Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Panty Thief and One-Time Suspected Murderer Released From Prison

Sung Koo Kim. Police photo.

Oregon man Sung Koo Kim spent nearly six years in prison for a series of burglaries in which he stole thousands of panties and bras from college women. According to court documents, Kim had meticulously labeled the stolen items with names of their owners and the dates and locations of the thefts. After an investigation, authorities recovered the items from Kim’s bedroom in the Tigard home where he lived with his parents. After serving over half of his 11-year sentence for several counts of burglary. Kim was released from prison on Christmas eve. He remains on probation and is required to undergo therapy and to avoid schools and apartment complexes.

Brooke Wilberger. Family photo/

In 2004, Kim was a suspect in the disappearance and murder of 19-year-old student Brooke Wilberger. Though Kim was dropped as a suspect in that case, it was during the course of this investigation that authorities came upon his collection of lingerie.

Joel Patrick Courtney, who had recently confessed to the rape and murder of a young woman in New Mexico, became the main suspect in Wilberger’s death. According to court documents, Wilberger’s DNA and hair was found inside Courtney’s van. To avoid the death penalty, Courtney pleaded guilty to Wilberger’s murder and led authorities to the location of her body. He was sentenced to life without parole.

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