I’m working on a plan. An idea I have kept at bay for decades. But it keeps popping to the forebrain, calling to me.
“Do this thing,” it says. “Only then will be you free.”
It’s not running marathon. That would be easy compared to this.
It’s not moving to middle of the Sahara Desert. That would be a piece of dessert cake compared to this.
It’s not swimming the length of the Panama Canal with Diana Nyad, which I would quite like to do. That would be fun and this thing I need to do is the opposite of that.
I need to ask someone who I used to know if and/or why she killed our mutual friend Carolyn Joyce Abel. Or, at the very least, find out her version of the events that took place in Seoul in late December 1988.
I need to also tell her how much her alleged actions have affected the rest of us. For heavens sake, she read the eulogy at the memorial service for the friend she is believed to have slashed to death in the middle of the night. She also corresponded with Carolyn’s family, offering her help and services. The insults added to the ultimate injury actually drove Carolyn’s father to his grave. He did everything he could to find justice for his daughter.
I have spoken to Carolyn’s surviving family. I have seen the FBI and CIA reports. I have spoken with the U.S. Attorney who tried to get the alleged killer on perjury. And I confronted her accomplice, who spent some time in jail for concealing evidence, over a cup of tea in a Boulder coffee shop.
There is (and has been since finding out who was the prime suspect) one last thing to do.
Confront the suspect.
But how does one speak to a suspected murderer, who denies she committed the crime although every crime agency from D.C. to the R.O.K believes she is guilty?
Every page of the FBI files I received, via the Freedom of Information Act, is stamped with this phrase, “The suspect is considered armed and dangerous.” A chilling professional warning to their own peers and colleagues.
So if she’s guilty, then why is she free, you might ask.
Because there was no extradition agreement between the US and the Republic of Korea at that time. Although an American is the chief suspect in the killing an American, it didn’t take place on American soil. The jurisdiction in this case belongs to South Korea. They washed their hands of the case years ago.
What makes all this even more spine-chilling and mind-numbing is that all three women involved in this crime were my friends at one time. I was pals with a killer. Heck, she was one of my teaching mentors. I comforted her when she wept over the loss of our friend Carolyn. And then, I gave the killer’s accomplice my job at the Korea Herald when I left Seoul. Imagine their joy when finding out that a member of the paper’s staff was headed to prison for the very crime they had covered.
But I need to know what the prime suspect says about the murder of Carolyn Joyce Abel.
In her own words, from her own mouth. In person. I’ve hesitated to take this step out of fear for my own safety and that of my family. But it nags at me that she’s out there and that other people may be at risk. Carolyn’s father shared this concern. This realization doesn’t make the idea of a confrontation very appealing.
Like my swimming days, I’m gonna need the help of team, and a coach. We’re going to have to train ourselves to be one step ahead of her all the way to the finish line.
That, my friends, is how the story ends.