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crime

1995 Hachioji supermarket triple murder case remains unsolved after 25 years

12 Comments

A memorial service was held at a school in Machida, Tokyo, on Saturday, to offer prayers for the victims of a triple murder at a supermarket in Tokyo's Hachioji in 1995.

One of the victims, Megumi Yabuki, 17, was a student at the high school, and the service was attended by some of her former classmates and school officials.

The National Police Agency is offering a 6 million yen reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for the murders of Yabuki, Hiromi Maeda, 16, and Noriko Inagaki, 47.

At around 9:15 p.m. on July 30, 1995, the three employees — all part-time workers at the Nampei Owada supermarket in Hachioji city — were shot and killed in the store's second floor office. Each had been bound with tape and killed with a single gunshot to the head.

Twenty-five years on, there has been no resolution to the case, although there are some theories.

Initial police reports described it as a failed robbery attempt, since none of the three employees knew the combination of the store's safe. The Tokyo Metropolitan Police said that fingerprints lifted off the tape used to bind the victims, believed to be that of the perpetrator, were found to match closely those of a Japanese male who died of natural causes in 2005.

Initially, those fingerprints were not considered complete enough to make a conclusive match that would be admissible as evidence. However, investigators, after extensive searches of print databases, believe that the prints correspond closely with a man who lived in the Tama district in west Tokyo.

Normally, the legal criteria for a fingerprint match are correspondence at 12 or more points, which is why the initial searches of data bases failed to narrow down a suspect. An 8-point match is still said to have an accuracy of about 100 million to one.

While the prints left behind on the tape could not provide a 12-point match, the man's prints were in the data base due to his having a prior criminal record. At the time of the killings, police found nothing to suggest the man had been in the area where the crimes took place.

At this point, police concede that the 8-point fingerprint match is not conclusive, and would be insufficient to be used as evidence in solving the case. Police said they are still trying to establish links between the dead suspect and the murder weapon, an illegal handgun believed to have been manufactured in the Philippines.

Police pursued an earlier lead in 2009, when a Japanese man on death row in China for drug trafficking made a statement that a Chinese man in Canada was involved in the Hachioji murders, as part of a gang of Japanese and Chinese who carried out a series of robberies in Japan in the 1990s. The Chinese man, Liang He, had been wanted in Japan for using a forged passport to leave the country in 2002. He obtained Canadian citizenship in 2006.

The National Police Agency first filed an extradition request with Canadian authorities in 2010 with the Ontario High Court. Liang filed an appeal that was rejected and he was extradited to Japan in 2013 where he was jailed for passport fraud. But he has refused to talk about the supermarket murders.

Police ask that anyone with any information about the case call 042-621-0110.

© Japan Today

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

12 Comments
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I remember this when I first moved here.

God bless the 3 ladies.

My thoughts are with you.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Gotta love Canada for granting citizenship to known Chinese criminals.

 extradited to Japan in 2013 where he was jailed for passport fraud.

Yes, and is he still being jailed? Was he convicted?

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

If evidence collected at the time has been kept in good condition it may still be possible to obtain DNA evidence.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If evidence collected at the time has been kept in good condition it may still be possible to obtain DNA evidence.

The fact that DNA was not mentioned once in the article suggests that there was not sufficient DNA material to make a match, either at the time or subsequently.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Liang filed an appeal that was rejected and he was extradited to Japan in 2013 where he was jailed for passport fraud. But he has refused to talk about the supermarket murders.

Perhaps this china creep can be "encouraged" by stronger interrogation methods to confess? The same methods that the ccp uses to force confessions?

3 women were killed. They need justice.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Makes me sad to think of how these 3 were murdered for no reason!

16 and 17 is just too much! They didn’t deserve that and its sickening to imagine that the murderer may have died of natural causes.

To those three, I apologize that we haven’t brought you to justice

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I wonder if there's no other photos available, the ones showing thumbs up don't seem very appropriate.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

If this Chinese man is sitting in prison and is a possible suspect, why are they not trying to check if his fingerprints match what they have in record?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Well they should make him talk - old school

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I still remember that, it was 10 years after I moved to Japan. Terrible tragedy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They probably knew who he was / is

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The girls will get justice one way or another

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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