Posted by: 지인 | 31 March 2008

Hometown sadness

By now I’m sure you’ve all heard about the (adoptive) father in Iowa City who murdered his four children, all of whom were Korean adoptees, and his wife before killing himself. The Des Moines Register has more details on the incredibly, horribly tragic killings and what lengths the murderer, Steven Sueppel, went to, to kill his family before robbing everyone of justice by taking his own life.

The first news of the story was shocking enough to hear about — the murders of four young children and their mother, committed by the father — in the state where I grew up, and in a town where I lived for five years. I consulted Google Maps to map the Sueppels’ home so my brain could better accept the reality of this horrific thing that had happened, using my former residence as a visual reference point.

Then when the family photograph was published, along with the detail that all four children were adopted from Korea, the story cut even deeper. I can’t even bear to look at the photograph and see those kids’ faces. It’s as if they are relation — which, in a very real way, they are.

I also want to kick some Holt ass for the “policies” and insinuations expressed in this article. So, it’s for the good of the mothers, who are supposedly off getting their “fresh starts,” that they won’t be informed that the adoptive father of their children has murdered them? Holt has no responsibility to tell these women — and instead it’s up to them, whether they want to check in periodically to see if their children are, oh, I don’t know, still alive? F that.

And while we are on the topic of Holt, F this, too:

The Holt service … said the American couple were well qualified to adopt foreign children in terms of their finances and relationship. The father was a banker and the mother an elementary school teacher, and they went to church. …

“The Holt International’s after-adoption reports show the couple had no problem, they were raising children well. The mother even sent us pictures of the children, from which we thought they are considerate people,” [Holt overseas adoption director] Hong said.


I am not a religious person, but I don’t think you have to be, to hope that Steven Sueppel burns eternally in a broiling-hot hell and that Eleanor, Mira, Seth, Ethan and mom Sheryl have gone on to find peace in another place.

* * * * *

And in other news, 8 inches of snow is expected to fall today & tonight in the Twin Cities, another former city of residence of mine.

Tragedy in one former hometown, murder in another. Condolences to all. *sigh*



  1. Oh my gosh. That would be an eerie experience, knowing you shared a town with those kids. It’s such a horrific tragedy. I’ve been pretty speechless, what can one really say?

    And the snow – it’s about up to my calf. Heavy and wet snow! Beautiful, but annoying at the same time.

  2. Everything about this story is so tragic, so horrific and so senseless. I, too, am at a loss for words.

    As a Holt adoptee, it’s offensive to read their “policies” regarding this tragedy. I just don’t understand. . .

  3. It’s futile, I know, to be angry at a dead someone… but I can’t help it. It was senseless. Seriously, if he just killed himself, people may feel some sense of pity, even. What he did… aargh. Still pissed. And incredibly devastatingly sad for those kids. One by one, the newspapers say… I can’t imagine a little one having to watch, knowing it’d be his/her turn next.

    Okay… I guess, besides spewing shock and anger, I’m pretty speechless as well.

    What snow? Nope. No snow here. Oh, that pesky white thing out there? It’ll melt. Really. Please, melt? I even put LN in galoshes this morning in preparation of snow meltage.

  4. I am without words as well. Heartbreaking.

  5. All I can think about is:

    What if the mother finds out someday?

    The sorrow… I couldn’t possibly imagine it.

  6. i REALLY don’t like holt. may i say i have a high dose of distrust for them?

    as for the horrific murders….i just can’t come up with any words to express the disbelief and sadness. what the hell is going on?

  7. sick. sick sick. Those poor children. The poor mothers in Korea who lost them not once, but twice.

    and, sounds like classic holt–washing their hands of any responsibility.


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