Korean Man Sentenced to 25 Years In Prison for Setting Ex-Girlfriend on Fire

Considering this guy’s violent past you would think he would have been locked up long ago before he did something like this:

A man in his 50s who poured gasoline on his ex-girlfriend and set her alight was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

The woman, also in her 50s, suffered serious burns and died of complications two weeks after the incident in March 2016.

The Seoul Southern District Court on Monday found the man guilty of attempted murder.

“It was a premeditated crime,” Judge Shim Gyu-hong said. “The ruling was made after taking into account the nature and circumstances of the crime and his criminal record that indicates there are high chances of him committing another crime.”

He had been convicted more than 20 times for violent acts.

The man lived with the woman for a year in 2005. She dumped him in 2006. He tried unsuccessfully to restore the broken relationship over 11 years.

In March 2016, the man visited the woman at work holding a bag containing a gasoline-filled container and a lighter. When she refused to talk to him, he opened the container, poured the gasoline onto her head and set her on fire.  [Korea Times]

What I don’t understand is how is this a conviction for attempted murder when the woman died in the hospital two weeks later?  It seems like murder to me.

Thai Woman Throws Baby Out Apartment After Being Jilted by South Korean Lover

Regardless of the circumstances with the father, to kill the baby like this is just horrible:

A Thai woman threw her newborn baby out of a 17th-story window after her married South Korean boyfriend dumped her, according to local reports. The boyfriend, 40, identified only by his surname Kim, was the baby’s father.

According to reports, Netchanok Nokyungtong, 20, told police she had been in a relationship with the South Korean man for two years, but after she became pregnant he urged her to abort the baby and then returned to Korea.

The woman gave birth in her flat, put the baby in a bag and threw it out of the 17th-floor window of her flat in Pattaya, a resort city.

Speaking to local paper the Chiangrai Times, Colonel Apichai Khemphet, head of Pattaya Police, said, “Miss Netchanok Nokyungtong gave birth in a bathroom where blood was found on the floor.She said she was shocked and not ready for the birth.

“The boyfriend is a married foreigner from South Korea who did not want to stay with her. She was heartbroken because he returned to his family.”   [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link.

Japanese Man Living Near Camp Zama Arrested for Killing and Dismembering Nine People Since August

I wonder if this guy has been killing people for many years or if this killing spree over the past two months is the first time he has killed anyone?  Fortunately this guy is now off the streets:

Police arrested a 27-year-old man in Zama, Kanagawa Prefecture, on Tuesday after finding parts of nine bodies in his apartment, investigative sources said Tuesday.

The Metropolitan Police Department made the discovery while investigating Takahiro Shiraishi in connection with the disappearance of a 23-year-old woman from Hachioji, Tokyo. The woman is believed to have met the man after writing on a suicide website that she wanted to kill herself.

“It’s true that I tried to hide the bodies of the people I killed to destroy evidence,” Shiraishi was quoted as saying by the police.

According to investigative sources, Shiraishi has also told police that he killed all nine victims since he moved into the apartment in late August. He also told police that he took money from his victims and that the theft was one of his motives.

A saw, believed to have been used to dismember the bodies, was also found in the apartment. According to the police, Shiraishi said he cut up the bodies in the bath, disposing of some body parts in the garbage.

The apartment is located near the U.S. Army’s Camp Zama.  [Japan Times]

You can read more at the link.

South Korea’s “Molar Daddy” Accused of Raping 14-Year Old Girl Before Killing Her

Here is an update on a former South Korean media darling known as “molar daddy” that allegedly raped and murdered a 14-year old girl:

Lee Young-hak

Lee Young-hak, who was arrested last month for allegedly killing a 14-year-old girl, has been indicted on murder and rape charges, the prosecution said Wednesday.

The Seoul Northern District Prosecutors’ Office said the 35-year-old was indicted on charges of raping the daughter of a friend of his while she was asleep and strangling her to death, among other charges.

If he is found guilty, he could be sentenced to life in prison.

According to the prosecution, his deviant sexual desires, including pedophilia, sadism and voyeurism, were a big part of his criminal motive.

Lee lured the girl to his house in Seoul by using his daughter, who left after giving the victim a drink that had powdered sleeping pills in it.

While his daughter was away, Lee raped and sexually assaulted the victim with sex toys.

When she woke up, he strangled her to death with a tie and a towel, and with his daughter, buried her body on a hill in Yeongwol, Gangwon Province.  [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link, but it appears the motive is that after his wife committed suicide he had no one to carry out his strange sexual fantasies so he used his daughter to lure her friend to his house where he committed the crime.

Korean Woman Receives Six Years In Jail for Killing 2-Year Old Boy Who Took Toy From Her Daughter

What is wrong with people?:

A 30-something woman has been sentenced to six years in prison after being convicted of killing her acquaintance’s 2-year-old son, who allegedly harassed her 1-year-old daughter, a local court said Saturday.

The unidentified woman was arrested in October last year when she threw the 2-year-old at her acquaintance’s home in Asan of South Chungcheong Province, about 100 kilometers south of Seoul, after getting angry at the boy for pushing her daughter while trying to get a toy from her.

The baby boy suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and was pronounced dead at the hospital the following day.  [Yonhap]

You can read the rest at the link, but the woman is appealing because she did not intentionally seek to injure the boy.  What did she think was going to happen when she threw a two year old across the room?

Korean Woman Receives Life In Prison for Poisoning Lovers Wife

This is a horrible murder that occurred in Seoul:

The Supreme Court has confirmed life imprisonment for a woman who killed her married lover’s wife with poison. The top court upheld an appellate court’s verdict.

According to court documents, the woman, Han, 48, met Yoo, a married man who became her lover, at a gathering of friends from elementary school in February 2014.

Han told Yoo’s wife of their “deep and serious” relationship, hoping this would lead to the couple’s breakup. But instead Yoo’s wife offered to pay Han 350 million won ($309,700) if she ended the relationship.

In January 2015, Han visited Yoo’s apartment in Songpa-gu, Seoul, with a bottle of soju mixed with potassium cyanide. Yoo’s wife drank the toxic liquid while talking with Han, and died soon after.

Han claimed Yoo’s husband could have killed his wife.

But investigators found evidence that Han collected information about how and where to buy potassium cyanide.

They also found evidence that her husband was informed of the poisoning plan before hand.   [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link.

GI Flashbacks: The 1999 Murder of SFC Jeanne Balcombe

A Night of Drinking Turns Into Murder

In the early morning hours of Saturday, August 21, 1999 Sergeant First Class Jeanne Balcombe was on duty at Camp Red Cloud, South Korea.  She was a platoon sergeant in the 55th Military Police Company doing what every good Non-commissioned officer does, enforcing standards.  She was conducting checks that night when she saw one of the soldiers in her platoon who appeared to be drunk and was underage to be consuming alcohol.  The soldier had been drinking with the 20-year old, Private First Class Jacob M. Bowley who also a member of her platoon.  The soldiers had been on a four-day pass and SFC Balcombe removed their pass privileges and brought the underage soldier to the Camp Red Cloud medical clinic to have his blood drawn to test for alcohol.

Soldiers getting caught underage drinking in in Korea is very common and there was nothing unusual about this incident until PFC Bowley barged into the medical clinic shortly before 4 A.M. with a gun.  After PFC Bowley had his pass privileges removed by SFC Balcombe his anger boiled over and he was determined to get back at SFC Balcombe.

On the night Balcombe was killed, she caught Bowley and another underage soldier drinking. Balcombe took away a four-day leave pass from Bowley and made the other soldier submit to a blood-alcohol test.

Messer testified that Bowley was angry the pass was taken away that night.  [Stars & Stripes – Jan. 29, 2000]

To exact his revenge he needed a weapon.  Korean Augmentee to the US Army (KATUSA) Corporal Suh So-so worked as a military policeman in Bowley’s unit and was on duty that night which meant he had his 9mm pistol on him.  Corporal Suh who had no reason to suspect an attack from a member of his unit, was taken by surprise when Bowley approached him and then viciously attacked him.  PFC Bowley left Corporal Suh on the ground badly beaten and then took his sidearm.  Now that he was armed Bowley next headed to the Camp Red Cloud medical clinic to confront SFC Balcombe.

Camp Red Cloud Medical Clinic via Bruce Richards’ webpage.

SFC Balcombe who was unarmed at the time tried to intervene to stop the gunman and in the ensuing confrontation she was shot three times by Bowley to include once in the head killing her.  After the confrontation, Bowley repeatedly said, “She took my pass away!”  Investigators also believed that Bowley was attempting to shoot the soldier having his blood drawn because he told SFC Balcombe that Bowley was the one that provided him with the alcohol.  However, the confrontation SFC Balcombe had with Bowley provided enough time for others in the clinic to flee.

Other witnesses recounted grisly details during the first day of the hearing for Pfc. Jacob Bowley, who pleaded guilty last week to murdering Sgt. 1st Class Jean Balcombe. Balcombe, 33, worked for 1st Platoon, 55th Military Police Company, at Camp Red Cloud.

Capt. Edward McDaniel, officer in charge of the medical clinic, testified that Bowley silently walked into the facility on the morning of Aug. 21. Another soldier asked Bowley what he was doing, McDaniel said.

“Moments later, he reached behind his back and pulled out a weapon,” McDaniel said. “He pointed it in the direction of Sgt. Balcombe and (Sgt.) Huh.

“I was screaming, ‘Don’t shoot, don’t shoot.’ ”

McDaniel and Sgt. Huh Dong-pil, a Korean soldier assigned to the 168th Medical Battalion, heard three shots. Huh, who said he was within two arms’ lengths of Balcombe, escaped into a nearby room.

“The situation was very bad and dangerous,” Huh said. “I was in a panic.”

Blood seeped under a door in the room where he hid, Huh said. After two more gunshots, he said he heard a “gurgling” sound and Balcombe’s breathing.  [Stars & Stripes – Jan. 26, 2000]

Bowley after the murder fled in a military police Galloper Jeep from Camp Red Cloud.  At the exit gate for the camp he brandished his gun at the gate guard to let him through.  The Galloper was later found parked near the Uijongbu City Hall.  Bowley then made his way via train to the southeastern city of Busan.  Once there he attempted to withdraw cash from an ATM at the Yangjong-dong branch of the Seoul Bank branch in the city.  A Korean national at the bank saw the suspicious looking soldier and reported it to the police.  Bowley a short time later was apprehended by Korean police at 11:40am at the bank.  At the time of his apprehension he was cooperative as he was taken to a police car, but once in the police car he tried to pull out the gun he had concealed in his waistband.  A scuffle with the police ensured and they were able to disarm him.  Even during questioning Bowley was out of control and had to be restrained to his chair by the Korean police.

Stars & Stripes newspaper Aug. 22, 1999.

The Trial

PFC Bowley was charged with murder, aggravated assault, and five other charges after the killing of SFC Balcombe.

Stars & Stripes newspaper Sept. 2, 1999.

As the case went to trial PFC Bowley decided to plead guilty and his defense lawyer asked the judge to show leniency during sentencing blaming drinking caused by the stress of being in Korea for his actions:

During her closing statement, defense attorney Capt. Donna Hansen said
Bowley’s guilty plea showed he had taken responsibility for his actions.
In asking for a 10-year sentence, Hansen said Bowley had the potential
for rehabilitation.

“What Jacob Morgan Bowley did is wrong, but he is not evil,” Hansen
said. “Punishment is a must, but the degree of punishment must be
tempered.”

Heavy drinking and difficult duty in Korea put stress on Bowley, Hansen
said. The murder represented “an aberration to the real Jacob Bowley,”
she said.  [Stars & Stripes – Jan. 31, 2000]

Bowley also took the stand pleading for leniency as well blaming stress and drinking for what he did:

Pfc. Jacob Bowley testified at his sentencing hearing Friday that he wished he could “erase this nightmare” begun when he fatally shot a military policewoman in a fit of rage.

“I wish I could stop the suffering I’ve caused, but there’s no going back,” said Bowley, who pleaded guilty last week to murder in the Aug. 21 shooting of Sgt. 1st Class Jeanne Balcombe, 32, of the 55th Military Police Company at Camp Red Cloud, South Korea.

“All I can do is say that I’m sorry, but that will never be enough.”

Bowley made the statements during unsworn testimony, meaning he could not be questioned by government prosecutors.

Unsworn statements carry less weight in court during deliberations.

Bowley said he wishes he knew why he took a gun into the medical clinic at Red Cloud and shot Balcombe to death. Balcombe belonged to the same unit as Bowley.

“I shot an MP,” Bowley said. “I shot my platoon sergeant. I have to live knowing that I could do something like that.”

Bowley said he had a drinking problem, and alcohol “was pretty much the only way I could find to release (tension).” He said he tried to enroll in a treatment program, but that noncommissioned officers in his company wouldn’t let him. As a result, his drinking continued, Bowley said.

Reading from two prepared statements, Bowley apologized to the slain woman’s husband, Michael Balcombe, who flew from McMinnville, Ore., to attend the sentencing. But Bowley said he felt he could someday become a productive member of society.

“Still, I beg for mercy,” Bowley said to Col. Ronald White, the military judge. “I ask that I have another chance for life. Sir, I ask you to give me that chance.”  [Stars & Stripes – Jan. 29, 2000]

It must have worked because the judge in the case, Colonel Ronald White sentenced Bowley to 56 years in prison, but he was given the possibility of parole after 10-years.  Bowley wanted another chance at life and the possibility of parole left that opportunity out there for him.

Why Did He Do It?

The violence perpetuated by Bowley seemed to be out of character for him if you believe what his friends and family from his hometown in New Hampshire had to say:

Bowley’s father, Freeman Bowley, who lives in Henniker, N.H., told The Associated Press his son was “just a wonderful kid. He loved the Army. He was having a great time.”

“All I’ve heard was there was some kind of altercation at the base where he was at . . . and one person is dead. And it’s not Jacob. And he’s involved in the questioning somehow,” he said.

He said his son has been serving at Camp Red Cloud since November and was planning to go into the criminal justice field after leaving the Army.  [Stars & Stripes – Aug. 24, 1999]

Others in his hometown called him a “teddy bear” and a “gentle giant”:

Other testimony Thursday came from numerous people who knew Bowley from his hometown of Hillsboro, N.H. All said they were shocked to learn of the murder, many describing Bowley as a “teddy bear” and a “gentle giant.”  [Stars & Stripes – Jan. 29, 2000]

Clearly the so called “gentle giant” had some lingering anger management issues that was made worse by the drinking and drugs he was doing while in Korea.  In 2007 while confined at the Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Bowley wrote a letter that was published by a Buddhist publication called Mindfulness Bell that discusses his anger and substance abuse issues and how Buddhism helped him address these problems:

I was confined in the summer of 1999, twenty years old and more a prisoner of my own deep inner fears than the walls around me. Wrapped up in the great speed of the world, I had been able — with the help of drugs and alcohol — to maintain in my mind an impressive illusion of control. Here in prison the reins were clearly not in my hands; I knew no way to keep up my speed. Forced to stop, or at least slow down, I had to face the bitter truth: my will did not rule the world. This disappointment was too much for me to contend with day after day so I closed my eyes in anger. I would rage against the whole world until it consented to the perpetual gratification of my senses.  [Mindfulness Bell]

You can read the rest at the link, but Bowley in the article said that he would like to become a monk whenever he is released.

The Aftermath

SFC Balcombe was 32 at the time of her early death and left behind a husband Mike Balcombe who was a retired Army NCO and two young daughters.  Her family was living in her home state of Oregon during her one year tour of duty in Korea.  SFC Balcombe was buried in McMinnville, Oregon at the Evergreen Memorial Cemetery.

She was buried with full military honors by an honor guard from Fort Lewis, Washington.  SFC Balcombe had previously served at Fort Lewis and all the soldiers in the honor guard either knew or served with Balcombe there.  Her husband Mike was presented her Soldier’s Medal, the second-highest honor that can be bestowed during peacetime.  The medal was posthumously awarded to SFC Balcombe because of her actions confronting Bowley which allowed other soldiers to escape the medical clinic.  Additionally in front of the Camp Red Cloud medical clinic a marker with a tree was planted in honor of SFC Jeanne Balcombe.  It can still be seen there today.  A final honor for SFC Balcombe was that in 2016 she was inducted into the National Army Museum.

As for Bowley I could not confirm whether or not he was paroled.  However, I was able to find a Jacob M. Bowley that lives in Hillsboro, New Hampshire, that is the same age as the Private Bowley that was incarcerated.

Additionally the Jacob Bowley in the listing is related to a Freeman Bowley.  Freeman Bowley is the name of Private Bowley’s dad as identified in the prior Stars & Stripes article.  So I think it is a pretty safe assumption that Private Bowley has in fact been paroled.  If he has been paroled it seems like pretty light punishment to be in jail for less than 20 years after committing such a horrible murder.  Hopefully he lives the rest of his life trying to atone for taking away a fine NCO from her soldiers and more importantly a wife and mom from her husband and two kids.

Further Reading:

Former South Korean Media Darling is Now Accused of Murdering 14-Year Old Girl

This alleged murdered was a one-time South Korean media darling who no one in the media did any background checking on:

Lee Young-hak

Lee, better known by the public as “Molar Daddy” for losing most of his teeth except one molar while undergoing surgery five times to remove tumors from his gums, appeared to pay tribute to his late wife in the eerie eulogy.

Viewers’ reactions to his YouTube video were cold. “A murderer,” one internet user wrote.

Lee is under investigation for slaying a 14-year-old girl identified only by her last name Kim and abandoning her body in the mountains in the eastern county of Yeongwol earlier this month.

Lee has led a double life.

He became a high-profile victim of rare disease after he and his family appeared in TV documentaries several times since 2006. In the public eye, he was portrayed as a poor but caring father who did everything to save his sick daughter A-yun, now 14, and raised money to finance her medical bills.

He is the author of the book, “A Happy Molar Daddy” (2007), in which he recounts the ordeals he and his family suffered after his daughter was diagnosed with gigantiform cementoma, a rare dental tumor.

But his public image didn’t reflect the monster inside. Lee is now a murder suspect who allegedly took the life of the 14-year-old girl. He has a criminal record of 18 incidents. He is an alleged sexual deviant who forced his wife to have sex with other men and record it on video. He was reportedly involved in the sex trade, too.  [Korea Times]

You can read the rest at the link, but it is also claimed this guy was living a lavish lifestyle based off the money the media was helping him to raise to assist his daughter.

Teenager Who Murdered and Dismembered 8 Year Old Girl In Incheon Gets 20 Years in Prison

I feel so bad for the victim’s parents that this murderer was only sentenced to 20 years for this horrible crime:

The Incheon District Court on Friday sentenced the suspect who murdered an 8-year-old girl and dismembered her body to 20 years in prison, and doled out a life sentence for the accomplice. The court also said the two must wear ankle monitors for 30 years.

“Kim very carefully planned the crime,” the court said. “And Park was in a close relationship with Kim and she was her accomplice through the act.”

The suspect is a 17-year-old female student surnamed Kim. Her accomplice is an 18-year-old female student surnamed Park.

The Juvenile Act prevents anyone under 18 from receiving a life sentence or death penalty for murder or other serious crimes. The act says a minor convicted of murder can receive a sentence of up to 15 years. But Kim was sentenced to 20 years after the Act on the Aggravated Punishment of Specific Crimes was applied to her case.  [Joong Ang Ilbo]

You can read more at the link.

Korean Woman Murdered In Los Angeles for Resisting Robbery Attempt

Condolences to the family of this Korean woman killed by this animal in Los Angeles:

An American gang member has been arrested for fatally shooting a Korean woman in Los Angeles.

The tragedy happened Aug. 8.

Devon White, 20, approached Oh Hye-soon, 67, who was leaving her business in Lynwood around 8:40 p.m. He allegedly tried to steal her belongings but the woman resisted, which led to a scuffle. White then shot her, according to reports. The man was caught on Aug. 17 and is being held at the Men’s Central Jail in Los Angeles.

Glendale Police Sgt. Robert William said Oh was found next to a car in the garage of an apartment complex. She had been shot once.  [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link.