Hawker's family pleads with public to help catch her killer

By Taro Fujimoto

The family of Lindsay Ann Hawker on Monday appealed to the Japanese public to help catch the man suspected of killing the 22-year-old British teacher a year ago in Ichikawa, Chiba Prefecture.

Speaking in Japanese at the beginning of a news conference organized by the British embassy, Bill Hawker, Lindsay’s father, said: “Please find this guy (Ichihashi),” holding up a new wanted poster of the suspect, Tatsuya Ichihashi, who has been on the run for a year. Hawker was accompanied by his wife Julia and daughter Lisa. "She came to teach, not to be murdered."

Asked if he is satisfied with the development of the investigation by the Japanese police, Hawker said, “Of course I’m very disappointed Ichihashi wasn’t caught immediately. I’m still disappointed that he’s not yet been caught. But I’ve not come here to criticize the Japanese police. I hope Japanese policy makers or politicians will make sure resources are available to continue the operation. Somebody somewhere must be hiding Ichihashi. How can he keep evading detection? Japan is a modern society. Surely somebody cannot just disappear.”

Holding her husband’s hand and trying to fight back tears, Julia Hawker said the family had launched a new hotline (03-6688-7677) in Japan for those who wish to leave anonymous information. Lisa also called on the Japanese public to help by saying, “My sister was a wonderful girl and she loved your country. Please do not forget what happened to her.”

Hawker’s body was found in a sand-filled bathtub on the balcony of Ichihashi’s apartment in Ichikawa on March 27, 2007. Ichihashi managed to escape from police officers who called at his apartment after the language school she worked for reported to the police that she had been missing.

The Hawker family are scheduled to appeal to Chiba locals on Tuesday, distributing new wanted flyers and holding a candle-lit vigil for Lindsay at a bar in Ichikawa before returning to England on Wednesday.

© Japan Today

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‘‘We are just looking for justice,’’ he said.

poor people... 1 year one and nothing from the J-police.

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Rest in peace Lindsay

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Well, this explains the "new wanted posters" of Ichihashi doesn't it ! All show, no go ! How sad.

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Why don't the cops offer an amnesty to any friends or family who know his whereabouts if they give him up and at the same time threaten a max prison sentence to the same people if it transpires that they knew where he was ? I'd also like to see the cops exert more pressure on his family.

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In the search for Tatsuya Ichihashi, Ichikawa/ Tokyo Police have offered a reward of 1,000,000 Yen. General consensus is that Ichihashi is probably still in Japan and is being sheltered by someone.

I don't know if there is a general culture of not offering financial rewards in Japan or offering small rewards but the sum seems to be a derisory amount, barely enough to buy a 7 year old Yaris? There is a culture of offering larger rewards in the UK but usually the reward offered for in a murder case or for assistance in a missing persons case would usually be much higher which may encourage some people to carry out their own investigations/ surveillance/ searches or encourage those in the criminal underworld to sell out a 'friend' if they are sheltering them. I'd suggest a reward of about 25,000,000 Yen would be an altogether more appropriate sum.

In the UK, sometimes the reward is put up by the family if they are a wealthy family, occasionally by an employer or other interested party, more often though the reward is set by the Police or by a larger Newspaper publisher.

I'm not criticising Japan, we have murders in the UK, some of these are occasionally overseas workers or tourists. It would be nice though if the authorities took a lead in placing a more substantial reward so it's more likely that Ichihashi will be brought to face charges and (if he is responsible for murdering Lindsay Ann Hawker), not remain at large to commit similar crimes and inflict this misery on other families.

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Big rewards don't work. Pressure on the family is the key, the police in the UK/US would be hounding down his relatives in search of clues or confessions. Why have they not been brought in?

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They'd be better off searching the mountains for his remains...

0 ( +0 / -0 ) course he did it. Why else did he disappear? just find him already, or at least try to look!! He has to be sheltered by someone he knows, how hard is it to grill his family, friends and aquaintances? Get a list of everyone he was in contact with and get the information...oh yeh I forgot, its much easier when you dont know who did it, you just arrest anyone and force a confession...

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" course he did it. Why else did he disappear?"

There may have been an accomplice or two. In fact, its possible that someone else committed the murder while Ichihashi looked on. Its still a good reason to run. And he may have run right to the actual murderer, who felt it best to get rid of Ichihashi.

This accomplice may have been someone Ichihashi owed a debt to, and the accomplice may have named a white female as his price. Ichihashi may have just been expecting a kidnapping, and was "helpless" to stop a murder in his apartment.

Its unlikely, but you never know. When you jump to conclusions all sorts of errors are possible, and this business is too serious for that.

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"oh yeh I forgot, its much easier when you dont know who did it, you just arrest anyone and force a confession…" are they not going with this tactic this time around?

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Zorro, don't you think it's kind of disrespectful to the Hawker family to start suggesting that Ichihashi may not have murdered Lindsay and that someone else could have done it. There were no sightings of other men in the apartment block or with Ichihashi/ Ichihashi has previous cautions for attacks on women/ Ichihashi was on a mission (caught on tape) to get Lindsay Hawker back to his place. If you have strong enough evidence on a suspect who has done a runner then you indeed shouldn't jump to other conclusions.

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"Zorro, don’t you think it’s kind of disrespectful to the Hawker family to start suggesting that Ichihashi may not have murdered Lindsay and that someone else could have done it."

Do you think respect amounts to a hill of beans compared to making sure of the facts?

Anyway, what I have said is nothing the Hawker family should be concerned about. Now, if I had suggested they stop looking for Ichihashi and stop using my tax money in the search, that would different. I never said that. I hope they do everything possible and reasonable to track down Ichihashi. And I hope they get closure on all this quickly.

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