On Tuesday, October 27, 2015, Korean news outlets — specifically Naver — reported the tragic news that Kim Hyun Ji had died in an apparent mass suicide. According to police at the time, the 31-year-old former contestant of Superstar K and Voice of Korea was found dead in a rented minivan in a parking lot in Iksan, North Jeolla Province, at 3:50 p.m. KST. The bodies of two other males, both 33 years old and both identified only as Go and Lee respectively, were also discovered alongside Hyun Ji with burnt coal briquettes.
Apparently, the grim discovery was made after the manager of the rental auto business in Gwangju told police his client (who rented the minivan under Go’s name) did not return on time and that his cellphone was turned off. Police used GPS to locate and discover the minivan.
One of them, though it wasn’t detailed which one, sent a text to their family prior to allegedly committing suicide. It read the following sad message.
“I’m sorry, I’ll be leaving before you.”
This is an unfortunate tragedy, but suicides in South Korea are somewhat common, especially around Mapo Bridge in Seoul which is recognized as common place for suicide jumpers. As for popular figures in Korean entertainment, the stress and pressure can be too much for them at times as proven by Sojin. The K-pop idol who was a member of KARA committed suicide earlier this year when she jumped off a ten-story building.
In the case of Kim Hyun Ji, it is under further investigation on why she would end her life. As a result, Hyun Ji’s past suddenly was cast to the forefront as revelations about how her life was before her death point to a possible cause.
According to Soompi, past interviews and SNS posts made by Kim Hyun Ji are starting to surface. Upon further inspection, it seems Hyun Ji had a hard life because she had no real father figure. This was discovered through a post made back in March of 2008 that started with the following.
“I’m nine. People pointed their fingers at me because I don’t have a father.”
Kim Hyun Ji would further detail how she expressed the pain and unfairness her mother felt enduring the role of a single mother. There was a time, however, when her father came back home when she was 12, but it was not a blissful reunion with tears of joy.
“My vision went red the moment I saw my father hitting my mother, who was trying to stop him from beating me. I hit him.”
Apparently, Kim Hyun Ji and her father reconciled, as reported by KpopStarz. after she admitted to him that how he treated her in the past wounded her deeply, questioning him why he made her like the way she was if he was just going to treat her poorly. Hyun Ji then said to her father that he should have cared for her a little more. He should have loved her.
Eventually, Kim Hyun Ji’s father truly showed his paternal side especially when she was participating on Superstar K and Voice of Korea. She later revealed that she had to succeed to make her parents the happiest couple in the world. Unfortunately for her career, Hyun Ji failed to succeed especially after she released an extended play (EP) and music video cover of the Leessang song “Rush” back in 2013 (attached above). In some ways, it may have been Superstar K and Voice of Korea to be at fault because they were unable to truly showcase her as detailed by Oh Kwang Suk, the director of the latter.
“Kim Hyun Ji was a participant with great ambitions regarding music. It was to the point that it was hard to showcase in the broadcast her passion and drive.”
The investigation in Kim Hyun Ji’s suicide is still underway. As of now, authorities are trying to confirm if Hyun Ji and the other two in the minivan were acquainted with one another. If it is found they were, the authorities are looking if they may have met through a suicide site.
[Image via Superstar K Promotions]