Chapter 2 - Hwajong Serial Killer, Kim Joon-ho

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Psychopathy /saɪˈkɑpəθi/ noun

plural noun: psychopathies

  • defined as a mental (antisocial) disorder in which an individual manifests amoral and antisocial behavior, shows a lack of ability to love or establish meaningful personal relationships, expresses extreme egocentricity, and demonstrates a failure to learn from experience and other behaviors associated with the condition.1

Bang bang bang!

It was the sound of someone banging on the door.

Professor Im, who was in the library, came out to open the front door.

“… who might you be?”

When he opened the door, a girl stood with tears in her eyes and her presumed mother. A bandage can be seen wrapping around the little girl’s arm.

“Look here! Who raises their child like that? What if her hand broke?”

The woman, the child’s mother, looked furious. Professor Im had no idea what she was screaming about. He couldn't have done anything, and Hansol, who had entered the home earlier, had only been silently fitting puzzle pieces together.

“I am very sorry, but could you let me know what happened? I am unaware of what happened….”

Professor Im was glad that Hansol’s mother wasn’t home. She knew nothing about their child’s condition. Professor Im was hiding everything from her from the moment he visited the psychiatry department and formed a diagnosis on Hansol.

“Ah… so you are really acting like this. Your child struck my girl’s arm at the playground! There will be a scar on her body! How could he do this to my girl?! Answer me!”

“… I am sorry. I can give you a generous amount for settlement.”

“Settlement? You are talking about settlement when my child will have to live her entire life with a scar on her arm?”

“There is nothing I could do apart from apologizing to you. I am sincerely sorry for what happened.”

Professor Im bowed and kept on apologizing. Until her rage faded, the woman continued to speak derogatory things to the professor. She even said she would take 10 million won from him to pay for her child’s education. Professor Im told her that he could comply with her wishes on the condition that she doesn’t go around spreading rumors in the neighborhood. The woman said that she would do such things only after the contract gets drafted in the words of providing her 10 million won for settlement.

“Please head back safely.”

“Let’s never see each other again.” The woman picked up her crying child and walked away.

Professor Im quietly closed the front door and went over to Hansol, still putting together the puzzle pieces in the living room.

“Im Hansol.”

When Hansol heard his father’s low voice, he knew what was waiting for him. Another education is coming up. Even though he was 8 years old, he could tell by experience.

He saw his father’s stern expression as he looked at his face. Hansol immediately recalled the actions he had done earlier.

“Im Hansol. What were you doing in the playground?”

Hansol decided to be honest with his father, who seemed to be in a bad mood. “That girl kept on making fun of me. She said that I was stupid. So I scratched her arm with a glass piece.”

“… what did I teach you?”

“You said that one shouldn’t bully others, but that girl kept on bullying me. She made fun of me, calling me a stupid human.”

“Im Hansol! You shouldn’t take life so lightly. Even if someone does make fun of you, I told you to be patient! Do you think slashing her arm with glass makes you any good? Put your legs out!”

Hansol was in more pain than expected. As he walked over and stood sideways, Professor Im picked up a scale. He hit his son’s legs until the calfs got bruised. However, Hansol never showed any pained expression, even how painful it was.

Professor Im, who couldn’t hit him anymore, was the first to speak.

“Im Hansol. You did something wrong, didn’t you?”

This is the answer to the education that Hansol was being given. Hansol knew that he had done the right thing to the girl who kept making fun of him, but he knew that what his father wanted was ‘I was wrong.’

“I was wrong.”

“Look straight into your dad’s eyes and say it.”

“I was wrong.”

The child gave his father a direct response that obviously sounded soulless. Professor Im couldn’t think of how to solve such a frustrating situation. He had educated his child hundreds of times. He knew that such an education was similar to brainwashing and not letting the child fully understand the problem, but he didn’t know what else to do.

“Don’t ever hurt anyone again.”

“I was wrong.”

Professor Im couldn’t control his anger and shouted, “Stop! Stop! Stop it! Stop saying that you did wrong!”

Nevertheless, there was no change in Hansol’s expression. Professor Im, who looked at his child’s eyes, sighed heavily.

“Don’t tell your mom.”

“Yes.”

“Wear long pants until your calves are healed.”

“Yes.”

“… go in.”

Only silence stayed in the house.

After returning to his room, Hansol went back to solving the puzzle.

But then, he picked it up and threw the puzzle. Pieces of the puzzles were scattered in all directions.

Hansol's heart finally felt at ease after that.


Hansol waited until the interrogation of the serial killer Kim Mo, whose real name was Kim Joon-ho, was over and spent his time reading the data file handed to him in advance.

The case had a peculiarity. Ordinary killers would often target women who are weaker than themselves. But in the case of Kim Joon-ho, it was different.

Kim Hoon-ho targeted teenage boys, and the bodies found had their genitals completely damaged. However, no semen or signs of sexual assault was found.

“Uh… Doctor.”

A detective approached Hansol and called him. It meant that Hansol could do the profiling since the interrogation was done.

Hansol closed the data file back into his bag and walked into the interrogation room where Kim Joon-ho was.

Kim Joon-ho had a pretty decent face. Hansol recalled that there was one time a fan club was formed for the criminals who had handsome looks. He thought that Kim Joon-ho could be included in that.

“Hello.”

Hansol greeted him first.

Kim Joon-ho smiled when he saw Hansol. Even though he was in the room, he didn’t seem afraid; instead, he seemed like he wanted to reveal something. Hansol observed him carefully.

“Ahh, are you the profiler? I think I have seen you a couple times on TV. You look good.”

“I am the person who came to dig into your mind.”

“Am I mentally ill? Didn’t the police give you my treatment records?”

There was nothing sort of medical records among the files that Hansol was handed. Hansol thought of two possible things: either Kim Joon-ho received psychiatric treatment through uninsured means, or he received treatment through insurance.

“Let’s talk about the days when you were in the hospital. What did the hospital say? What made you go to the hospital in the first place?”

Kim Joon-ho opened his mouth, and his legs trembled. Hansol knew that the man wasn’t scared but was habitually shaking to show his cheekiness.

“I mean, I have depression and panic disorder. What else was there? I heard there are all sorts of mental illnesses in me. Hehe…”

After responding, Kim Joon-ho lowered his head for a moment and laughed like a mad man.

His mouth opened wide, making the scene seem bizarre.

At that moment, Hansol’s left eyes shone.

He knew instantly that…

‘… it is a lie.’

It was an ability he developed that day. Hansol's eyes could tell the difference between the truth and the lies with pinpoint accuracy. It was a secret he never revealed to anyone. He didn't believe a lie out of good faith because he could tell the difference between the two. A few relationships were shattered due to Hansol's ability, but he was content with his solitude.

Hansol continued the conversation even though he knew that Kim Joon-ho was lying.

“I see. Have you received constant counseling along with medication?”

“Sometimes. However, I don’t take the drugs as they develop tolerance in the body.”

‘Another lie.’

“I’ll ask you another question this time. It is a common question. What made you go after the boys?”

“Isn’t it a very boring tradition to kill women? That is why I did it. I mean, whenever I see young and small boys, I feel like it—like I wanted to eat them up. That was why I did it.”

‘Half-lie and half-truth.’

An answer of both truth and lie. Hansol pondered which of them was the truth.

The bodies that were found had their genitals cut. However, no corpse found had any evidence of sexual assault or harassment. The bodies showed signs of screaming moments before they died as their genitals, which were symbols of men, had been damaged. This concludes that the culprit may be inferior in his masculinity.

“But there was no other DNA on any of the bodies. It would have been possible if you wanted to eat them, so why didn’t you?”

Kim Joon-ho giggled like a child at those words and looked into Hansol’s eyes.

“Normally, I want to eat them, but I didn’t eat because I’ll get more hung up.”

‘Lie.’

Kim Joon-ho didn’t know about the glint in Hansol’s blue eye, which happened from moment to moment. Even the detectives looking at them from the other side of the glass had no idea. No one ever noticed the subtle blue light shining in his left eye.

“You are good at lying, Mr. Kim Joon-ho,” Hansol spoke lowly. Kim Joon-ho looked up as if he didn’t understand what Hansol said.

“Mr. Kim Joon-ho isn’t confident about his masculinity. You have low self-esteem. It must have been bothering you for a long time. It is highly likely to be false to say that you received any psychiatric treatment. You have never been to a psychiatrist because you hate giving out personal information to others, even doctors. So you must be the subtle and covert kind.”

Kim Joon-ho’s eyes wavered for a second there.

Hansol, with his never-changing expression, kept on going on.

“Although you pretend to be a psychopath killer, I get that Mr. Kim Joon-ho’s words are false. For example, you keep exaggerating yourself as a psychopath killer every chance. Everyone desires to show off their skills, especially humans who lack something. Mr. Kim Joon-ho keeps showing off with words that are trying to say ‘I did it.’”

“… so, what do you mean? I really killed them! There is no killer like me!”

“This is it. Even at this very moment, Mr. Kim Joon-ho is showing off. Flaunt is a sign of lack. You must have had doubts about your masculinity, which slowly leads to you feeling inferior. Like human beings whose secondary sexual characteristics don’t develop, you must have felt that you were lacking in masculinity and started turning jealous of those around you.”

“This crazy bastard! Not once have I felt like that! Shit! Ugh!”

Kim Joon-ho, cuffed to the table, tried to get up as he screamed. Hansol didn’t even flinch at the sudden change in his behavior.

“You damaged the other’s body to feel good about your flaws. But every time you did it, your hunger couldn’t be fed, and you would search for the next target.”

“…! Yah! You bastard!”

“Mr. Kim Joon-ho, you are playing the part of a psychopath; you aren’t one. And… it can be said that there is no analysis for your mental state. You were just desperate and wanted to gain attention. Am I correct?”

“Fuck! Fuck yourself!”

“Well, that is all I have to say. I don’t even have to look at your medical records. I’ll be going then.”

Hansol took one last look at Kim Joon-ho and then walked out. After hearing Hansol’s words and Kim Joon-ho’s reactions, the detectives felt like they had been mesmerized.

“Doctor! I don’t….”

“Are you asking about Mr. Kim Joon-ho not getting psychiatry help?”

“… how did you know?”

“It was simple. It was to lower the prison sentence. It was just his own confession but no real evidence.”

The genius profiler—Im Hansol.

“If you are okay, let’s have coffee.”

“Unfortunately, I need to head out.”

Hansol took his leave and went to where his car was parked.

His father’s words 10 years ago were lingering in his ears.

‘I need to go.’

For 10 years, his father told him to always come home. However, Hansol was heading in the exact opposite direction. As 10 years had already passed, Hansol thought the tradition could be stopped.

Hansol, who wondered for a moment, changed the gear and turned the steering wheel.

His thoughts were headed to the side where his family, his father, wasn’t there.


Angel’s Corner

What could have happened that day, huh? Do you guys have your own theories or deductions? Comment below! I love reading your thoughts. 👌

Angel’s challenge for you:

DECODE & SOLVE!

Pa jhu'a il zllu, jhu'a il mlsa,

jhu'a il olhyk huk jhu'a il ztlsa.

Pa splz ilopuk zahyz huk bukly opssz,

huk ltwaf ovslz pa mpssz.

Pa jvtlz mpyza huk mvssvdz hmaly,

lukz spml huk rpssz shbnoaly.

Doha pz pa?

A clue to decode? Hhmm. Return to Caesar what belongs to Caesar.

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