Ed Shin Update: Where is Christopher Smith’s Convicted Killer Today?

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Mugshot/20/20 Edward Shin today

August 7’s episode of 20/20 features the death and disappearance of Christopher Smith. The episode synopsis teases, “A man kills his business partner and hatches an elaborate plan to cover it up.” Ed Shin, Smith‘s former business partner, was ultimately charged with first-degree murder for the death of Smith, whose body was never found.

So, where is Ed Shin today? Here are the updates you need to know:


Shin Was Sentenced to Life in Prison in 2018

In 2018, Shin was sentenced to life in prison, for the first degree murder of Christopher Smith, without the possibility of parole, per ABC News. At the age of 42, he remains in Wasco State Prison today.

The disappearance of Christopher Smith is a twisted story, in part because Shin hacked into Smith’s email and posed at him so his family wouldn’t know he was missing. Over email, Shin sent messages to Smith’s family claiming he was traveling the world to work through some personal struggles. Suspicious, Smith’s father responded to one of the emails, writing, “If this is Ed Shin, if you hurt any one of my sons, I’m gonna — you up, and this is the start of your nightmare.’ But then I got a reaction to it.” The email he received in response said “Dad, I’m fine. Stop tripping. I just needed to get some — out of my head.”

Eventually, Steve confronted Shin and recorded the conversation. Of their interaction, Steve told ABC “He went on for about an hour of conversation about all kinds of stuff…I think there’s something really wrong. He’s lying to me. He’s either knows what happens to Chris or he knows he’s responsible for it.”

Shin was brought in to be questioned about Smith’s disappearance a year after he went missing. In the end, Shin claimed that during a big fight between him and Smith at their 800XChange office, Smith hit his head and the injury proved fatal. Shin said he paid someone off to get rid of Smith’s body.


Shin Will Not Reveal the Location of Smith’s Body

Although he was convicted of first-degree murder, Shin asserted during his trial that Smith’s death was an accident. He claimed he did not mean to kill his business partner, but that Smith’s death was the unintentional consequence of a fight between the two men.

When asked about the location of Smith’s body, Shin declined to give details. Instead, he told ABC News, “I can’t talk about that … because I don’t know. 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.”

Orange County Senior District Attorney Matt Murphy did not buy Shin’s claim that the murder was accidental, especially due to the substantial debt Shin was facing prior to Smith’s death. Murphy said, “Ed Shin was in a corner. The way he could solve his problems, financially, business-wise, everything else, is murder Chris Smith, make him disappear and take all of his money.”


20/20 airs on Friday nights at 9/8c on ABC.

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