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Man, now father of two, says he regrets killing mom 13 years ago

June 19, 2024 - 17:12 By No Kyung-min
Man in his 30s reflects on the murder of his abusive mother 13 years ago on a tvN show. (tvN)

A man who at age 18 killed his mother and lived with her decaying body for eight months in a shocking matricide case in 2011 spoke of regrets over his actions, appearing on a TV program on Monday.

The ex-convict, now in his 30s and a father of two children, said he is preparing for the time when he will have to tell his kids the truth. “If there are any 18-year-olds going through similar situations as I did, I hope they do not make the same decisions I did,” he said on a show that aired on tvN.

His March 2011 killing came to light only in November that year, as the high school senior continued to lead a normal life, while keeping the mom’s body in a room that he had sealed off with glue. His father, who had moved out of the house five years prior, discovered what had occurred after making a rare visit home following months of not hearing from the mother.

Despite the shocking nature of the crime, the son received a sentence of just 3 1/2 years in prison, less than the minimum seven-year penalty for parricide, which he completed. The leniency was due to police findings that he had been subject to lifelong physical and mental abuse by his mother, who was obsessed with his academic achievements.

On TV, the son recalled the day of the crime, saying he was afraid his mother would find out that he had doctored his report card. Although his actual score put him among the nation’s top 1 percent, comprising some 4,000 students, he fabricated it to rank himself at No. 62 nationwide, which still fell short of satisfying his mother. He said he was beaten by his mother with a golf club for nine hours that day.

“I was feeling immense guilt (after the killing),” he said, adding that he suffered from auditory hallucinations of his deceased mother while living with the corpse. He said he did not try to move or hide the body after the killing.

“What I now know is that whenever she pressured me harder, she was feeling anxious and afraid. I regret that I couldn't comfort her and let her know that she deserved love and respect, even without my achievements,” he said.