Where Is She Now? The Woman Suspected Of Murdering Her K-Pop Idol Boyfriend

It’s still one of the biggest murder mysteries in K-Pop.

Content Warning

This article includes descriptions of graphic content that may disturb some readers.

Twenty-eight years ago, a famous K-Pop idol at the peak of his career was found dead in his hotel the day after his solo debut.

Kim Sung Jae | SBS

Deux was a hip-hop duo that debuted in 1993, consisting of members Lee Hyun Do and Kim Sung Jae.

Lee Hyun Do (left) and Kim Sung Jae (right)

After two years and three albums, Deux disbanded, and the members pursued solo careers. Shortly after Kim Sung Jae’s solo debut, however, he was discovered dead in his hotel room. At first, they declared Sudden Manhood Death Syndrom as the cause of his death; however, he was found with 28 needle marks on his right arm—which was peculiar because he was right-handed.

Although investigators initially believed that he had died from an overdose, later, they found traces of animal anesthetics in his blood. This case then became a criminal case, and his girlfriend of two years at the time became the prime suspect. Police revealed that Kim Sung Jae broke up with the 25-year-old non-celebrity girlfriend over the phone a couple of days before his death, so they believe she purchased animal anesthesia with the motive to poison Kim Sung Jae.

Regarding the motive of the crime, the police said:

“Before Kim Sung Jae flew to the US on November 15, 1994, he broke up with his girlfriend over the phone. The girlfriend then decided to commit the crime and purchased animal anesthetics, magnesium sulfate, and two syringes from an animal hospital in Seocho-gu, and told the hospital not to tell anybody about her puchase. On the day he had his music program performance, he was tired so she lied to him saying she would inject with him a recovery substance and injected his right arm 28 times so he looked like an addict who died from overdose.

| MBC News

The girlfriend made many claims against this, saying that she bought the anesthetics with the plan to commit suicide after failing her dental exams but changed her mind and threw it away.

At first the girlfriend was initially sentenced to death for Kim Sung Jae’s murder, but she appealed the sentence with the help of her family. In a later trial, a witness suddenly claimed he did not remember the facts, and the charges against her were dropped due to a lack of evidence.


Ever since then, people have been curious about the truth behind Kim Sung Jae’s death: was it a suicide or murder? In 2019, there were plans to release a three-part special on SBS‘s Unanswered Questions titled “28 Needle Marks: The Mysterious Death of The Late Kim Sung Jae,” where they would uncover the mystery behind the singer’s tragic death.

The girlfriend, however, requested an injunction against broadcasting the episodes.

Recently, a lot of famous celebrities committed suicide because of hate comments. The damage caused to those who suffer from hate comments is unrecoverable. I hope that the court will prevent the broadcast from airing. There’s nothing particularly different from the last time but they’re trying to air it again. They’re just trying one more time to see if they’ll be able to broadcast it.”

— Kim Sung Jae’s ex-girlfriend

The court approved her request and banned the episodes from being broadcast, stating that the episodes did not benefit the public. Since then, people have been outraged, and SBS said they had received lots of petitions and reports on Kim Sung Jae’s case and “new facts and meaningful tips” from the public.

More than 20 years later, the ex-girlfriend is now reportedly a dentist who married a doctor. There are rumors that she got plastic surgery to the point where people cannot recognize her and that she changed her name. There are also rumors that she had to shut down the dental clinic she used to run because Kim Sung Jae fans found out about it and that her mother owns a hotel and is a wealthy and influential figure in the community.

| @hyundolee_/Instagram

Recently, people began talking about the unaired episodes of Unanswered Questions again after the producer revealed that he has plans to broadcast the never-before-aired episodes on OTT platforms. He has yet to make any plans, but netizens are highly anticipating these episodes and finally solving one of the most shocking and tragic murder mysteries of K-Pop.

Source: MBC News, Chosun, Wikitree and Newspic