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Play About Unsolved Murders on Encore Run

2006/03/13 | 102 views | Permalink | Source

By Bae Keun-min
Staff Reporter

People often forget things whether they want to or not. But there are things that must not be forgotten like merciless felonies, especially unsolved cases.

This may be the major reason that the troupe for an encore run of the play "Come and See Me (Nal Porowayo)" is driving a signature-seeking campaign to extend the time limit for prosecuting the serial rape-murders in Hwasong, Kyonggi Province, which the play is based on.

Since the play premiered in 1996, it has kept calling the public's attention to the ten atrocious cases, between 1986 and 1991, in which most of the victims were strangled after being raped. The victims ranging from a 13-year-old junior high school girl to a 71-year-old senior citizen were gagged using such unusual things as the victim's underwear. The offender was believed to be in his 20s.

The play attracted enough people to be reborn in 2003 as a movie _ "Memories of Murder" _ starring Song Kang-ho. Over 5 million people saw the movie.

Actors from the original drama cast will gather again for the encore runs to commemorate the play's 10th anniversary as well as to rouse public attention about the issue once more. During performance from Friday to early next month, it will also campaign for a revision of the law by seeking signatures from its audiences.

The long-unsolved mystery may remain unanswered forever after April 2, when the statute of limitations on the 10th case will expire. Under the law, the statute of limitations for heinous crimes is 15 years.

The law restricts the time span in order to avoid any possible unfair prosecution backed by insufficient evidence and to prevent possible infringement of human rights in the process.

However, as crime investigation technology including DNA testing has evolved greatly since, there have been demands for a revision of the law which was established in 1954 and modeled after the Japanese criminal law.

Japan extended the limit for murder cases to 25 years in 2004. Under U.S. federal law, there is no statute of limitations for that crime.

Prompted by upcoming expirations of the statue of limitations for several unsolved murder or missing persons cases, some lawmakers here have been attempting to amend the law. In August 2005, Rep. Moon Byung-ho of the Uri Party submitted a bill to extend the limitation period to 20 years.

Come and See Me

When: March 17- April 9

Where: Theater Yong at the National Museum of Korea (near Ichon Station on subway line 4)

How much: 20,000-50,000 won

Info: 1588-7890 or 1544-1555

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