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Police say stalking murder suspect planned killings at least 1 week in advance

All News 16:34 April 09, 2021

SEOUL, April 9 (Yonhap) -- A man accused of killing three women of the same family last month was referred to the prosecution Friday, after police finished their initial investigation into what appears to be a premeditated stalking murder case.

Kim Tae-hyun, 24, was caught at the victims' home in northeastern Seoul on March 25, where he allegedly killed a woman whom he had stalked, her mother and younger sister two days earlier.

Police on Monday decided to disclose Kim's personal information, including his photo and name, for the interest of the public, given the gravity of his crime and high public interest in the case.

In his first public appearance since his arrest, Kim apologized first, not to his alleged victims but to reporters who had gathered outside a police station in northern Seoul.

"I don't think I can answer each one of your questions, and I sincerely ask for your understanding. I am sorry about that," Kim said.

Asked if he wanted to say something to the bereaved family of the victims, he turned to an officer who was holding his arm and asked, "Would you let go for a second?"

He then dropped to his knees and said, "I feel tremendously guilty for opening my eyes shamelessly, breathing and even being alive. I would like to apologize for all the damage I have caused everyone, including the bereaved family."

A woman in the crowd repeatedly shouted, "Execute Kim Tae-hyun, you murderer!" as he spoke.

Kim Tae-hyun, suspected of killing a woman he had allegedly stalked and her two family members, is taken to the prosecution on April 9, 2021. (Yonhap)

He only repeated "I am sorry" to all the other questions, including why he killed the women, if he did stalk one of his victims and when he began planning the crime.

He briefly -- and readily -- took off his face mask at the request of a reporter before being escorted to a police vehicle that was to transport him to the Seoul Northern District Prosecutors Office.

His apologetic remarks, however, seem to belie the grisly and calculated nature of the crime that took the innocent lives of a woman he is believed to have barely known and had stalked for months and her mother and younger sister.

During a press briefing on Friday morning, police said they believed Kim had carefully planned the crime at least a week prior to the event, as he had searched the internet for killing methods and tried, and eventually succeeded, to learn when the woman he had allegedly stalked was at home or not.

Kim faces five counts of criminal charges, including murder, housebreaking and harassment.

He disguised himself as a delivery man to enter their home and killed the youngest woman who was at home at that time, according to the police. After killing her, he waited for the other two to come home and stabbed them to death when they came, police said.

He claimed that he got to know the woman through an online game last year and that he committed the killings out of a grudge as she would not meet him and cut him off.

Kim Tae-hyun, suspected of killing a woman he had allegedly stalked and her two family members, kneels down and apologies for his crime in front of Dobong Police Station in northern Seoul on April 9, 2021. (Yonhap)

jaeyeon.woo@yna.co.kr
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