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Keep Talking

Posted February. 01, 2007 06:58,   


The movie “His Voice,” to be released on Thursday, is based on the true story of the 9-year old Lee Hyung-ho, who was kidnapped and killed in 1991. The movie is particularly touching to parents as the intelligent abductor in the film escapes with only his voice as evidence.

I watched the movie with a detective who has solved abduction cases before. We talked about the characteristics of the abductor and the abduction case in the movie, and how to cope when someone is abducted.

Reporter: Abductors usually call the parents the day after they kidnap a child and say, “I am watching your every move. You called the police, haven’t you?”

Detective: That’s their trick. The first day, they call and threaten, “The child dies if you call the police.” The next day they say, “I know you called the police.” They are fishing for the parents’ response. Parents shouldn’t panic, and they should say, “That is not true. We wouldn’t gamble on our child’s life.”

Reporter: In the movie, the police ask the parents to stay on the phone with the abductor as long as possible.

Detective: That is to secure enough time to track and reach to the kidnapper’s position. Kidnappers commit crimes for money, so we can tear down their wariness when talking about money. Parents can attract the abductor’s attention by saying, for example, “We are doing our best to gather the money but it will take one more day.”

Reporter: Unfortunately the abducted child dies in one day. Unaware of the fact, the parents do everything in their power to save the child. Is there a way for parents to find out if their child is alive or not?”

Detective: First, tell the kidnapper that you want to hear the child’s voice on the phone. You should come up with a plan if the abductor goes, “The child cannot answer the phone right now.” Parents should ask for an answer of a question that only the child knows, and ask the kidnapper to give an answer on the next phone call.

Reporter: Parents can educate their children to never follow a stranger. However, if the kidnappers use force, then children are helpless. In this case, what should the parents tell their children?

Detective: Kidnappers who is an acquaintance of the family tend to take the life of the child because the kidnapper’s identity cannot be hidden if the child goes free. The less likely the kidnapper will get caught, the more likely the child will get released. It’s dangerous if the child continues to cry or if the child can identify the kidnapper’s face. The abductor is likely to kill the child even if he didn’t plan it at first. Therefore, parents should teach their children not to cry, duck their face and avoid eye contact with the kidnapper. If there are many people around, then the child should cry out for help.

Reporter: What do you think about the kidnapper in the movie?

Detective: Given that he called the family 87 times in 44 days, he is highly intelligent. His boldness means that he is confident that he will not get caught. He was always calm, he always used terms of respect, and said the parents would “dock (meaning get to see) the child” if he gets the money. He made the parents nervous by using unfamiliar terms like “docking.” He is cold-hearted, ruthless, and intelligent. But, no matter how smart he is, we would catch him. It was already reported, but the police looked for fingerprints by retrieving all tickets at the tollgate that the suspect passed by. We would get him.”