“We drink the fatal drop.”
Until We Bleed | Kleerup feat. Lykke Li
Case ID #: 12-CR-568741
Interview Transcript: Interview #001 – Oh Jongkook
- His name is Oh Jongkook. He’s been working as a custodian for the Jungdongwon Church since the late 1970’s. The subject often coughs, explanation being that “it’s the effects of smoking cigarettes catching up to him”. He scratches a bald spot atop his head after taking a sip of coffee. Oh’s gaze focused onto the table he is seated, waiting for the detective to begin.
Tukutz: Mr. Oh, I’m sorry for that terrible scene you’ve had to witness. But thank you for notifying authorities right away. I am Detective Kim Jungsik, one-third of Head Detective Lee Seonwoong—Tablo’s team. [Detective seats himself directly across from Oh, taking a sip out of his own mug of coffee]
Oh: It was the only thing I could do. [Subject wipes sweat off from forehead, giving the detective a sad smile]
Tukutz: Why don’t we start off slow and ease up to the night of the murder? Tell me, Mr. Oh, what was Father Siwon like? [Detective places mug down, folding his hands in front of him]
Oh: Father Siwon was a lively man who made it his goal in life to help reform youths. He established the program wherein juveniles on the wrong path are sent to the church to attend classes of bible study and things of that sort…
Tukutz: I see. How long ago was this program established? Was there anything the teens received from attending?
Oh: Around the summer of ’98. And the instead of public service, the option was offered to the parents.
Tukutz: [Nods as he writes it down] Does he have any family? Wife? Kids?
Oh: The word is that the reason why he started the program was because he was a delinquent growing up too. People say that his parents were killed by some greedy gangsters during his early youth… And I’m afraid that’s all I know, sir.
Tukutz: [Detective purses lips then nods his head] Tell me about the program. The first class of the day? The duration of a typical class?
Oh: Classes for the youth were always held on Fridays and Tuesdays. The first class started at 9 o’clock and lasted for about an hour. There are only 4 classes a day—the first at 9 AM, second one at 12 PM, third one at 4 PM, and the very last one at 9 PM.
Tukutz: What do you know about the last class?
Oh: They have a reputation, if that’s what you mean. Those youngsters were known to talk back and behave horribly toward Father Siwon. There was this one time I heard one of them even tried to assault him… something about how Father Siwon spoke ill of his “brotherhood”.
Tukutz: [Writing down everything he hears, finally looking up upon hearing the word “brotherhood”] Brotherhood?
Oh: Yes, sir—Brotherhood. 4 of them are in that gang, the Mangwondong Brotherhood.
Tukutz: What had happened afterward?
Oh: I heard that the class was cut short, Father Siwon had to go to the hospital to get a serious cut cleaned. Rumor is that he refused to press any charges—that man was too kind for his own good. [Subject shakes head in an almost disapproving manner]
Tukutz: How do you know all of this?
Oh: Fellow staff. Despite working in a holy place, they sure know how to gossip like the wind. What was that word in Spanish for gossipers again?
Oh: Yes, that.
Tablo stopped reading the interview transcript and took off his reading glasses. He leaned back into the office chair and stared out his window. It was day two of the Jungdongwon Case. “This is giving me a headache already…”
The next interview wasn’t scheduled until tomorrow. And the corpse was just recently sent into autopsy, so the results wouldn’t be coming in for another week or so. Then, they have to recover the weapons used—the ballistics testing would take another two weeks. Tablo’s team won’t be able to have their usual case meetings until another three days.
“Might as well finish reading this interview,” the head detective grumbled as he picked up the sheet of paper, his eyes devouring line by line.
Tukutz: Now let’s go onto the murder… Was there anything strange that day? Any visitors that struck a chord with you?
Oh: No, not at all. It was just another day of classes with the teenagers in the back room while we had people come into the main church… Wait. Now that I think of it… [Oh pauses and rubs his chin in thought]
Tukutz: Yes? What is it?
Oh: There was this man who walked in wearing all black and sunglasses. It was around the time of the third class—4 o’clock. I was sweeping up near the confessional booths when he approached me and asked if someone named Kim Dongjun was in one of the classes. I told him that I don’t know any information of that sort since it was confidential and was restricted only to Father Choi Siwon himself. He thanked me in a very ominous tone before leaving. I got the chills just by looking at him.
Tukutz: Did you catch his name?
Oh: I’m ‘fraid not.
Tukutz: Did he have any tattoos or piercings?
Oh: He had a number of tattoos but there was one that really stuck out to me… See, most of his tattoos that were visible to me were portraits and patterns. Then here’s this bold, solid black tattoo on his forearm. I remember eyeing for a few seconds.
Tukutz: What was it?
Oh: It was in English… at least I think so. It was “ZE:A”
“Kim Dongjun? ZE:A?” Tablo asked himself aloud. It was most likely a gang affiliated tattoo but exactly which gang?
“He’s in Children of the Empire. He’s quite a popular personality in that scene,” a female voice spoke upon entering Tablo’s office.
The detective’s eyes snapped up to find Park Gyuri, head of the Korean Affiliation Registry Administration—often stylized as KARA, walking over and taking a seat directly across from him. She had a manila folder in her hands which she opened and began shuffling through the pages.
“Tukutz called me in about a gang called the Mangwondong Brotherhood. So here I am, giving you all the information that might be relevant to your case. But I guess you’re going to need some info on Children of the Empire too.” Gyuri lightly threw the folder onto Tablo’s desk as she chuckled.
He only sighed. “You might as well get me files on every gang in Korea at this point…”
“Currently, my list of suspects are all from Judge Cho Baksang’s cases.” Tablo ran a hand through his hair as Gyuri’s eyes widened.
She regained her composure and let out a low whistle. “Wow, that old geezer? I’ll tell you what. If you are in need of any information on hand, call our unit at the police headquarters and ask for Goo Hara or Han Seungyeon. They are girls who can give you any information you need in no time.”
“Thank you, Gyuri-sshi.”
The female gave him a small smile before walking out. “No problem. Tell Hyejung and your daughter, Haru I said hello.”
“I’ll make a note.” Tablo nodded his head and reached for the manila folder, flipping through its contents. However he froze as Gyuri spoke up.
“Oh! And before I forget: Tablo, be careful. You may think you are just dealing with a bunch of teenagers, but that isn’t just the case.” With that, the self-proclaimed goddess of KARA left and closed the door behind her gently.
He toyed with the sheets of papers in his hands as sat back in thought. Suddenly, an idea popped up in his head. Tablo sat up and reached for the phone, dialing numbers left and right. Whatever it takes to get this case solved faster…
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