Peter Kyun Joon Lee, the man believed to be at the centre of a mass murder-suicide case in Victoria, seemed to have everything to live for —a wife, a young son and a $1-million home in an upscale neighbourhood.
Yetthe Korean restaurateur apparently barricaded himself inside his Oak Bay house early Tuesday and killed his wife, their six-year-old son and two other occupants of 310 King George Terrace.
Police have confirmed that the victimswere Lee, 38, his wife, Yong Sun Park, 32, their son, Cristian, 6, and Park's parents, Moon Kyu Park, 66, and Kum Lea Chun, 59. Regional coroner Rose Stanton has said that all died in a murder-suicide.
Anemerging picture of Lee is of a man headed for divorce anda battle over custody of his son and the ownership of a home that was put up for sale eight days ago.
Police documents obtained by CBC News show Lee was charged with assaulting his wife on July 31,after allegedly deliberately driving his Land Roverinto a pole, leaving Park with a broken arm and contusions.
Lee was charged with aggravated assault and operating a vehicle in a dangerous way.
When it came time for Lee's bail hearing, police opposed his release, saying they believed he was a danger to his family.
|Oak Bay by the numbers|
|Population (2006)||18,059||4.3 million|
|Median family income||$78,168||$54,840|
|Age distribution - 65+||26.2%||13.6%|
|Source: BC Stats|
But he was released with restrictions that forbade him from going to the house on King George Terrace, from having contact with his wifeand from possessing knives, guns or ammunition.
Meanwhile, Lee was being sued by an employee who claimed he assaulted her twice at Lee's downtown Victoria restaurant, according to court documents.
Employee Eunju Song alleges that Lee slashed her right hand in the restaurant's kitchen in December 2004 and she needed two stitches.
Simon Fraser University Professor Stephen Hart said a murder-suicide could be perceived asa way to try to save face in difficult circumstances.
"Usually get the kind of mind set where the man says, 'If I can't have my family'…. It's a scorched-earth mentality,'' Hart said.
Don Dutton, a University of B.C. professor who specializes in the psychology of domestic abuse and testified for the prosecution in the O.J. Simpson trial, said such situations can be prevented.
One remedy might be to include a psychological assessment of an accused as a condition of bail, he said.
"You can certainly do a psychological assessment, at the point that someone is in custody, and you can certainly make a risk assessment at that point,'' he said.
When that has been done, Dutton said, a recommendation can be made on the person's likelihood of immediate risk for violence.
"That is something that should be done,'' he said.
Similar deaths in Surrey in 2004
B.C. Attorney General Wally Opal isn't so sure.
"In many cases, just because someone commits a violent crime, it doesn't mean they will commit another.''
The current case seems startlingly similar toa 2004multiple murder-suicidein B.C.
Nearly four years ago in a house in a quiet Surrey suburb, three members of the Kwan family died after the husband killed his wife and 18-year-old daughter, then himself.
Back in 2004, Dae Wok Kwan, 44,had just quit his job ata Korean food wholesaler. Financial pressures were said to be building.
Similar pressures appear to have been facing the family in Oak Bay.
But for now, no one knows whatexactly triggeredthis latest murder-suicide. The real reasons may go the graves with the victims.