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Seoul mourns victim of Gangnam murder case

All Headlines 17:40 May 20, 2016

SEOUL, May 20 (Yonhap) -- Hundreds of mourners continued heading to the country's busiest subway station in southern Seoul on Friday to pay their respect to the victim who lost her life due to an attack from a stranger earlier this week.

The 34-year-old man is suspected of stabbing the 23-year-old woman, who was an utter stranger to him, multiple times at a bathroom in a building near Gangnam Station early Tuesday morning.

The man, identified only by his surname Kim, was arrested by police later in the day.

Kim waited for about an hour and a half for a woman to show up at the building, according to the police. When the victim, whose identity was withheld, appeared at the unisex bathroom, Kim attacked her with a knife he had brought.

During the police investigation, Kim said he had always been ignored by women.

The Seoul Central District Court issued a warrant to formally arrest Kim on Thursday, saying he could possibly try to destroy evidence or flee.

Three days after the murder, the exit 10 of the subway station is surrounded by white flowers and notes attached to the wall, mostly written by women.

Criticism mounted over how women can easily be the targeted crimes just because of their gender.

Notes attached to the wall include words saying "You died because you are a woman. The rest of us survived only because we were lucky."

On Thursday, police announced that Kim is a schizophrenic and it is hard to conclude that the crime was committed based on misogyny.

Kim has a record of being hospitalized for schizophrenia for four times since 2008. Since he left the hospital for the last time in January, he has not properly taken medication, according to police. Kim has been living on the streets since March.

While views are split over how to interpret this case, experts said it is important to analyze how the society reacts to it.

Professor Lee Na-young at Seoul's Chungang University said it is crucial to look at the context of how South Koreans regard this case as a misogynous murder.

Others are more cautious about framing it as a hate crime on women.

"The statements made by a suspect who is mentally ill is not reliable," professor Lee Woong-hyuk at Konkuk University in Seoul said. "We cannot be sure whether hatred for women was actually the motive of the crime."


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