The gap between the rich and the poor has caused a great divide in society for a long time. It has given birth to hatred, jealousy, and horrific crime. The true-to-life events you are about to read highlight the effects of this divide. It centers around a heinous South Korean gang that terrorized the country during the early ’90s.
Content warning: Article contains details some readers may find disturbing.
The True Horrors Brought Upon by the Chijon Family: A Gang of South Korean Cannibals
Kim Ki-hwan was an ex-convict who hated society, particularly the rich. So in 1993, he gathered a group of friends who harbored similar sentiments and formed a crime group initially known as Mascan, a name that Kim believed to have come from the Greek word for “ambition.” Despite the given title, prosecutors continued to call them the Chijon family—and the name of this horrific gang would go down in history.
Their primary motive? Punish the rich and extort money from their families.
In total, the Chijon family comprised of seven other people including one woman, all of whom were either unemployed or had prior run-ins with the law. Kim preached his sick ideology to his followers, and they followed him without any second thoughts. It didn’t take long for the group to spring into action, and as soon as they carefully formulated their plans, they were on their morbid quest for blood.
Hungry for humans
The Chijon family hunted the rich residing in Seoul. Anything that screamed wealth drove them to go after the rich. Luxury items like fancy cars, jewelry, designer clothes, and a fancy lifestyle became the gang’s bases on whom to kill.
Kim and his gang of low-life murderers obtained a list of customers from a disgruntled employee of a luxury department store in Seoul. On that exclusive list were 1,200 names of the most loyal customers of the Hyundai garage store. They chose the highest-paying customers and got their personal information based on their credit cards.
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In most cases, the gang would extort up to $100,000.00 from their victims. But after collecting the ransom, they would continue with murdering and sometimes even consuming the victim’s remains. It goes without saying that the Chijon family gained sadistic pleasure from torturing and dismembering their victims.
The idea of devouring the flesh of their victims was believed to have given the group a sense of triumph over their senseless war against the rich.
There came a time when Kim and his gang became anxious about being caught by the police. They decided to remove every trace of evidence by burning their victims. They did so by taking them to a remote cabin in a South Korean countryside where they would toss the victim’s remains into an incinerator.
The gang’s killing spree would continue for a year. The gruesome cycle involved kidnapping, ungranted ransoms, torture, slaughter, and eating their victim’s flesh. Some of their undignified actions would even include rape.
In 1994, the Chijon family kidnapped a wealthy young woman. Like many of their previous victims, they took her to their cabin to suffer a horrible fate. But before murdering her, the gang viciously gang-raped the young woman and subjected her to multiple physical and psychological trauma.
According to the woman’s testimony, she was forced by the Chijon gang to shoot another kidnapped victim in the head. On another occasion, she was made to hold a separate victim while she was killed by suffocation with a plastic bag.
The torture would go on for several days until she finally managed to escape her captors. Though it remains unclear how she was able to run away from the Chijon family, the woman would become the key to ending the gang’s reign of terror once and for all.
The death sentence
On November 1, 1994, all the members of the Chijon gang were captured and put on trial. They were each found guilty of the murder of five people as well as other crimes. Despite the results of the trial, many have come to believe that Kim Ki-hwan and his followers were responsible for the deaths of more missing members of the South Korean elite. Nonetheless, they were all sentenced to death.
But even after facing their end, the Chijon family gang members were unrepentant of their actions. A day before his execution, one member even told police that his one regret was not being able to kill more of the rich. Needless to say, none of them felt any sense of remorse for their crimes.