crime

U.S. military serviceman, girlfriend found dead in apparent murder suicide

42 Comments

A U.S. military serviceman killed his Japanese girlfriend and then himself at an apartment in Chatan, Okinawa, on Saturday morning, police said.

According to police, the 31-year-old serviceman, who is believed to be a member of the U.S. Marine Corps' 3rd Marine Division, and the woman, 44, were found lying in a 6th-floor apartment in the Kuwae area at around 7:30 a.m., Sankei Shimbun reported. Both had stab wounds. They were confirmed dead at the scene.

The woman's child, who was also in the apartment, was not hurt, police said. The child called a relative who contacted police.

Police said a bloodstained knife was found in the apartment near the man and believe he killed the woman, and then stabbed himself.

In a statement to media, U.S. Forces Japan said the Naval Criminal Investigative Service is working with local police to look into the deaths. The statement said: "This is an absolute tragedy and we are fully committed to supporting the investigation."

Meanwhile, Kyodo News reported that Japanese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Takeo Akiba called U.S. Ambassador William Hagerty, asking for cooperation with the investigation.

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42 Comments
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Damn....my heart goes out to the child here!

16 ( +19 / -3 )

Horrible, poor child.

17 ( +18 / -1 )

Unforgivable and barbaric act. What a coward. Rest in Peace to the innocent woman. I hope the child is cared for by loving family.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

How can we set up a fund to donate to the child orphaned and changed forever?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

That poor kid. (S)he has a long journey ahead that may not be so nice.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

According to the Ryukyu Shimpo, the daughter of the woman called relatives who contacted the police.

If she is old enough to make that call to relatives, she is old enough to realize what happened, and I sincerely pray that she gets the help she needs to get over the shock of losing her mother like that.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

I love you honey, therefore, instead of letting you go, I’m going to kill you.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Tragic... Chatan, Kuwae. I have fond memories of that area and Camp Foster.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Wow!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Very sad for the kid. However, let’s keep perspective on this. There seems to be a lot of anger directed at the murderer and it would seem to be because he is a US serviceman. Murder suicides are a very common thing in Japan and it’s unusual to see it involving a foreigner. Hopefully the child will receive the counseling and support he/she needs.

0 ( +10 / -10 )

What on Earth could have caused this horrific and senseless murder-suicide? Love and death should remain the stuff of opera and Bunroku, not real life. In real life this is an act of utter stupidity. I can only assume that the man was totally out of his mind. I hope the child will be well cared for. She'll need a lot of emotional support throughout her life.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Nice to see no one blaming America; everyone, without exception blaming the individual.

Now, when the perp is Japanese.........!

8 ( +11 / -3 )

I'm not sure why many people seem to be jumping to conclusions concerning this story, considering the dearth of information. Anyone remember the airman stabbed by his crazy girlfriend a short time ago?

Here we have a aging 44 year old woman with a child by another man and a strapping 31 years young Marine. Who's to say that he didn't threaten to leave her, she shanked him in his sleep, then killed herself?

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

This is why Okinawa people hate those bases and the American soldiers that come with them.

Double standard when it comes to criticism too. If a Japanese does something bad, all Japanese are responsible. US service men committing crimes and murder, are treated with white gloves, it's an individual in that case.

-4 ( +10 / -14 )

AlexBecu, group punishment was the default in the 14 years I had been stationed in Japan. 1 person does something terrible, 10,000 people would get punished.

Also, at least in the last 10-15 years, punishment has not usually been light in the major incidents I saw. The days of criminals running back to base to be safe from prosecution are long gone. At least that was what I saw.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I personally feel bad for the child. One night when I was 11, my father (ARMY at the time) was drunk and had the muzzle of a pistol pressed towards my mom's head. I guess they had been arguing all night. I had to creep downstairs to the phone and the call cops on my dad. Luckily, my little brother slept thought the whole ordeal, but I'll never forget it, by the evening of the following day my brother and I were flown from Texas to North Carolina to stay with my Mom's sister for 1.5 years. Could have been much worse....

6 ( +6 / -0 )

This is not creating an excuse for anyone.

However, military service has the potential to create mental health issues for many people that have served. Especially those that have fought in wars. The military changes people. Basic training changes people. The environment changes people.

i am sad to hear about what that must go through and had to witness.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The guy must have been suffering a great deal to take his own life. A tragedy for all parties involved. Especially the child. Hopefully this comment thread will not devolve into base bashing and racist comments.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

It could have been the woman who killed the man first and then herself. I think people are to easy to always blame the man first.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

To the folks who are posting that it could have just as easily been the woman:

A. It is usually the man who commits "couples" murder-suicide.

B. There are basic clues at a murder scene which inform the police as to who killed whom.

C. There was a witness.

So, perhaps you should just accept that he most likely killed her, and make your comments based upon that assumption.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

I give the commanding general of the Marines here in Okinawa credit, he taped a message on AFN (Armed Forces Network) and it has been broadcast a number of times already this AM. He is tell all service members about the incident, and asking that all military people on Okinawa keep things toned down, and pay special attention to their behavior now.

In ALL the years I have been here, this is the FIRST time I have heard anything like it, after an incident, involving a military member.

Hopefully folks will listen!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

The inevitable guano storm is coming, and while it may sound crass as hell, I am rather glad that this guy committed suicide, as his killing himself is going to put a damper, to a degree, to the "protests" that are bound to happen!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Awful news and heartbreaking for the child who had to experience it.

I don’t see what the individual’s work affiliation has to do with this depraved act. He is an awful person and it was he, himself, that made him that way.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I give the commanding general of the Marines here in Okinawa credit, he taped a message on AFN (Armed Forces Network) and it has been broadcast a number of times already this AM. He is tell all service members about the incident, and asking that all military people on Okinawa keep things toned down, and pay special attention to their behavior now.

In ALL the years I have been here, this is the FIRST time I have heard anything like it, after an incident, involving a military member.

Hopefully folks will listen!

Yubaru this happens litterally everytime there is an off base incident. This was actually pretty tame as there was no curfew or drinking ban imposed. It may be because the guy also killed himself which means he likely had issues that went unhelped.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Yubaru

Every time something bad happens involing US military personal in Okinawa, there is protest about how terrible the US military is. Are they really that bad? Are the Japanese citizens there all law abiding and commits no crimes?

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Recently a 21-year-old American stationed at Misawa in Aomori was arrested for drunkenly assaulting his Japanese girlfriend at the apartment they shared off base. I remember thinking at the time that at least it was lucky the episode didn’t go so far as him killing her. It’s very sad that this current case did go that far, especially as there was a child involved.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

This all begs the question of whether this would be happening with the same frequency if there were no US forces stationed here. It's also a matter of the severity of the crimes committed, which often result in serious physical injury and the loss of life. The age of foreign military installations in foreign countries as passed, the idea of containment is outdated, and the US needs to shutter their bases and stand down their troops. Pack them off back home and let them keep the peace there.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

It's also a matter of the severity of the crimes committed, which often result in serious physical injury and the loss of life. 

So no Japanese living in Okinawa has ever committed crimes which result in serious physical injury and loss of life. I believe Japan has low crime rate but this is really s miracle.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Every time something bad happens involing US military personal in Okinawa, there is protest about how terrible the US military is. Are they really that bad? Are the Japanese citizens there all law abiding and commits no crimes?

What's your point? Everyone here knows the politicians and anti-base folks will use this as another opportunity to "protest".

But you can not make comparisons to Japanese folks, ONLY Japanese can obfuscate, deflect, and compare, foreigners dont count!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

yoshisan88

"Are the Japanese citizens there all law abiding and commits no crimes?"

Japanese are "allowed" to commit crimes in Japan; it's their country. If a Japanese "must commit a crime", he/she should do it in Japan; not in America, certainly not in Britain. Or in Bophuthatswana.

Americans and other gaijin, are NOT Japanese; they're not supposed to be committing crimes in Japan, as they don't belong there, no matter how much pretence on the contrary.

Comparing Japanese crime by Japanese inside of Japan with that of foreigners living there if a folly of monumental proportions.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Comparing Japanese crime by Japanese inside of Japan with that of foreigners living there if a folly of monumental proportions.

Just want some facts, mate. There is no need to be so mean. Calling other "a folly of monumental proportion" is not very nice. But I guess the JT readers are kinda like this. On the other hand, learn a new phase. Thanks, mate.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Looking at some of tha above comments, it is obvious that the concept of crime passionnel does not exist in Japan.

I hope that the child gets all the care an attention he/she needs.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Well, what do you expect? Not exactly the creme de la creme over here,are they? Either jail or serve in the military in many cases.Just do what the Philippines did and kick 'em out.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Alex Becu: "This is why Okinawa people hate those bases and the American soldiers that come with them."

Yeah.... there has never been a murder suicide in Japan that did no involve a US service person. Never. Certainly not every day.

"Double standard when it comes to criticism too."

Unless it's you, I guess.

"If a Japanese does something bad, all Japanese are responsible."

Only you think so. Well done!

"US service men committing crimes and murder, are treated with white gloves, it's an individual in that case."

That doesn't even make sense. You're suggesting that if one US service person commits murder, they all did? Well, then, if you are Japanese, and a Japanese committed a crime today, so did you, by your logic. Hang on a sec:

https://japantoday.com/category/crime/man-arrested-for-robbing-over-100-cabs-by-asking-for-change-first

Why would you do that?

https://japantoday.com/category/crime/man-arrested-for-fatally-stabbing-roommate

And only a day after you stabbed your roommate!

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

According to this link, the PMO (MP) has contacted the Okinawa Pref. Police in January to warn them that the sailor was a threat to the woman. The police offered her protective custody, but she declined.

https://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20190415-00000002-ryu-oki

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That link’s contents are more nuanced than BeerDeliveryGuy’s post would lead one to think.

It it says the Japanese police determined she was a victim of stalking and DV and encouraged her to file a report. She declined on the grounds that she had asked the military poluce to take care of the matter and therefore it wasn’t necessary for the Japanese police to act.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Correction: military police

Also forgot to mention that even though she declined to file a report, the Japanese police continued to follow up by contacting her several times.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Oh, and for the likes of getbent, the autopsy revealed she had defense wounds.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Why would a man any man kill a woman and then himself? Does his being in a military play a role? I myself do not understand why anyone would kill another and then themselves. Lets drop nationalities to help us understand the why.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Another Japanese woman murdered by an American and still some people are trying to shift the blame unto her.

Horrific.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

YuriOtani: "I myself do not understand why anyone would kill another and then themselves. Lets drop nationalities to help us understand the why."

For a change, we are in agreement.

Toasted Heretic: "Another Japanese woman murdered by an American and still some people are trying to shift the blame unto her."

Who on earth is blaming the woman?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

This all begs the question of whether this would be happening with the same frequency if there were no US forces stationed here. It's also a matter of the severity of the crimes committed, which often result in serious physical injury and the loss of life.

Yes, crime statistics show that US Servicemen make up for a small fraction of the crime rate and violent crime rate in the prefecture. So really, the nationality, the presence, and the person’s profession doesn’t matter. Some individuals in this world, regardless of their nationality or jobs are alive to do atrocious things.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

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