crime

LAPD says Miura hanged himself with shirt in cell at detention house

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Japanese businessman Kazuyoshi Miura, who was being detained in Los Angeles on a murder conspiracy charge over the killing of his wife in southern California in the early 1980s, hanged himself in his cell at a police detention house Friday night, the Los Angeles Police Department said Saturday.

Because of Miura's sudden death, prosecution procedures are expected to be discontinued and discovery of the truth in this high-profile case dating back 27 years will now be extremely difficult.

At a press conference on Saturday morning, police revealed that Miura, 61, who was transferred to Los Angeles from Saipan early Friday morning, was found unconscious in a one-man cell at the detention house of the headquarters of LAPD and was taken to a hospital where his death was confirmed.

Miura appears to have hanged himself with his shirt at around 9:45 p.m. during an interval in patrols by security personnel every 30 minutes.

Miura was alone in his cell at downtown police headquarters when a detention officer found him just 10 minutes after a routine cell inspection had found nothing unusual, Chief of Detectives Charlie Beck said at the news conference.

"It was apparent that the murder suspect, alone in his cell, had used a piece of his shirt as a makeshift ligature around his neck," Beck said.

Officers rushed into the cell and gave Miura cardiopulmonary resuscitation while medical personnel from the dispensary were summoned. Miura did not respond to treatment and was pronounced dead at USC Medical Center, Beck said.

Miura had arrived in Los Angeles early Friday morning after a trip from the U.S. commonwealth of Saipan, where he had been held since his February arrest on a 1988 Los Angeles County warrant alleging murder and conspiracy. He was scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday.

"I'm shocked," Miura's attorney, Mark Geragos, said. "One of my lawyers was with him for 12 hours yesterday, and he seemed in good spirits. He was looking forward to fighting this."

Beck declined to answer questions about the motive for the apparent suicide and what the death means to investigators, who had pursued Miura for decades. He said that both he and Detective Rick Jackson, who was on the plane that returned Miura to the United States, were "shocked and disappointed."

"This was not what we had envisioned for this case," Beck said.

Beck said Miura showed no signs of distress when he arrived at the LAPD's Parker Center before 6 a.m. Friday, where he was photographed and fingerprinted while being booked. Miura was not on suicide watch, and authorities had no reason to think he was suicidal, Beck said.

"He was extremely cooperative on the trip over (from Saipan). There were no problems," Beck said. "He had visitors from the (Japanese) consul and met with his attorneys."

Masara Dekiba, the consul general of Japan in California, was also stunned by the suicide. Dekiba spent 15 minutes with him Friday morning and said he looked fine.

Miura asked for his help in making an international telephone call to his wife and wanted the consul to make arrangements for special meals because he was allergic to fried food, Dekiba said.

"Why Mr Miura killed himself I do not know," Dekiba said.

Dekiba said he called the family personally to inform them of Miura's death. Family members planned to fly to Los Angeles to claim the body and take it back to Tokyo once investigations into the death are completed, a process that could take weeks, Dekiba said.

The Los Angeles County Department of the Coroner, where Miura's body was transferred from the morgue at Los Angeles County Hospital early Saturday morning, said it is planning to conduct an autopsy on Sunday to determine the precise cause of death.

His family in Hiratsuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, issued a statement under the name of ''relatives of Miura'' which read, ''We are saddened and at a loss to understand how a situation like this could happen, and feel that the former (company) president should at least have been protected while in custody.''

''We hope the Japanese government will verify the situation as soon as possible,'' they said in the statement, adding they have not received any explanation of the situation from the U.S. government.

Yoichi Kitamura, a lawyer who represented Miura during his trial in Japan, also said, ''He decided to go to Los Angeles after discussing with his attorney Mark Geragos and was about to start his battle in the best spirits. This is simply earth-shattering news.''

Miura was expected to enter a plea at a Los Angeles county court on Tuesday. He had been acquitted of murder in the case in Japan.

Miura's defense team was expected to seek his early release, citing the principle of double jeopardy which prevents a person from being retried in the same case.

Miura had been held on a murder conspiracy charge over the killing of Kazumi, then 28, who was shot in November 1981 while traveling with him in Los Angeles. She died about a year later due to the injury.

In 1994, Miura was convicted of the crime and sentenced to life in prison by the Tokyo District Court, which ruled the actual shooter was an unidentified third party. But in 1998, the Tokyo High Court overturned the ruling and in 2003 the Japanese Supreme Court upheld the decision.

Miura was arrested in Saipan in February this year, however, in connection with the murder case. The arrest warrant said Miura was alleged to have gestured to someone to shoot Kazumi in the head.

Miura denied any involvement in the shooting of his wife and tried to resist being transferred to Los Angeles.

But a court in Saipan turned down Miura's request for habeas corpus to block his transfer on Sept 12, and he later accepted the transfer after his demand for a nullification of the arrest warrant was also rejected by the Los Angeles superior court on Sept. 26.

The Los Angeles court validated an arrest warrant issued for Miura on a murder conspiracy charge -- a charge that does not exist in Japan -- while invalidating a warrant on a murder charge as he had already been tried for murder in the case in Japan.

His attorney earlier said Miura had told him, ''It's time to go to California'' when informed of the court decision.

© Wire reports

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.


107 Comments
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What??? Wow, I guess he did not exhibit any suicide watch tendencies. Wow.

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Guess that he was guilty too!

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Thanks, Miura, this will save U.S. taxpayers a bundle.

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Two for two.

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shocker. I had a feeling he would do it the old school way. He did whack around the victim, poor woman, many months before he did her in. He did the right thing in the end.

Cold case closed.

RIP

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well well well

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Guess that he was guilty too!

Of course. If one did not kill one's wife but were hounded with allegations that one did anyway, the knowledge of innocence and faith in God would sustain one to until proven innocent (no matter how many trials it takes) or until sent to God by the hands of man (and that would be a blessing, of course). So yeah, he must have been guilty! False accusations? Water off a ducks back! --Cirroc

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shocked but he probably was quilty and yes, as someone mentioned, save a bundle in prosecuting him. sad sad sad.

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What an outcome to this drama. Couldn't write a more riveting ending. Then again, maybe he was killed by those wicked US cops who decided to fit him up for the case they couldn't solve. Conspiracy theories anyone?

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Probably saved the LA county prosecutors from a possibly embarrasing loss (a la OJ?)

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if he was innocent, why not come back and prove it? why run and hide? oh well, no big loss.

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A serious setback for LA prosecutors.

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"Apparently" hanging himself?

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Not a huge surprise really.

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Wow, didn't expect this to happen.

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Quite unfortunate as now unless the shooter gives himself up that person is still out there.

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Well I don't blame him. He obviously had no future to look forward to so there was nothing to motivate him to keep going. And we can't simply assume that because he decided to leave his life he was therefore guilty of the crime.

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Guilty as O.J I say.

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Unbariibabuburu.

Now after digesting it, it's dirty. Waits til he is on the mainland. Probably a pathetic attempt to smear the US and divert attention/lay blame. Good riddance.

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Damn that guard who left the rope in the cell.....

At his age he wouldnt of see freedom, so maybe he decided he didnt want to tbe Bubba's friend

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In 1994, Miura was convicted of the crime and sentenced to life in prison by the Tokyo District Court, which ruled the triggerman was an unidentified third party.

So they ruled that the triggerman was an unknown third party but still convicted him?

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Guilty or not guilty, a man has ended his own life and that is not good at all. RIP

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"What you sow is what you reap!"

King punishes on the same day but Jesus punishes after 27 yrs.Better late than never.After all,Miira was good to go.

Hope he apologies to his wife in heaven.May his soul rest in peace.

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be nice if he had left a note admitting his crime

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You shouldn't be tried twice for the same crime, and you shouldn't put prisoners in a room with a rope. Sloppy and tragic, if you ask me.

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Wonder if they will cover up the Tazer injuries he received just prior to the "suicide" after he asked for access to his Japanese-speaking lawyer? He most likely died of a heart attack and the hanging was done by the police to cover their asses after he was dead or unconscious.

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People. This man was killed and not by his own hand. This is a high profile international case and due to the nature of his case he would have been placed in solitary confinement under 24 hour watch via video. High profile o not the standard procedure in California for inmates charged in a murder case is 24 hour watch in solitary. The truly sad thing is we will never know what happened and those who killed him wanted to make sure of that fact.

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He was guilty as hell, but not of suicide, that's for sure.

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my greatest fear in japan is ending up behind bars for something i didn't do. if it happens to me and i commit suicide, please don't take it as a sign of guilt.

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Conspiracy theories already - love it. The more likely explanation that he simply offed himself is obviously too obtuse.

By he way, where does it say that he hung himself with a rope?

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UnaqiDon, How do you hang yourself without a rope?

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i'm no expert but i'm guessing you could probably use your pants or a bedsheet.

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farmboy... use yer belt

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Ahhh. You live and learn.

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I take it you don't want much tv or movies. Bedsheets, pants, belt, shirt, many things can be used in place of a rope.

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You can take your shirt, remove your arms from the sleeves tie the arms around a high object and jump... Ive seen guys do it that way... doesnt always kill them though. Shorter you are the better it works.

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I would really like to know what the LA district attorney was planning to spring on Mr. Miura that made him go to all this effort in the first place.

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I have to agree with Beelzebub and others, what evidence did they exactly have to charge him this time. At any rate he offed himself so that's a clear indication in my opinion that he was guilty in some manner.

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LAPD all over again. A law unto themselves. Whether the defendant was guilty or not (to be tried in a court of law), the first and foremost rule is to secure the defendant and to make sure they cannot harm themselves whilst inside a cell. Heads should roll for this, a prisoner should never be allowed to commit suicide in a cell. Yet again (a la OJ Simpson) the LAPD get hung up on a previous non-conviction and go out of their way to even things up.

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Shockingly bad that he didn't get to go through the process of law and receive either his freedom or a sentence. Tragic.

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Death in custody - there will be lots of tax payers money spent on finding out how this happened. but Im guessing its less than putting him throught the legal system and then in jail ( if found guilty ).

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There is absolutely no motive for the LAPD to off Miura. Most of the guys who were on the force when his wife was shot in '81 are now retired or on desk jobs. You guys have been watching waaaaaay to much of "The Shield". (Fun show, BTW)

Miura killed himself and dollars to donuts, it's because he knew he was going to lose this time around.

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Miura san, thank you so much for saving tax payers money... Personally I think you should have offed yourself a long time ago... Double Jeporady... What a joke... The Japanese government gave Fujimori citizenship to prevent him from extradition... PS: You had more remorse and guts than OJ... Go to Hell Mirua ! ! !

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LFR/ mondaiji, it is a policeman's responsibility to ensure the safety of a prisoner in a cell. If a defendant commits suicide then people's heads should roll.

Go to Hell Mirua ! ! !

? But how did you know whether he was innocent or not without a trial ?

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If he was guilty or not, he defnitely saved tax payers money. It was HIS choice not to get a fair trial...

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mondaiji,

You haven't read this news article properly. Miura wasn't at liberty and free when he committed suicide. He was in an LAPD detention cell. It IS their responsibility purely for the fact that people want to know that he killed himself and it wasn't another prisoner or a cop.

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Looks like some over-zealous D.A. won't be using this case to gain political office.

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"Miura wasn't at liberty and free when he committed suicide. He was in an LAPD detention cell." Ohh, gee I am sorry I did not realize that LA cops put a noose around his head and offed him... What are you thinking, CO's have the time to check 24 hours on every prisoner they have... Wake up up, if somebody wants to die, they will... They can bite off their own tongue and bleed to death... Bahhhhh..... you wanna sue about that...

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Instead of actually taking responsibility for his actions he takes the "easy way out" Typical.

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At least we Californian tax payers won't have to pay a huge cost for this soap opera.

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be nice if he had left a note admitting his crime

No need for that. The action spoke for itself.

You shouldn't be tried twice for the same crime,

No. You should go free and do it again.

We will never know the truth, but the man hanging himself is kind of a statement. My wife, hearing the news, wondered 'what the meaning of his life and all he did actually was'.

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Wargalley - The DA is an elected official. Do your homework.

Finally Kazumi Miura can rest in peace.

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pack up your secrets and head off into the void cowboy- sayonara

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Finally Kazumi Miura can rest in peace.

You can't mean that. Nothing peace. He's been on the run for years. Lost his wife. Lost the trust of millions. Took his own life. No peace for him here or in the after life.

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This is how the US justice system drives innocent people - those who have proof whatsoever brought against them in a court of law - to kill themselves. A suit needs to be brought against the US justice system.

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hahaha yes clearly your honor.

Blackflag is right on the nail there. All these living room judges believe that suicide (after being hounded down and incarcerated by the cops) equals automatic guilt.

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I agree with the last two comments.

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"People. This man was killed and not by his own hand. This is a high profile international case and due to the nature of his case he would have been placed in solitary confinement under 24 hour watch via video. High profile o not the standard procedure in California for inmates charged in a murder case is 24 hour watch in solitary. The truly sad thing is we will never know what happened and those who killed him wanted to make sure of that fact." Yo, bro, pass it around! High profile international case my proverbial donkey! The world didn't care before and doesn't care now.

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Well, that settles that.

Bye-Bye scumbag. Thanks for saving Calfornia taxpayers a bundle.

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This is a typical old school Japanese criminal who evaded responsibility and Justice in true old school Japanese fashion.

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romulus is right. I agree with romulus.

10 minutes in solitary confinement and bang, the tried and tested cop-out answer-all solution, off with your head. Get off my tv you big hero.

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Quirinus agrees with romulus. He could at least have left a note to admit or deny the charges against him.

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I think the most disappointed people will be the lawyers. The money stops. Wouldn't surprise me if this little piece of Miura has an outstanding balance to them which will be unrecoverable.

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Typical. Instead of facing what he did and taking responsibility, he takes the easy way out. Seriously, do they teach this in school or something? If you have a problem, either quit or off yourself. Way too much of it lately in politics and in crime.

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Instead of facing what he did and taking responsibility, he takes the easy way out.

In Japan, 'taking responsibility' is always someone else's problem.

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(continued) Unless of course you are soooooo busted, then you take the easy way out.

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He decided that his life was over. He knew they'd find him guilty, and he'd have to serve out the remainder of his life behind bars. Obviously he couldn't take paying for his crimes, and took the cowards way out. Still, at least his cowardice saves the tax payers money. And finally provides a small measure of justice for his wife, whom he arranged to have murdered, so many years ago.

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He did better than OJ. He found the real killer.

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Who killed his wife?

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Okay, from my limited understanding about Japan. Is there a religion, or philosophy in Japanese culture that commiting suicide redeems people for terrible mistakes? also, Since there is a high suicide rate in Japan. Do Japanese commit suicide for a better life in the next world?

Like past posts stated at 61, Miura might have spent the rest of his life behind bars in the U.S. To him he would have gained alot by doing it.

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He was accused of killing his wife. Now that he put two and two together, he was his own jury and judge and sentenced himself to death. What a brave man, not because he hang himself but because he saved a lot of taxpayers money. He should do this earlier and more gorlden coins could be saved. His judgement day was just in time to save of global financial squeeze. What a good news Miura gave as he certainly was ahead of prosecutor and judgement. He gave up holding white flag by himself. Is this now the end, or will they go ahead and prosecute him in his grave?

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He flew over in a hat with the words PEACE POT MICRODOT. Classic.

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There's a certain irony, or perhaps poetic justice, that the LA County lock-up is rather close to Little Tokyo, where his wife was murdered so many years ago.

There certainly will be an investigation into how this happened; the staff is supposed to protect the inmates (including from themselves). Only the state has the right to take your life once you enter the penal system.

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Because of Miura’s sudden death, prosecution procedures are expected to be discontinued

Wow, I bet that took them a few hours to figure out.

wargalley,

Is there a religion, or philosophy in Japanese culture that commiting suicide redeems people for terrible mistakes?

Don't think so, but as Japan isn't a Christian country maybe they don't have the "suicide is a crime against God" notion that people from Christian-rooted countries have?

Anyhow, if he did commit suicide then I don't blame him. Whether he's guilty or not is beside the point in this opinion because the Americans made it clear that they were going to make sure he was convicted regardless. Unless they actually have the gunman who's willing to testify that yes, Miura paid him to do the job then they don't have sufficient proof to make it beyond reasonable doubt, so they might well have failed to get their coveted conviction. Convenient for them then that he appears to have opted out of the trial permanently.

Frankly I wouldn't be surprised if he was helped, after all, surely cells aren't supposed to have convenient things for people to hang themselves from?

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wargalley20011:

Yes and no. There is a long tradition in Japan of honor suicide (especially seppuku, or "hara kiri", for men, throat-slitting for women). There was also a tradition of retainers following their liege-lord in death. The suicide could be a way of atonement (for losing a battle, for example), or a way of protesting one's innocence, or a way of showing loyalty.

I don't think it's much about the promise of "a better life in the next world", as the Japanese have never seemed inclined to think about the afterlife too much -- rather, it seems that the LACK of any Judeo-Christian/Islamic-type promise of heaven or threat of hell makes the suicide option more palatable. When "face" -- how you are perceived by others -- is paramount, simply removing yourself from the equation may seem like a pretty obvious solution. Combine heavy societal pressures, de-emphasis of the individual in favor of the group, an established if archaic tradition, and a lack of religious convictions that proscribe suicide, and you've got a pretty good recipe for a high suicide rate.

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He was in isolation, or protective custody, and used an article of clothing to hang himself:

According to California Minimum Jail Standards, cell inspections are required every 30 minutes. Based on preliminary information, authorities said that detention officers assigned to the portion of the jail housing Miura had conducted a required cell check and found nothing unusual. About 10 minutes later, an officer passing Miura's cell "saw what Miura had done,"

"Irony of ironies, that after all this time he's finally back and now this," [Chief] Bratton said this morning. "It's tragic in the sense that the opportunity to have him go before a court, well, that opportunity is not going to present itself. Whatever his reason for taking his own life, well, it leaves the whole matter unsettled."

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-miura12-2008oct12,0,1211729.story

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If he did commit suicide?! Please. Miura's cowardly act is going to put Japan and it's penchant for suicide into the international spotlight over the next couple of weeks, and yes expose the country as a bunch of responsibility-evading cowards who when up against the wall, will cut off that cheap price tag that was attached to their life.

LA police said Miura exhibited no warning signs in his mental exam. Did they note he was Japanese? That there have been more than 30,000 suicides a year for the last ten years? That Japanese will not voice their opinion or intention, in fact they will lie about it, if it is incongruent with their surroundings? They will be a bit more careful the next time they take a Japanese into custody.

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So many 'people' open their mouth's and let there ignorance pour out, it seems that these same 'people' do the same thing when their fingers are allegedly 'engaged' with their brains. A human being has died by suicide. How anyone can find that 'funny' or 'an easy way out' is abhorrent and must bring in to question these peoples sense of self. He was from a society where this act has a deep spiritual --NOTE not religious-- resonance. Want to learn? Want to step out of your medieval mindset? Read Udaman, *12:10 pm 12th October, for starters. Take yourself on a journey and perhaps, perhaps, you'll find some sense of humanity and connect with the fact a person is dead.

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Take yourself on a journey and perhaps, perhaps, you'll find some sense of humanity and connect with the fact a person is dead.

Hmm bleeding heart. I would have asked the poor, poor Miura before he took his own life about his sense of humanity, you know, the one in which he asked several people to kill his wife. But now it's too late. Poor, poor man. He didn't deserve to kill himself. How did this happen? What a tragedy.

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Beats getting gang-raped in a California prison by a bunch of black or "Latino" gang members. If I were in his shoes -elderly, Japanese, foreign, weak, and very likely to get convicted- I would have done the same. If he were facing being dropped into a tigers' cage instead of a California prison, he may not have killed himself.

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Wow! After reading some posts I stand corrected and boy am I embarrassed! What Miura did was very honorable and he deserves all our sympathies. He took great responsibility by killing himself. He did the right thing for himself and his family. The LAPD should feel bad for causing misunderstanding and confusion. This is extremely regrettable. Silly me for thinking otherwise.

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Nice to see the intelligentsia is online in force today. A person dead and that’s all you have to offer? Dear me, sad souls. Ah, well, back to sharing some love and peace about. Bye 'tuff-meat guys'.

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Did you know that this sconbag, few months ago, stel some groseries from a convinince store? and also before the shoting of his ex-wife (kazumi) in a hotel roome he hit her with a hammer in the head? for meny japanese he is a hero,!! becouse he took his life by himself, I wonder what the family if his ex-wife (kazuni) thinks about?

And you who read this, stel thinking that he was not gilty?

Is he a Japanese hero? the japanese should falow his example to get (one oku and a half) just like this, easy and simple.! and not taxes from a insurent campany! what a world!!! what do you think!

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looks like he had enough.

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Yado: No.

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bebert

"Beats getting gang-raped in a California prison by a bunch of black or "Latino" gang members."

Yes, because being gang-raped by white gang members is oh, so much more pleasant . . . WTH?!

YangYong,

It's tragic that Miura chose to take his own life, rather than face up to his responsibilities as a human being for the execution-style murder of his own wife some 27 years ago. Prosecutors both in L.A. and Japan felt that there was sufficient evidence, both circumstantial substantially large insurance policies taken out on his wife, Kazumi - and material -including testimony from a Japanese woman with whom Miura was having an a affair who was asked by Miura to murder his wife.

By most observers' estimation, the man got away with murder for 27 years, and regardless of what may be thought by conspiracy theorists with disdain and distrust for the very legal system that allows them to have conversations like this unimpeded, the justice system had a legitimate and strong enough case against Miura to bring him to trial - and likely convict him.

Stereotype-tinted interpretations of the "Zen of Japanese Suicide" aside, Miura's death more closely fits another growing trend in the cultural fabric of suicide in Japan, namely that of literally escaping from perceived hardship, something with which Japanese society is still struggling to get a handle on. Miura chose a path of least resistance, and took a coward's way out, furthers cementing the image that suicide in the fact of wrongdoing is acceptable. His cowardice leaves any hope for closure in his wife's murder impossible to satisfy. For that, I and other posters, here I suspect, are hard pressed to feel too much sympathy for him.

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Show a picture of the body as it was discovered. You'll probably find that he is kneeling.

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LF: Too bad you don't 'read all' and just knee jerk react to something your scanning left eye picks up on, which in turn engages your response without a full background of thoughts, ideas and input.

See: YangYong at 12:03 AM JST - 12th October

Tinted with Zen, mate Japan is Zen. Be a bit modest in your knowledge of nothing, we won't point and giggle as much. A person is dead. Never a laughing matter or somethig to be glib about. Note to yourself, save time and don't respond, repeat this mantra, 'I have learned.'

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he should have monitored closely.. of course it is a sign that he will probably commit suicide because he has shown no distress and in good spirit. it is actually a sign that a person is most likely to commit suicide..ater being depressed and after the first attempt he will then make people believe that he is okay and overcome the crisis but in fact he is in good spirit and condition to commit suicide again and try to succeed in it. That's what miura probably did..so sad

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Wow, I did not know this many people cared for this guy? Were you all holding support signs, saying "free Miura", or is it just because he finally decided to off himself? And that is where we decide to care...

Do I care? Nope. Saved some tax payers money? Yes. Sorry his "zen" affects you there YangYong...mate. lol. Who is being modest? Not you, or are you trying to be humble?

Either way, he took life and he took his own. Even with all the beliefs, there is no heaven for this scum. Only good thing he did, he did not waste a good length of rope.

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YangYong,

Yes, I saw your comments on how "shockingly bad" it was that Miura didn't face the legal system, which was a fairly even coment.

But then I ran smack dab into the following from you 7 minutes later:

"So many 'people' open their mouth's and let there ignorance pour out, it seems that these same 'people' do the same thing when their fingers are allegedly 'engaged' with their brains"

And I couldn't help but notice how incredibly pretentious and self-righteous you sounded, berating other posters for not crying into their coffee that Miura was no longer able to escape a justice system that he had been fleeing for some TWENTY-SEVEN years.

The suicide of an individual, whether viewed through Western eyes, or through your romanticized interpretation of the Cliff Note version of the Heike Monogatari, is tragic only in the devastation it leaves behind for the survivors. It's an entirely selfish act that benefits no one. Miura robbed his wife's family of the truth and society of its right to justice. And for that, seeing him no longer among the living while his wife lays unjustly rotting in the ground, may cause some posters a small degree of satisfaction.

Japan IS Zen? Not for a long while now, "mate." You might want to take some of your own advice regarding ignorance and temper your comments with the realization that the entire world does not march to the drumbeat of your particular brand of pseudo-enlightened New Age silliness.

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Yang Yong Said:It's tragic that Miura chose to take his own life, rather than face up to his responsibilities as a human being for the execution-style murder of his own wife some 27 years ago. Prosecutors both in L.A. and Japan felt that there was sufficient evidence, both circumstantial substantially large insurance policies taken out on his wife, Kazumi - and material -including testimony from a Japanese woman with whom Miura was having an a affair who was asked by Miura to murder his wife.By most observers' estimation, the man got away with murder for 27 years, and regardless of what may be thought by conspiracy theorists with disdain and distrust for the very legal system that allows them to have conversations like this unimpeded, the justice system had a legitimate and strong enough case against Miura to bring him to trial - and likely convict him.Stereotype-tinted interpretations of the "Zen of Japanese Suicide" aside, Miura's death more closely fits another growing trend in the cultural fabric of suicide in Japan, namely that of literally escaping from perceived hardship, something with which Japanese society is still struggling to get a handle on. Miura chose a path of least resistance, and took a coward's way out, furthers cementing the image that suicide in the fact of wrongdoing is acceptable. His cowardice leaves any hope for closure in his wife's murder impossible to satisfy. For that, I and other posters, here I suspect, are hard pressed to feel too much sympathy for him. I say: Try to find something out about this: first of all, the possibility that he killed his wife "executions style" is not set in concrete, so you can't be sure. It's possible that he had someone else carry out the attack, and a very small chance he didn't have anything to do it. Also your belief that Japanese people used to take their lives for an "easy way out" is wrong: they did it because they believed that it was better to die than to be dishonored as prisoners. I am Japanese and thus probably know about current affairs more than you, so don't try to pretend to be an expert on everything Japanese. So I can say that he didn't do it out of cowardice, it was probably out of shame if he actually commited the crime.

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Miyazakikn,

your belief that Japanese people used to take their lives for an "easy way out"...

I never said anything of the sort. I said "Miura's death more closely fits another growing trend in the cultural fabric of suicide in Japan, namely that of literally escaping from perceived hardship..."

This is in reference to suicide as it pertains to modern Japan, not perceptions of suicide among followers of some bushido code from an earlier time.

The warrior class in pre-Meiji Jidai Japan may have approached suicide as an honorable way to avoid the disgrace of capture. Japanese soldiers during the Pacific War may have done the same to avoid the shame of defeat. But this is not the Edo Period, this is not the Pacific War, and Kazuyoshi Miura was not even remotely close to being a "warrior" of any type.

it was probably out of shame if he actually commit(t)ed the crime.

This may actually be closer to the truth, and you could have simply said so.

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Ahh, but this can stay:

"I am Japanese and thus probably know about current affairs more than you, so don't try to pretend to be an expert on everything Japanese."

Gotcha.

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LFRA: The holes in your understanding are vast, so much so that it's doubtful if there is an event horizon to be expected --anywhere or anytime-- of understanding. By simply making up movements of thought you believe you walk away glorious, dear me, did you flick and pick through a short dictionary to type your post and think, oh that word will do? Then slap on a thick clay of emotive blurb. How you --or anyone putting themselves forward as a human-- can laugh and sneer at another human's death is no longer such a mystery it's pretty clear how far removed you are. Good luck to you mate. Don't forget the mantra.

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Not to kill a dead horse again, but tonight I was talking with a normally objective and intelligent Japanese man in his 30's and he raised the following points. 1) Its quite difficult to commit suicide with only a tee-shirt. 2) There is not anything in that small cell room with which to hang oneself from. 3) Law demands he be watched constantly (not every 10 minutes) until he's released from that cell to the next stage.

Is any of this credible?

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Not correct. Every prisoner can NOT be watched 24/7. Unless there is a compelling need to put a suicide watch on someone, they are left to their own devices and checked on every few minutes.

Secondly, it is NOT as difficult as one would think to use a tee to kill yourself. Rolled up like a rope, they are quite strong, albeit not as long as would be optimum. Wouldn't take much for a dedicated soul to use it anyway.

And ANYthing can be used to hang yourself from. A light fixture comes to mind, bearing that installed items in a cell are usually more soundly fixed than what you find in your home (for the safety of the prisoners and guards). A high bar cross beam would work if it's high enough off the ground.

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You'll probably find that he is kneeling.

That would take a serious amount of self-determination.

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Thanks Loki520 for your response. The J-native was trying to say that since they made long and hard deliberation of over 8 months to bring him to L.A., they were almost compelled to treat him as a special case. For example, the Jon Ramsey daughter's suspected guy who they flew in from Thailand. That type of high powered alert watching. Not leaving alone for even 10 minutes. Secondly, maybe a tee can work, and of course I'm not at all versed in matters of this kind, but after seeing a photo of O.J. Simpsons potential room the other day, I didn't notice any high beams or sound light fixtures. It looked very, very bare. Just a bed, a window, and a toilet in the same small four walls. And third, don't you think the J-public is owed some kind of explanation more than has been received to date. It does look fuzzy. I'm not saying send the camera film if any were taken. If not, this is another bone of contention in the highly camera'd 24/7 style which Japan shows in convenient stores no less. Is this the bottom line? No security camera in the cell for a very infamous and widely followed foreign criminal? I'd think they should have given him at least a security camera watched cell, don't you?

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How is he infamous? Because it is in Japanese news? That it made it into JT? Maybe it was mildly infamous in Cali, basically just in LA and I'm sorry the Central and East Coast of the states could care less. I am sure most people in Europe, Africa, China (and the list could go on and on) could of cared less. Did he warrant being watched for suicide? No. Again, the best thing this guy did, was spare the tax payers money and not waste good rope.

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O.K. I meant sensationlizd here in Japan. If you were here when the crime was committed 28 years ago, like I was, you would remember it as the story similar to the OJ Simpson story. The point is, he was taken to a foreign country (USA) and he should have been given some kind of special watch, and still nobody responds about the camera's in the room, or how difficult it is to noose yourself with a tee-shirt. Or is this just a matter of Chinese beans? And did you read the new story, "Miura's lawyer says he has proof his client did not commit suicide.".....I hope its alot of hot air, but....

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I take back everything about my doubts. I just talked with an ex Tokyo Police inspector whom is now my English student and who trained in the FBI way back when he began his career. He became absolutely incensed when I asked him his opinion of whether a person could committ suicide with just a tee-shirt, saying he witnessed more times than he cared to recount when J-people took their own lives with a simple tee-shirt, in 10 minutes, sometimes using a door knob as the lynch pin. So yes, its possible, and yes, everybody in LA police force believed they found the man who committed the crime. Miura must have believed he was doomed, and that was it. And my police friend wouldn't hear another word about it.

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That's because it's likely true. You would be surprised what a dedicated soul is capable of doing. Things you and I would NEVER consider they will do if they feel cornered. And they can figure things out amazingly fast.

As far as cells go... remember this... US federal law enforcement agencies (of which I belong to one here in Japan) are just as underfunded, if not MORE so, than any other US government agency. Funds will go towards operations, training, dual-use equipment (think video camera that doubles as recording device for interrogations), etc... long before they go to equipment used soley to monitor a prisoner. Military police not so much, but federal law enforcement... definately. Windfall money ("Hey, look what we got!!") is gonna be used to get things like this, and those windfalls are few and far between.

Part of it is this... You know about this suicide because it's a HIGH NEWS ITEM. JN in a US prison for a long ago murder, etc.. The sensationalism of it is what made it news. Prisoners, for the most part, do not require a suicide watch before they are judged and sentenced. A human guard would cost money for ONLY keeping an eye on him. A camera in each cell would cost money to purchase, install, maintain AND monitor. Not likely to happen in EVERY cell. Some yes, but most? No.

Sad to say... MONEY, or the lack thereof, is the root cause of something like this.

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I like how people are saying that Miura was somehow "hounded" and "pressed" for years, then go on to blame the USA, the US Justice System, and the LAPD for Miura's suicide, charging some ludicrous idea of a conspiracy in order for the LAPD to, in some grotesque fashion, to "make up" for blundering the O.J. Case (diod anybody see the news, oh, say, two weeks ago when O.J. was found guilty of assault and battery?). What is interesting about this is that Miura was stupid enough to travel to Saipan, where U.S. laws, rules, and customs are ineffect, and have himself caught when using his Japanese Passport (All the while knowing that there was an outstanding warrant for his arrest). Miura then went on to fight extradition all the way up until he was actually extradited.

I say that the man killed himself because he knew he was guilty. Otherwise, why fight the extradition, and hide behind Japanese Law? If Mr. Miura were really innocent, then why not face trial, stand, and defend himself? Why fight? Why act elusive? Why weasle his way out of his responsibility to his dead wife, and stand trial for her murder?

To me, this is no surprise. No, the LAPD didn't kill him, he wasn't murdered, and he wasn't tasered because he didn't understand English (obviously, he knew enough to hire a high profile attourney the likes of Mark Geragos): Mr. Miura was a coward. He murdered his wife (or had a heavy hand in ordering it), and when he was caught (I've heard that some criminals, when they are let off, get some sort of invincibility complex where they think that they cannot be captured again, which some think has happened with O.J.; it obviously happened to Miura, otherwise why did he go to Saipan despite knowing that there was an outstanding warrant for his arrest that was decades old?) he evades, eluded, and tried to slip away, and when faced with the possibility of receiving serious jail time and a conviction for murder, sought a more honorable way to depart. I can't say I'm surprised.

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Again, thanks Loki520 and Blue Tiger for your informative remarks. I wish people like you would join the comments of these and other topics more in the future. We need the words of experts and well informed, as much as just those wanting to blow off some hot air. One more question. Why/how/ does a Mark Geragos not look in the mirror with claiming he has "proof" it wasn't a suicide? Those are unequivocal words, no?

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Blue Tiger and Loki520,

We don't agree on a lot of things politically, but you both pretty much took the words out of my mouth on this. The system wasn't to blame for this. Miura was.

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LFR.... see! We're not so bad...

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