in boiling water.

Yoon was dragged from motel to motel to perform sex work in Ulsan and Daegu. On April 4th, Yoon used a motel computer to access Facebook. The men accused her of leaking their location and hit her in anger. From that point onward, Yoon was kept in captivity, the men taking turns keeping guard and abusing her.

Lee and the other men watched as they incited Yoon and other schoolgirls engage in one-on-one fights. She was also continuously the victim of indiscriminate violence. She was kicked all over her body. Electric fans and canisters of F-Killer, among other products, were thrown at her. She was forced to drink two bottles of soju from an empty bowl of naengmyeon [cold noodles]. When she got sick, they also forced her to lick up and eat her own vomit.

As the crimes continued, they also became more severe. Unable to withstand the torment, Yoon asked “ I got hit so much and it’s so stuffy, can I get a little water?” As soon as she made the request one person threw boiling water on her arm. After that two people poured boiling water onto Yoon’s body several times.

Yoon’s body was completely destroyed. Blisters formed all over her body from the burns, and her skin began to peel off. Due to the ongoing violence and forced drinking it was also becoming difficult to keep down water. Yet the accused gave Yoon orders to “sit down then stand up” 100 times, and whenever Yoon said, “I want to go home,” she was beaten. Unable to steady her body, Yoon was ordered to memorize the multiplication table. When she couldn’t answer correctly, she was beaten and suffered torment that [the accused] appeared to enjoy watching. If someone grew tired of tormenting Yoon, another person would come to beat her.

Yoon was also asked frightening questions. Someone asked her, “If you died, what would you take with you?” If she answered the question, some of the teenage girls would beat her without end. During one of these beatings, one girl hit Yoon with a paving stone. On April 10th at 30 minutes past midnight, in a parking lot near a Daegu motel, Yoon crouching on the floor of the backseat of the car died of shock and dehydration caused by the pain leading to heart arrest.

Even after her death Yoon was the victim of horrible crimes. The seven gathered to make plans to bury Yoon’s body in a mountain and the next day (the 11th), they all headed to an orchard in Gyeongnam, Changnyeong-gun. The three men poured gasoline onto Yoon’s face and set it afire so it would turn black and obscure her identity. Three days later, worried about getting caught, the three men met with 2 of the teenage girls and buried the body in a hill in the same area. To cover up evidence of the crime, they poured cement over the body and covered the entire thing in stones and dirt.

After secretly burying Yoon, the three men along with Yang (15) went to Daejeon and murdered once again. Lee and the others planned on also having Yang do sex work. However when the client realized he was being conned, he was hit with a blunt object and killed.

A father’s heartbreak at the loss of his beloved daughter.

Yoon’s father is at a loss for words over the cruel nature of the crimes. “I can’t forget that day she came home. She was terrified, crying, and I can’t forget what she said to me. She told me that the she was forced to sell sex and was tortured, only being given one bite to eat a day. She was worried they would come to find her,”he recounted.

Mr. Yoon had a special relationship with his daughter. He doted on her as she came to him at a late age, but he worries his love wasn’t enough. Mr. Yoon drove to manage the family but it was never enough for their circumstances. He divorced Yoon’s alcoholic mother and moved to Gimhae, but she was ostracized by her friends for not knowing Gyeongsang dialect and couldn’t adjust to the new school. “Every time she was shunned by her friends my heart ached for her,” he said, holding back tears, “More recently she had been faithfully attending church and made friends there. She was excited to become a high schooler, but she never even got the chance to wear her school uniform.”

After the incident, Mr. Yoon even while creating a new business visited Changwon and Daejeon to make an appeal to punish the accused. “As I went to find my daughter’s burial site, I shook from fear and thinking of my child I felt resentment and anger. Whenever I watch the trial, I hear those kids repeating the word, ‘regret’ and the whole world seems to be crashing down. They should receive punishment equal to the cruelty of their crimes, and may no other child be victimized like my daughter was.”

Comments from Daum:

Bring back the death penalty. Let’s incinerate some trash…


They should cut off limbs from those older than 20. Younger ones should be sentenced to life in prison. It’s supposed to be like that but the law is too lenient. The legal punishment system has problems.


I would kill the judges if they reduce punishments because the criminals are minors…. They are a social evil. Never let them back into society.


I’ve never seen nor heard of such devils. Delete them from the world.


I won’t pay taxes if they aren’t executed.


I’m afraid of turning on the TV and watching news because of all these “creative” murder cases, bullying or accidents happening every other day. What’s more upsetting is that we are just enraged with no measures [to take any action].


Why did her dad not report it to the police immediately when she visited him and told him she was forced to sell her body? This wouldn’t have happened if he did.


The end of the world is near. It is.


Xiongnu-Wokou mixes are infamous for their cruelty. [Regionalist comment to put down Gyeongsang people.]


This reminds me of the Japanese movie where male high school students tortured a female high school student to death in very cruel ways and put her body in a barrel filled with concrete. [Referring to murder of Junko Furuta] Japan was shaken back then… I can’t believe something like that also happened in Korea. That’s truly a real-life “I Saw the Devil”. How can humans be so cruel like that?


Execute them… Is it truly for human rights to keep those murderers alive with the tax money the victims’ families pay?


Show us that justice prevails. I’m for the death penalty. Kill them all.


Reveal their names and faces. Please, what human rights for this trash? Maybe they will be sentenced for 4 or 5 years and released. Reveal the identity of everyone involved.


No matter how young they are, this isn’t something a human can do. It gives me goosebumps and makes me teary. Why is the world being like this? Kill them all! Can you forgive them just because they say they are remorseful? Kill them all. They don’t deserve to live!


Never let them back into society.

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