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Japanese police on 14-year manhunt for cruel murderer

Posted January. 02, 2015 09:43,   


Japan’s law enforcement authorities have been chasing the murderer of a family of four in Tokyo for 14 years. At dawn on Dec. 31, 2000, a robber broke into a house in Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward and killed the family, including two children. Through forensic search, the police found that the killer was about 170 centimeters tall and had a blood type of A. Fingerprints and other evidence in the home indicate the perpetrator did not have a previous criminal record.

However, the killer was bold enough to eat ice cream and tea after the attack and even used the victims’ computer and had a nap on the second floor couch. The Japanese media and citizens were appalled by the cruel and bold crime.

The killer is still at large, however. Discovering that the killer was wearing South Korean brand sneakers, Japanese police sent officers to South Korea to compare the culprit’s fingerprints with those of Korean ex-convicts, to no avail. The bereaved families joined hands with others who lost their families in murder cases to found a group in February 2009. They campaigned for the abolishment of the statute of limitations for hideous crimes. Finally, they elicited the revision in 2010 of Japan’s law on criminal procedures, eliminating the 25-year statute of limitations for crimes corresponding to a death penalty.

Japan’s National Police Agency has injected a total of 230,000 man-days into the investigation. At present, 38 officers are working on the case. Police officers stay at the crime scene around the clock to protect it. The police have offered to pay 200 million yen (167,200 U.S. dollars) in reward to one who provide key information leading to the murderer’s arrest. On Dec. 30, 2014, the 14th anniversary of the murder, around 30 police investigators visited the crime scene and laid flowers for the victims.

According to the Japanese daily Nihon Keizai Shimbun, the head of the investigation team apologized for having failed so far to apprehend the perpetrator, vowing to continue their investigation.