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79-year-old man kills wife, then attempts suicide in Sumida River


A 79-year-old man is in hospital under police observation after being rescued from a river following a failed murder-suicide bid in Tokyo.

According to police, the man was pulled to safety while apparently trying to drown himself in the Sumida River in Taito Ward at around 5:30 a.m. Tuesday. Fuji TV reported that he was taken to hospital where he told emergency workers that he had murdered his wife earlier.

Police searched the couple's Setagaya apartment home, where they discovered the body of the man's 75-year-old wife in their bed. Police believe the woman, who has been named as Sachiko Katagiri, was strangled to death by her husband who then attempted to take his own life by jumping into the river.

Katagiri was quoted by police as saying that the pressure of caring for his wife, who had been suffering from depression, had become too much for him to bear.

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A lot of these murder-suicides never are completed. After all, the murderer doesn't really want to kill him/herself; they just want to kill the other person or people. If the old fellow had really wanted to die, he'd've hanged himself in the house. Going out in public means he wanted to be stopped.

It really is angering, the pressure to be totally responsible for your dependants.

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The whole thing is tragic.

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I don't get it. He finally rid himself of the old ball and chain, why would he attempt suicide?

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"Katagiri was quoted by police as saying that the pressure of caring for his wife, who had been suffering from depression, had become too much for him to bear."

Sigh... the second failed murder-suicide in two days, the worse of the two being yesterday. I think we can all empathize with this man's frustrations, and probably there were good reasons for the wife's depression as well, but you don't murder a person for it. samwatters and disillusioned are right, and it's been said before, old people are left out in the cold with less care than one throws out the sodai-gomi on the fourth Wednesday of the month; there is little or no help for them unless they are rich. But again, you don't kill someone else for it.

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In sickness and in health is a vow he should have remembered if he said so at his wedding 50 years back.

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Very sad lives, in the land of plenty.

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Strongest country in the world with strongest economy... Maybe there are more important values in Life. But governments care much more about economy then peaceful and happy land.

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Every single day the same stories...where is the world leading to??

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how is it that the government is not bothered about the older generation!

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9 out of 10 suicides fail, after they've killed someone else...they should just make it a joint effort

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Disillusioned and samwatters : I agree with both of you. Mental care in Japan is practically non-existent probably because any kind of "mental" problems are something to be "hidden away". The stigma of admitting mental illness in one's family is far too heavy in this country.

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@Disillusioned. I agree with everything you wrote but I want to add a wrinkle. I don't think it's only a lack of government/private sector programs but also a strange sense of misplaced pride that says "I can do it by myself and I would rather kill me and a relative rather than have the neighborhood think badly about me."

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Sadly, there is very little help for the older generation. There are very few care-workers for the elderly in Japan unless they are institutionalized. There are some private services that carry out a meals-on-wheels type service, but they are quite expensive and their role does not extend beyond a bento delivery service. The welfare and aged care systems in Japan fail miserably when it comes to special needs. Unfortunately, if your spouse or elderly parent is suffering from a debilitating or mental illness you are pretty much on your own. Yet, the Japanese government are quite happy to rape most families for 50-60,000 yen per month for health insurance and pension. Noice!

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Katagiri was quoted by police as saying that the pressure of caring for his wife, who had been suffering from depression, had become too much for him to bear.

THEN GET FRICKEN HELP!!!...Why do people resort to killing and suicide when times get tough.

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