Robin Hood, a folklore hero, broke the legislation to do charitable deeds. He stole from the wealthy, gave to the poor, and now lives on in legend.

Robin Hood statue. | Unsplash

While the Robin Hood of lore is hailed as a hero, the story isn’t so black and white for one real-life outlaw. South Korean prison Shin Chang Won rose to notoriety within the late Nineteen Nineties, fascinating the nation together with his cat-and-mouse video games.

Shin Chang Won

Shin’s lifetime of crime started younger. He was first arrested in 1982 on the age of 15 for stealing a watermelon, having been turned in by his personal father: a financially struggling farmer. Over the following seven years, Shin can be arrested thrice extra for theft, battery, and leaving the scene of a site visitors accident. That was just the start.

In 1989, Shin was sentenced to life in jail for committing an armed theft that resulted within the sufferer’s dying. Little did the world know that he wouldn’t be staying behind bars. For 5 years, Shin deliberate his escape, motivated by the inhumane therapy he claimed to have skilled by the hands of jail guards.

Shin Chang Won’s seize | bilibili.television

Shin spent months shedding sufficient weight to squeeze by a rest room’s vent and sawing by the bars that blocked its outlet. In 1997, his eighth yr in jail, Shin escaped and police launched a nationwide manhunt.

For two years, Shin traveled the nation, forsaking a path of thefts. During this time, he evaded seize 3 times and stole 5 automobiles, fifteen license plates, and roughly $60,000 USD from fifty homes.

At the time, public opinion about Shin was divided. Some known as him Robin Hood or Hong Gil Dong (a Korean folks hero). He donated ₩1.00 million KRW (about $754 USD) to the “House of John,” a middle for individuals with disabilities in Pyeongtaek metropolis of Gyeonggi province. Using the cash he had stolen, Shin additionally shared ₩400,000 KRW (about $301 USD) with two teenagers in want.

How did Shin keep away from seize for thus lengthy? He didn’t do it alone. A complete of 15 girls, who had all fallen for Shin’s charms, hid the fugitive of their respective houses. As a consequence, they confronted jail phrases and fines for abetting a prison.

Photo unrelated. | Unsplash

[Shin Chang Won] constantly stated that he cherished me and that he would carry me on his again after we would go outdoors. He additionally stated that he would cook dinner for me whereas referring to cookbooks. He stated that he wouldn’t remorse it even have been he to get arrested proper earlier than my eyes.

— “Kim,” Shin’s then 26-year-old girlfriend

Shin’s then-girlfriend spoke of her beau sympathetically, however legislation enforcement painted a starkly totally different image. According to police, Shin dedicated quite a few crimes whereas on the lamb, together with 5 burglaries and one rape.

| Daum

In the top, Shin was lastly captured, due to a repairman who’d tipped off police about his location. Shin was returned to the identical jail he had escaped from in Busan in 1999.

23 years later, Shin’s story nonetheless fascinates the general public. The colourful Missoni T-shirt he worn throughout his seize turned a scorching style merchandise. It was featured in episode 12 of the K-Drama Twenty Five Twenty One. 

A duplicate of Shin Chang Won’s shirt | Netflix

Source: Chosun (1) and (2)

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