On August 19, 2016, the South Korean news channels simultaneously reported on what has come to be known as the most infamous “Siheung City Apartment Homicide” case. This brutal bloodshed, of a woman in her 20s, remains the most manic murder mystery to have happened in Korea to this day.
The father of the family, “A”, had gotten up from bed around 6AM to get ready for work, when he noticed the rowdy noise coming from the livingroom. A walked out of the master bedroom to find his wife “B”, his son “C”, and his daughter “D” in a trance — trying to kill the family’s pet dog.
Completely shocked, A intervened and questioned his family of what was going on. The three claimed that “The dog has been cursed,” and that they must “Get rid of the dog to drive away the demonic spirit.” When A tried to stop the nonsense, D — the daughter — revolted and insisted that A stays out of it. Eventually, A had to leave the apartment as he was running late for work. After A’s departure, around 6:20AM as reported, the remaining family members ended up slaughtering the dog.
Unfortunately, the scenario worsened. By 6:30AM, ten minutes past the dog’s death, D began trembling her hands in a frenzy. And with those very hands, she started choking herself. When the frightened mother attempted to stop her, she started choking the mother too.
Crazed and without any logic, the mother screamed that the demonic spirit has left the dog’s body and into D’s. Upon hearing this, C — the son and older brother — came running. C grabbed D off their mother and dragged her to the bathroom. And there, the most incomprehensible homicide took place, 6:40AM. While the mother pinned D down on the bathroom floor, C found himself a knife — and with that, he mercilessly stabbed his sister in the neck multiple times. Eventually, according to what the police report later revealed, D had been gruesomely decapitated from these stabs.
After murdering her own child, the mother changed clothes and left the apartment. C, who stayed behind, came to his senses and called A at work, to tell him what happened to D. A later confessed in the investigation that he initially didn’t believe what he heard. Thus, he sent a family friend to go check the apartment for him. Once the family friend arrived at A’s apartment, and a report had been filed upon seeing the body in the bathroom, the police got involved. C was arrested at the scene. Later that night, around 6PM, the mother approached the police station to turn herself in — and was immediately arrested as well.
When such details of the homicide were revealed, Koreans could not believe any of them. In an attempt to fully grasp the insanity of it all, the police reported that the investigation further revealed 1. the mother has always had a type of schizophrenia that caused her to believe she had shamanistic powers but 2. she decided not to become a shaman and instead got married to settle down with a family. Plus, for some unknown reason, A’s family had been starving themselves for five days leading up to the date of the murder on August 19, 2016. In conclusion, the authorities assessed the crime to have resulted from schizophrenic hysteria and hallucinations caused by starvation.
This appalling case was tried in court between December 2016 to April 2017. While the prosecution pursued 20 years of prison for the mother and 19 years for the son, the final verdict sentenced only the son to 10 years. The mother was found innocent — simply in need of medical treatment in the confinement of a rehabilitation center. As of June 2019, she was released from rehab. Since then, she is said to be living with her husband again, in the same apartment where the murder took place.
Years have passed since this gory murder mystery took place, but Korean netizens will never, ever get over how the most indescribable things went down in that Siheung City apartment.
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