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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 25 March, 2003, 11:32 GMT
Motive for murders remains mystery
Jin Hyo Jung
Miss Jin was a tourist in the UK
The murders of South Korean women Jin Hyo Jung and Song In Hea appalled and shocked both detectives working on the case and the court at the Old Bailey that heard the gruesome details.

They were told how each was slowly suffocated to death over a long period, stripped, bound and gagged with tape and left to die.

Miss Jin, 21, was studying French at Lyon University, visiting the UK for a sightseeing trip and to see London's large Korean community.

Miss Song, 22, was studying hotel management at Guildhall University in London.

The pair each made the mistake of staying in accommodation run by 31-year-old landlord Kim Kyu Soo.

Kim Kyu Soo
A more sinister possibility is that he achieved a sadistic form of pleasure from the slow deliberate form of killing
Jonathan Laidlaw
His flat in East London was used by many Korean students and Miss Jin stayed there for three days in October while Miss Song stayed for a week in November.

Miss Jin's badly-decomposed body was found in a suitcase dumped in a lane in Askham Richard, North Yorkshire, on 18 November 2001.

The body of Miss Song - who had been reported missing on 18 December 2001 - was found sealed in a cupboard at an east London address in March last year.

Kim had used both of their credit cards to extract cash.

Motive unclear

Detective Superintendent Peter Ship, the officer in charge of both murder inquiries, said Kim had been linked to the two deaths early in the inquiry.

He told BBC News Online: "We identified him fairly early on as he was the main link between the girls.

Song In Hea
Miss Song was studying in London
"They didn't know each other but they had both stayed in a flat in Eagle Street (in Holborn, west London)"

It was later discovered that both women knew Kim Kyu Soo Kim, who also lived at the address in Holborn and let a room to Miss Song in Poplar.

On 7 January 2002 the Metropolitan Police's Serious Crime Directorate became aware of the discovery of Miss Jin and, together with North Yorkshire Police, a joint investigation into the murder of Miss Jin and the disappearance of Miss Song was launched the following day.

On 17 January, the Met held a joint press conference with North Yorkshire Police at New Scotland Yard and appealed for information about both Miss Jin and Miss Song.

That evening Kim was arrested at an internet café in Bond Street London.

But his motive for killing still remains unclear.

Prosecuting lawyer Johnathan Laidlaw told the Old Bailey on Tuesday: "Precisely why he killed them is not clear.

They were both alone when they suffered the horror of it
Mr Laidlaw
"Was there a sexual motive? Was it simply about money?

"Or a more sinister possibility is that he achieved a sadistic form of pleasure from the slow deliberate form of killing and sex and money was simply incidental."

Miss Jin's body was discovered after a man walking in a country lane spotted the suitcase and became suspicious when he was unable to lift it.

She had been bound and gagged with an unusual adhesive tape designed by London-based artists Gilbert and George.

The colourful tape, bearing a pattern of men's faces, was produced exclusively for Tate art gallery shops in London, Liverpool and Cornwall.

Fingerprint confirmation

It is believed that just 850 rolls of the tape were sold across the country.

Kim Kyu Soo
Kim Kyu Soo was jailed for life
She had been reported missing when she failed to return to her university at the end of the October and when her fingerprints were sent to detectives in North Yorkshire her identity was confirmed.

Mr Laidlaw struggled to encapsulate the sheer terror of the women's death, saying: "They were both alone when they suffered the horror of it. One hopes their suffering did not last long."

Officers running the case said they feared the two women may not have been Kim's only victims.

Det Spt Ship said that while Kim rented rooms to students studying or sightseeing in England, he also travelled extensively in Europe, south-east Asia and Canada.

"He has committed two very similar killings here in a very short period of his life.

"I cannot rule out that he has committed other offences in other countries," said Mr Ship.

Kim, who came to Britain in 2000 to study English, denied murdering Miss Jin, between 25 and 28 October and Miss Song, between 3 and 8 December 2001.

But he admitted the manslaughter of Miss Song on the second day of his trial, a lesser plea not accepted by the prosecution.

And on Tuesday Kim began a life sentence for the murders of Jin Hyo Jung and Song In Hea.

Students faced 'chilling deaths'
04 Mar 03 |  England

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