The Case of Itaewon Homicide

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The Case of Itaewon Homicide
The Case of Itaewon Homicide.jpg
Revised Romanization Itaewon Salinsageon
McCune–Reischauer It‘aewŏn Sarinsakŏn
Directed by Hong Ki-sun
Produced by David Cho
Lee Jeong-hee
Jeong Seong-hun
Sin Beom-su
Written by Lee Maeyu-gu
Starring Jang Keun-suk
Jung Jin-young
Music by Park Ji-woong
Cinematography Oh Cheng-ok
Edited by Kang Sung-hoon
Release date
  • September 10, 2009 (2009-09-10)
Running time
100 minutes
Country South Korea
Language Korean
Box office $3.3 million[1]

The Case of Itaewon Homicide (Korean: 이태원 살인사건; translit. Itaewon Salinsageon) is a 2009 South Korean film, based on the true story of the Itaewon murder case, which shocked Korea when Hongik college student Cho Jung-Pil was found dead at an Itaewon Burger King in 1997. The murder was investigated in 1997 by CID Agents J. Choi, D. Zeliff, T. Barnes and B. Crow. Two troubled U.S. teenagers—Arthur Patterson (the son of a former U.S. Army officer and Korean mother) and Edward Lee—became suspects and were convicted. Patterson was released a year later in a special amnesty and Lee was freed a year after that due to lack of evidence. The case never resulted in further convictions. [1] It stars Jang Keun-suk as Arthur Patterson and Jung Jin-young as his lawyer. Song Joong-ki played the victim. The film had 531,068 admissions in South Korea nationwide.[2]


Extradition of Arthur Patterson[edit]

With renewed public attention after the movie release, public prosecutors in South Korea reopened the case after discovering DNA evidence purported to show Patterson as the murderer. Edward Lee had previously testified to Patterson being the murderer during the first trial. Patterson was re-arrested by U.S. authorities in May 2011 and went before a court hearing in California concerning extradition to Korea for a new trial. Arthur Patterson's extradition to South Korea was approved and culminated with his arrival at Incheon International Airport, Sep. 2015. [2]

Murder Trial and Conviction

During the four-month trial, Patterson repeatedly claimed that he was innocent and accused Lee of having killed Cho. Lee testified as a witness saying that he clearly saw Patterson turn to Cho to stab him. In January 2016, the prosecution sought a 20-year prison term for Patterson, which under Korean law is the maximum sentence able to be handed down to suspects aged 18 or less at the time of their crime.[3] On January 28, 2016, Patterson was found guilty of the stabbing of the victim, Cho Jung-Pil, and was sentenced to 20 years behind bars. Patterson and his lawyers have said they plan to appeal the verdict.


On Monday, February 1, 2016, local officials in Seoul, South Korea, informed the public that Arthur Patterson lodged an appeal with a higher court. Patterson is still adamantly denying the charges and continues to blame Lee for the stabbing death of Cho Joong-Pil. The appeal will deal with issues such as evidence accepted by the court and its legitimacy, and possible mistakes in the application of law.[4]


External links[edit]