Edward Shin is a convicted killer and former California businessman who murdered his business partner and then posed as the victim, Chris Smith, to cover it up.
Where is he now? According to ABC News, Shin “is currently sitting in a prison cell, where he’ll live out the rest of his days.” The case is featured in an episode of 20/20.
Prison records bear this out. According to the State of California prison system, Edward Shin is serving his time today at Wasco State Prison. He’s 42 years old. “The inmate…is serving a sentence of life without the possibility of parole and is, therefore, not eligible for parole consideration at this time,” the prison system says. The prison is located in Wasco, California.
ABC’s 20/20 will air on Friday, January 24 from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET. In addition, a multi-part podcast on the case debuts February 27. It’s called “Cutthroat, Inc.” Shin spoke to ABC from prison for the program.
Here’s what you need to know:
After Christopher Smith Disappeared, His Family & Friends Received E-Mail Messages Saying He Was Happily Traveling the World
For some time after Smith vanished, his friends and family members received e-mails supposedly from him “assuring them he was safe and traveling the world,” ABC reports. The two had founded an ad company together in California.
At first they believed them, but the emails “became stranger and stranger.” It eventually emerged that Shin, who was Smith’s business partner, had murdered him and then sent the emails to cover it up. According to Oxygen, the emails did everything from claim Smith was hanging out with a Playboy model to imply he was thinking of suicide.
Shin claims the death was accidental, which authorities don’t believe. According to ABC, Smith hasn’t revealed what happened to Smith’s body. He claimed he paid a man whose name he doesn’t know to get rid of Smith’s body.
“I can’t talk about that … because I don’t know,” Shin told 20/20. “There is no way I can get into that at this point … I wish I could tell you more but, there’s something bigger that I just can’t talk about.”
According to ABC, Shin was leading a double life before the murder. He was a married father of three kids, but was also “siphoning off cash and business” from a lead generation company. An embezzlement conviction followed.
In the podcast, Smith’s brother remembered Chris, saying, “I don’t know many brothers that were as close as we were,” Paul Smith said. “We just had a unique bond. Ever since I was really little, he felt like he was there to protect me, to provide for me.”
According to Patch, authorities found Chris Smith’s blood spattered in his office.
Shin had committed devious behavior before. According to Oxygen, he once “sent emails to his own father claiming to be a stranger who had kidnapped Shin.” He demanded $1 million. He later admitted that was a hoax.
Deputy district attorney Matt Murphy believes Shin stabbed or beat Smith to death and “buried him in the desert,” according to Oxygen, which quotes Murphy as saying of Shin: “In the liar Olympics, you are looking at the gold-medal winner on the planet Earth.”
Shin took the stand in his own case and admitted sending the emails. “It was a terrible thing to do, to try to convince a family their dead son is still alive, still traveling,” Shin said, according to the Orange County Register.
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