Welcome to another edition of Asians Behaving Badly and this time, we’re featuring Edward Younghoon Shin of Southern California. It’s a pretty grisly murder case, where Shin has been arrested last week for allegedly killing his business partner, Christopher Ryan Smith whose body is still missing. Sad, right? But the twist doesn’t end there. To cover up the murder, Shin made up an elaborate story about how Smith was out of the country.
Shin then used Smith’s email account to contact Smith’s family and tell incredible tales of a journey across Africa and paragliding near Johannesburg before disappearing as he traveled to the Congo and Rwanda.
By December 2010, the emails stopped and Smith’s parents called US authorities to launch an international investigation. They also weren’t convinced that Smith wrote the emails.
They were short and sometimes curt, lacking the descriptive flair and sense of fun they were used to from his dispatches. His family told investigators that the last message on Dec. 26 worried them. The email said he had “paid some dude $100 to be online” and planned to leave South Africa for Congo and then Rwanda.
With a little more detective work, Christopher Ryan’s family learned about Shin’s shady past of embezzling money from another business partner. This led authorities to discover that Smith never left the country in the first place. Shin allegedly murdered him in their San Juan Capistrano office. Oh, but it doesn’t stop there. It turns out that not only did he confess to murdering Smith and writing the fake emails, but he also blogged about it. Yes. This dude actually blogged about what happened. Well, reports aren’t saying if he actually went into detail about killing someone but there were some incriminating posts about a “‘a series of bad decisions guided by bad judgment'” or,
…I’m sorry. And yes, one day I will make good the best way that I can on the things I’ve done. I can’t say when, but hopefully sooner than later.
Okay, clearly this Edward Shin isn’t quite right in the head. While this case sounds like it came straight out of the movies (maybe Justin Lin can direct?), let this serve as a lesson for all. When you murder someone, don’t blog about it. I mean, I understand the urge to share your feelings online because hey, if Facebook and Twitter teach us anything, it’s that no personal information is too personal for the Internet to read about. Here’s the catch: thanks to technology, whatever you put on the Internet stays there forever. FOREVER.
So if the thing you want to share your feelings about is illegal or breaks one of the Ten Commandments, don’t write about it online. Write it down on a pad of paper, burn it, then scatter the ashes into the ocean. If you write better with a keyboard, then open Notepad, close your eyes and tap away to your heart’s content but DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES save this file. If for some reason you have to save this file, then stay away from filenames like “murder_confession,” “i-just-killed-someone” or even “oops.” Actually, you know what would be even better? Just don’t kill anyone in the first place.
Our condolences to the Smith family. What a tragic, strange way to lose a loved one.