Kang Eun Kim / Seoul Global HS12th Grade
In October 5th of 2017, a man in his thirties was arrested for murdering his daughter’s 14 year-old friend and abandoning the corpse in a mountain in Yeongwol County, Gangwon Province. Investigators say that on October 1st, he attempted to rape the girl, but when she resisted, he strangled her to death. The police revealed that the man’s daughter also had taken part of the murder by luring her friend to the house and giving a drink containing sleeping pills.
The police unveiled the man’s name several days later: Lee Young Hak. He was already familiar to the public as “Molar Dad” because he suffered from gigantiform cementoma, a rare dental tumor that can result in severe disfigurement of the jaw. To get rid of his tumor, Lee extracted all of his teeth except for his molars. Due to the disease’s hereditary characteristic, Lee’s daughter was also diagnosed with the disease.
Lee was first presented to the public by a TV program in 2006, in which he was depicted as a hard-working father who was struggling to provide medical fees for his daughter’s surgery and treatments. The public sympathized with him and supported him with money. In 2007, he published his own book: “Molar Dad’s Happiness.” However, after being accused of murder, his hidden life was quickly revealed to the public. Lee was enjoying his lavish life with the money from donations, buying numerous luxurious cars and houses. It also appears that he was working as a sex trafficker for people with unusual obsession towards teenagers. On Twitter, he frequently posted his own selfies and captions to recruit young teenage girls to work in sex trafficking with him. The prosecutors also say that he may have forced his wife, who took her own life two months ago, to be involved in prostitution. Moreover, police analyses of Lee’s computer strongly suggest that he had been posting sex videos on adult sites and has earned profit from the videos.
Psychoanalysts who analyzed Lee’s actions say that Lee has an abnormal characteristic that provokes strong sexual desire, thus it is suspected that after his wife’s death, Lee had been looking for young teenagers to replace his wife’s position. After his crime was reported in the press, Korean citizens expressed indignation at “Molar Dad” and lamented their decision to donate to a murderer. Netizens say that “After this incident, I’ve determined to not donate anymore but rather volunteer for myself.” Some created the word “donation-phobia,” a neologism that represents repulsive feelings towards donation due to abusive use of the contribution. As Lee’s crime is continuously bringing shock to the public, the police is set about to investigate the exact cause of Lee’s wife’s death.
<Kang Eun Kim / Seoul Global HS12th Grade