Son Jung Min’s family has suffered a thousand cuts to the reputation of their son whose corpse mysteriously resurfaced from the water on April 30, 2021 after going missing for five days in the Han River. Not two months had passed when one of Korea’s most famous cold case television programs decided to declare the death a mystery, even as the investigation was still in progress.
Instead of focusing on uncovering clues to figure out how the 22-year-old medical student vanished and died in the water, the storyline focused on his drinking companion, Mister A, and how all of the evidence analyzed thus far by so-called experts and investigators had ruled out any culpability of his friend. Critics were quick to point out that a guilty mind convicts itself since Mister A was not an official suspect and had no need to clear his name.
But in the process of doing so, the police, the media and Mister A’s team have painted Son Jung Min as a suicidal drunk who went out of his mind and walked into the river to kill himself. Even as the police could not definitively come to this conclusion from their investigation, through sparse evidence, shaky testimony, far-reaching ‘analysis’ and conjecture, this show has defamed the memory of Son Jung Min.
Perhaps it is time that the Son Jung Min family consider a strategic move to file a defamation suit against the television program. Though it may not yield any significant financial gain, it could help strain any weak links in a conspiracy if there is one. The hallmarks of an abrupt and rapid conclusion of a doubt-laden investigation are the loose threads that are hungry for more bribes to keep tight-lipped and in line. Keep the train in motion and one of the cars will fall off the track eventually and spill the truth.
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