A ‘mugging’ convict climbs a mountain in the middle of the night to “kill the first person he met”
Seven years ago, on May 29, 2016. The body of a woman, A, 64, was found at the beginning of a hiking trail on Suraksan Mountain in Nowon-gu, Seoul. Her neck showed signs of multiple stab wounds.
Ms. Lee, who usually hiked alone at dawn, had left her home around 5 a.m. that Sunday. He was found by a hiker 30 minutes later, dead before he even made it to the top of the mountain.
The investigation was hampered by the lack of closed-circuit (CC) TVs near the trail, but at around 6:30 p.m., the man came to the police station and confessed, “I did it.”
Turned himself in 13 hours after the body was found…”I wanted to kill the first person I met”
Kim Hak-bong, 68, explained why he turned himself in 13 hours after Mr. A’s body was found: “I had no one to help me and no money, so I was giving up.”
Kim had never known Ms. A. His purpose for climbing Mount Surak the night before the crime was to kill her. “I wanted to kill the first person I met on the mountain,” Kim told police토토사이트.
Kim had not eaten or slept in the days leading up to the crime, waiting for someone to come up the mountain. After killing the first person he met, Kim slept in the park where he usually sleeps as if nothing had happened.
Police recovered a 15-centimeter-long weapon with bloodstains from a pile of garbage in Sanggye-dong, Nowon-gu. The DNA of the deceased, Mr. A, was detected on the weapon. The blood stains on Kim’s outerwear when he turned himself in also belonged to A.
An autopsy determined that Mr. A’s cause of death was severed left carotid artery, airway, and esophagus due to a sharp weapon stab wound.
Kim served 15 years for ‘robbery-murder’ in the past… Statements ‘fluctuate’
Kim Hak-bong is transferred to the Seoul Northern District Prosecutors’ Office from the Dobong police station in Seoul on June 8, 2016./photo=News
Kim served 15 years in Daegu Prison for the robbery-murder of a woman in North Gyeongsang Province in 2001, and killed A four months after his release. He had been living on the streets without a regular residence since his release in January 2016.
Police believe that Kim, who had a prior conviction for robbery, may have killed A while attempting to rob him again.
“I committed the crime because I was hungry and wanted to buy food. I searched my pockets, but I didn’t have anything,” he admitted, adding that he stabbed and threatened Mr. A in the stomach and shoulder with a knife to extort money, but Mr. A screamed and killed him.
However, on June 8 of the same year, Kim was sent to the prosecution and said, “I didn’t kill him for money. I did it because I was annoyed and angry.” He changed his story.
Kim had been hospitalized for alcoholism five times, including a three-month stay at Daegu Psychiatric Hospital in June 1997.
Kim Hak-bong Claims Mental Illness…Appeals Court Sentences Him to ‘Life Imprisonment’
Kim Hak-bong walks to a spot check on June 3, 2016./Photo=News1
Kim, who was on trial for murder and attempted theft, claimed he was suffering from schizophrenia and requested a psychiatric evaluation. At the first hearing, Kim’s defense attorneys said, “We admit all the facts of the prosecution,” but argued that “Kim was schizophrenic at the time of the crime, and his judgment was impaired due to starvation for more than 10 days.”
However, the psychiatric examination showed no connection between Kim’s crimes and schizophrenia. It was found that Kim had been imprisoned for 15 years, had few family and friends, was unable to find a job due to poor health, and was facing financial difficulties, and was willing to kill anyone to end his life.
The first instance tribunal sentenced Kim to life imprisonment. “In view of the fact that he admitted his wrongdoing and turned himself in on the day of the crime, it is appropriate to isolate him for life rather than deprive him of life itself, so that he can live in penance and atone to the bereaved family,” the trial court said.
In January 2017, the Appeals Chamber also sentenced Kim to life imprisonment, stating that “the state’s response to socially significant criminals with harm can only bring about further uncivilization. In addition, the country is classified as a ‘death penalty abolitionist’ and there is virtually no difference between the death penalty and life imprisonment.”