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Saturday, January 23, 2021

Huxley undergraduate advisor visited by CBS News in connection with 1988 murder

Kathryn Patrick (left) is visited in her office by the CBS News program 48 Hours in mid-January as part of a three-year investigation. // Photo courtesy of CBS News 48 Hours

By Western Front staff

In mid-January, a Huxley College undergraduate advisor was visited on Western’s campus by the CBS News program 48 Hours in connection with a 1988 murder in Seoul, South Korea.

Kathryn Patrick, an undergraduate advisor for Huxley College of the Environment, was originally sought by police in 1989 under the name Ellen Patrick Casey, according to a 1989 story by the Associated Press

According to the Associated Press, South Korean police found Carolyn Abel, who was teaching English in Seoul, South Korea with Patrick, stabbed to death in her apartment in 1988.

Patrick worked as an English teacher at a private tutoring school alongside Abel and another woman, Sandra Ames, in South Korea, according to the Associated Press.

Patrick left the country the month after the murder, and could not be forced to return to South Korea in 1989 for questioning because the U.S. and South Korea did not have extradition agreements at the time, according to CBS news.

Investigators of the case told CBS News they suspect Patrick of committing the crime, according to The Bellingham Herald.

Western’s Communications Director Paul Cocke sent out a statement in response to the coverage from CBS News on Friday, March 8, saying that Patrick has been determined to pose no threat to the campus community.  

“Kathryn Patrick is a program coordinator at Western Washington University, and has worked at Western since 2000. During her 18 years of service at Western, the University has had no concerns. The University asks that her privacy as a Western employee be respected. An assessment by University officials shows no evidence of a current threat to Western students, faculty or staff. University officials will continue to monitor the situation.”


  1. She has been confirmed as a murderer in S. Korea. She was able to sneak out of law back then only because of the crime in foreign country. Very lucky murderer, but she should not be as lucky in our community and society.

  2. What message does wwu think it’s sending? We grant tenure & amnesty for murder? Am I the only one hoping she murders a member of university staff who made the call? I mean, yeah – she murdered, but it’s been awhile…


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