Thursday, March 19, 2009

Korean-American man charged in 2003 triple murder

Take away the palm trees in Park La Brea, in the fairly affluent Miracle Mile district of Los Angeles, and these 1940s-era "high-rises" refurbished in the early 1990s would look right at home in Seoul suburbs like Pundang or Ilsan.

It is against this gated community backdrop that we find the triple murder of thirty-year-old Chi Hyon Song (송지현), her two-year-old son Hyun Woo Song (송현우), and their fifty-six-year-old nanny Eun Sik Min (민은식). Mrs Song's mother found the three after they were murdered. Police questioned Song's husband, Byung C. Song, a prominent Korean businessman who owned a Garment District wholesale firm.

The Los Angeles Times reports that LAPD's Robbery Homicide Division on Monday arrested a neighbor, fifty-year-old Robin Kyu Cho (조규?), another kyopo. The LAPD is not saying what they believe his motive was for the triple slaying. They have filed a special circumstance of multiple murders which would make Cho eligible for the death penalty if convicted.

UPI describes the investigation as "baffling," owing to the killer having "managed to dodge an extensive network of surveillance cameras." They were also thrown off by Song's purse having been reported lost though it later turned up at her church. LAPD says Cho is tied to the scene through physical and circumstantial evidence.

Cho was officially charged Wednesday local time and is being held without bail.

I would be the last one to describe the Korean-American community in the United States as violence-ridden, but it's obvious to anyone paying attention that neither are KAs complete innocents when it comes to crime, as with other groups — immigrant and non-immigrant alike.


  1. It will all come down to money. The husband probably owed the killer money or refused him a loan.

  2. Could be. That thought certainly crossed my mind. Another "Law & Order" plausible scenario would be an affair between the mother and the triple murderer. Or it could be that the guy is just nuts.

    I hate to besmirch the dead or their surviving loved ones when they may be innocent victims and/or they're not around to defend themselves; the scenarios we mentioned are purely speculative.

    This kind of thing is such a tragedy. It's a real monster that would kill a two-year-old child.


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