NPA now charging suspect Ichihashi with Hawker murder, not just “abandoning her corpse”. Why the delay?
Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on December 9th, 2009
Hi Blog. Have a look at these articles, then I’ll comment:
Ichihashi gets warrant for Hawker rape-murder
Japan Times Dec 3, 2009 (excerpt)
CHIBA (Kyodo) Tatsuya Ichihashi was served a fresh arrest warrant Wednesday on suspicion of raping and killing Briton Lindsay Ann Hawker, after being charged earlier in the day with abandoning her body.
The 30-year-old was arrested on Nov. 10 in Osaka following more than 2 1/2 years on the run since Hawker was found strangled and stuffed in a tub on the balcony of his apartment in Ichikawa, Chiba Prefecture, in 2007.
Although Ichihashi has remained silent about the murder, the police believe he killed the 22-year-old language teacher and the murder warrant was so served on the last day of his detention period authorized under the initial arrest on the technical offense of abandoning a corpse.
Hawker was found bound, shorn
Japan Times Dec 5, 2009 (excerpt)
CHIBA (Kyodo) Slain Briton Lindsay Ann Hawker’s hair had been cut and her hands and feet bound with ropes when her corpse was found buried in a sand-filled bathtub on the balcony of murder suspect Tatsuya Ichihashi’s apartment in Chiba Prefecture in March 2007, investigative sources revealed Friday.
Chiba Prefectural Police believe Ichihashi, 30, tied her up with polyester rope before raping her and cutting her hair, and prepared the sand and the tub to conceal her body and the smell of her decomposing corpse, the sources said, noting the rope is sold at many stores.
The police discovered an empty bag for the sand for gardening, and long tufts of hair of hair in a trash bin at Ichihashi’s apartment when they found the body of Hawker, 22, the sources said…
Police charge Ichihashi with murdering British teacher Hawker
Mainichi Shinbun Dec 2, 2009
ICHIKAWA, Chiba — Police served a fresh arrest warrant Wednesday on Tatsuya Ichihashi — the 30-year-old man who has already been arrested on a charge of abandoning the body of 22-year-old Briton Lindsay Ann Hawker — for the victim’s murder, police said.
Ichihashi was hit with the murder charges as his legal detention period was set to expire.
He stands accused of strangling Lindsay at his home in Ichikawa sometime between March 25 and 26, 2007. He kept silent about the new charges during questioning.
DNA in body fluid detected from the victims’ body matched that of Ichihashi.
It was confirmed that Ichihashi and Hawker entered Ichihashi’s apartment on March 25, 2007, and that there were no signs that anyone else entered the apartment before the discovery of Hawker’s body the next afternoon, according to investigators.
On the afternoon of March 26, the English language school where Hawker worked reported her missing to Chiba Prefectural Police. A piece of paper with Ichihashi’s name and phone number were found at Hawker’s home in Funabashi, Chiba Prefecture.
Around 9:40 p.m. that evening, Ichihashi escaped as police were questioning him in front of his apartment. Hawker’s body was found in a bathtub on the balcony of the apartment. She had died of asphyxiation.
COMMENT: Now here’s what I don’t get. Ichihashi’s charge has been upgraded from corpse abandonment to outright murder. But why wasn’t it before? What new information has been brought out since his apprehension? Police already knew about the body, the disposed-of hair, the fact that she accompanied Ishihashi to his apartment and was last seen there. And now suddenly his DNA matches bodily fluid found on her corpse. But didn’t the police know all of this before? It’s not as though Ichihashi’s interrogation revealed him admitting any new information (after all, he’s not talking).
Why is it that he gets charged with mere corpse abandonment (something that frequently happens when a NJ gets killed) up until now, whereas if something like this is done to a Japanese victim (as posters with Ichihashi’s fellow murder suspects indicate), it gets a full-blown murder charge? Why the delay until now? I wish I had the information to answer these questions.
Final thing I find odd: Good for father Mr Hawker being tenacious about this case. There are plenty of other murders (Tucker Murder, Honiefaith Murder, Lacey Murder, and Blackman Murder) and assaults (Barakan Assault) of NJ that the NPA and the criminal courts gave up on all too easily. Does the family of the NJ victim have to pursue things more doggedly than the police before the NPA will actually get on it (as they had to do for Lucie Blackman’s killer, and he still got acquitted for it)? It only took the NPA close to three years to get Ichihashi, and that was after a tip from a face change clinic (not any actual police investigation).
Why this half-assedness for crimes against NJ? Sorry, there’s lots of things here that just don’t make sense, and they point to different judicial standards for NJ victims of J crime. Arudou Debito in Sapporo