Keeping Vigil For Eun Kang

By Krista Schwimmer

On December 8, a group of around 20 to 25 people met at Crescent Place Triangle to hold a candlelight vigil for Eun Kang, a 38 year old Venetian resident brutally raped and stabbed to death in her own home one year earlier. At the time of her death, she was pregnant with twins.

Despite the enormous tragedy of her death, there was little fanfare on this one year anniversary: no politicians, no large media groups, and only a small crowd consisting of Eun’s neighbors and officers from the LAPD and local Fire House Number 63.  Two detectives who responded to the call last year were present: Detective Castruita and Detective Carranza whose case this is. By coincidence, the two fire fighter paramedics from Fire House 63 on duty last year, Kevin Kemp and Sevan Gerard, were on duty again this year and were able to attend the memorial.

One of the organizers, Jim Hubbard, spoke about how the purpose of this vigil was to “honor a person and her unborn children who were slain viciously.” He called the loss of life by these means “insane and unacceptable.”

Representatives from both the LAPD and LAFD echoed similar sentiments, stating how this kind of a crime is also heartbreaking for the police.

A suspect, Boneetio Kentro Washington of Culver City, was arrested immediately in the case. He was charged with three counts of capital murder and could face the death penalty. Detective Carranza stated that his case was still in the court system and would drag on for years. He said he would see this case through, as he does with all of his cases. Detective Castruita, a detective for 16 years, called her murder “particularly gruesome.”

Chris Chanaud, boyfriend and father to the unborn babies, did not know about the community vigil. He said he had privately remembered her earlier in the day. He stated that “Eun would not have really cared about how people honor her memory. She”d probably say something like “Don’t dwell on it. But maybe get some lights on that street (Electric Avenue.)”

Although the criminal case is not over for the officers and family members connected to Eun, there appears little more the community she lives in can do for her.  We are left simply with the task of remembering. For Chris Chanaud, that means remembering how Eun touched his life: ‘she lived her life to the fullest like the candle which burns twice as bright but half as long. She was just so awesome. She really showed me how to enjoy life and not stress too much about the little things. She was a simple girl. Her favorite things were tomatoes, sewing, and surfing.”


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