crime

Woman arrested for killing elderly invalid husband

25 Comments

Police said Saturday they have arrested a 61-year-old woman for allegedly killing her 75-year-old invalid husband at their home in Yokohama.

According to police, the woman -- identified as Kazuko Tokoro -- stabbed her husband Gihei with a knife at about 4 a.m. on Thursday morning, NTV reported. She called police to report what she had done.

Police said they found Gihei with stab wounds to many parts of his body. He was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

During questioning, Kazuko was quoted as saying that she was physically and mentally exhausted from taking care of her husband, NTV reported. Gihei had been bedridden since suffering a stroke 10 years ago, police said.

Kazuko was also quoted as saying that she wanted to kill herself, too.

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25 Comments
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While I can't condone murder, I understand the stress she experienced. It is up to the individual to decide whether they are able to care for somebody in his condition. Each of us only has one life, and knowing you're going to spend the rest of it working hard to care for a person, with no prospect for your own future, may be too much for some. Having said that, I would at least have brought him to a hospital and walked away.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Stabbed him numerous times. Apparently not too exhausted.

I can understand her stress but there is obviously a more humane way. Now she is going to jail. I guess soon we may hear about her suicide in the news later. As I dont know how well JP police do suicide watch or if they even take measures to prevent suicide.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Agree with Al Stewart. When I scanned the headline, I thought "poor thing" then I read the article and I was taken aback. I can empathize with her over her stress and exhaustion in caring for a terminally ill spouse but stabbing him to death?! I thought she gave him an overdose of his medication or sleeping pills or left the gas on. Slitting the wrists would have been a better alternative than stabbing him...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Did she call city hall for help?? They have programs set up to help members of family who are looking after the elderly. Heck, if you book far enough in advance, some places will TAKE the old people away for a few days - my PIL just started using this service a few months ago and it has been a lifesaver. There IS help out there - for people who ask for it.

I feel for her and it sounds horrible but killing? And stabbing?? Lady, sleeping pills for god's sake!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Stabbing hurts like hell especially numerous times. She could have given him the old charcoal going away treatment.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Can we imagine the emotions this guy felt?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sorry, but no excuse. I can fully understand the exhaustion involved with taking care of someone who needs the constant care, but there was something else she could have done. Hope she 'recuperates' from her exhaustion in prison, for a lengthy time.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Multiple stab wounds implies rage, not exhaustion or stress. If she merely wished her husband dead then a single cut to any of the major arteries (brachial, femoral, carotid) would have done the trick in under a minute with minimal discomfort (but a bit of mess). She was frustrated and vindictive, angry about being chained to an invalid, and she took out her frustrations on him when there were other options. There's no excuse for this.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

As the husband I would have asked it happen 10 years ago.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If it were a right brain stroke, the wife probably had more than just physical problems to take care of. he had probably become the insensitive, demanding bastard right brain strokes tend to lead to.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This is sad. Whatever happened to "in sickness and in health"?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Multiple stab wounds implies rage, not exhaustion or stress. If she merely wished her husband dead then a single cut to any of the major arteries (brachial, femoral, carotid) would have done the trick in under a minute with minimal discomfort (but a bit of mess). She was frustrated and vindictive, angry about being chained to an invalid, and she took out her frustrations on him when there were other options. There's no excuse for this.

We can only make assumptions based on speculation in a case for which we know very few facts. And from such assumptions it is easy to make quick judgement.. On moral grounds the claim might be made that there is "no excuse for this"; however, on compassionate grounds there undoubtedly are reasons. Perhaps even some good ones. The suicidal wishes expressed may very indicate mental illness of the wife, which certainly suggests there could be legal grounds as well.

What I also find interesting in this thread is the numerous suggestions for superior methods.

The larger problem is society's refusal to provide legal, safe, merciful and stress-free ways to choose to end perpetual suffering of a human being. Any human being who kept a dog alive for 10 dog-years under the same circumstances would be judged as a heartless monster.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Serrano,

Whatever happened to "in sickness and in health"?

I don't believe those words are in a Japanese wedding ritual, eh?

On topic, this woman has been taking care of her husband since she was 51. That's not terribly old and if she had the ability to read Japanese should could probably have found assistance via the city hall or a compassionate nurse or doctor. However, she seems to have 'ganbaro-ed' for 10 years. The end result, of course, being a murder followed by incarceration. I think when my spouse becomes incapacitated, I'll ask for help instead.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Oops. My mistake:

read Japanese should could probably ???

read Japanese SHE could probably...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

philly1: "We can only make assumptions based on speculation in a case for which we know very few facts. "

Fact is she MURDERED her husband by stabbing him several times. Do you debate this fact?

"however, on compassionate grounds there undoubtedly are reasons. Perhaps even some good ones."

Yeah, wonder how much compassion she felt after the first, second, third stabbings. Maybe she felt bad after the fifth?

"The suicidal wishes expressed may very indicate mental illness of the wife, which certainly suggests there could be legal grounds as well."

And what moves did she make to kill herself after butchering her husband? NONE. People who want to off themselves, like the mothers who kill their kids we read about nearly every day, should just do so if they cannot find the help. Don't take others with you -- there's nothing 'compassionate' about it!

"The larger problem is society's refusal to provide legal, safe, merciful and stress-free ways to choose to end perpetual suffering of a human being. "

I don't see any indication that he wanted to die, I only see that SHE wanted him to die so that she could be less tired from taking care of him. Feel free to explain why this is not only not murder, but not selfish.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Like I said... I hope she feels less 'exhausted' in prison. She'll probably get little or nothing by way of punishment if she shows remorse, given the Japanese law system when you kill family, but I do hope she gets at least 10 years. Then, when she's near the age her husband was, she might ACTUALLY feel a bit exhausted and need help.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@sensei258 I agree with everything you said. Unfortunately, I think most Japanese people have a deep sense of familial obligation where it makes more sense, to them, to kill members of their family than to walk away. Sad state of affairs. The Japanese gov't needs to offer more programs for people in need.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Is there a better word than "invalid?"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Is there a better word than "invalid?"

I was wondering the same thing...what's an "invalid husband"??

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yeah, wonder how much compassion she felt after the first, second, third stabbings. Maybe she felt bad after the fifth?

All of that is speculation. And I did not mean compassion for the husband, but viewing the wife's situation with compassion in the absence of numerous facts about the case. We do not know how abusive (or not) the husband may have been. A decade of emotional and/or physical abuse can do much damage to a person And if the woman were mentally ill--or in a position to claim insanity as a defense--her ability to reason within the parameters of what is "normal" may have been affected. Telling her what to do without being in the situation to understand it, is too easy.

I don't see any indication that he wanted to die, I only see that SHE wanted him to die so that she could be less tired from taking care of him. Feel free to explain why this is not only not murder, but not selfish.

Again, the article did not provide such facts. So speculating about them has no purpose. The facts could only be established through a legal inquiry. Only a court of law could establish whether this case murder or something else. It could be involuntary manslaughter or self-defense or not guilty by reason of insanity.

That's why courts of law exist and (thankfully) cases are not tried in the press and verdicts handed down by readers like us.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm really hoping that she doesn't get to claim his pension. Not like she'll go to prison for this - suspended sentence.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

truly this is a global issue. When and how we die in an age where technology makes is possible to stay alive well past the point that in the past one would have died. I'm not saying one is right or the other is wrong or that this woman did the right thing. But clearly end of life decisions are needed while the person is able to make his/her will known.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

philly: "Again, the article did not provide such facts. So speculating about them has no purpose."

Your entire first post was speculation, so I'm not sure what you're talking about. Is it okay to speculate she was abused but not speculate she wasn't? The facts we know are that this woman stabbed the man NUMEROUS times, and that is an act of rage.

"Only a court of law could establish whether this case murder or something else."

Ummm... wrong. It was murder. To what DEGREE it was murder (ie. premeditated, manslaughter, etc.) can be decided by a court, but she called the police to admit she... wait for it... MURDERED her husband. If it was insanity then send her to an asylum for the rest of her life.

"That's why courts of law exist and (thankfully) cases are not tried in the press and verdicts handed down by readers like us."

Yes and no. I'm glad the courts of law are there, of course, but you seem to assume they are fair, when in cases of in-family murders they are very, very often not fair at all in Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japanese article lack minimal details, and this one particularly. I feel some pity for people judging others without knowing more on this woman. Truth is never as it appears, and is neither fully white or black...Japanese keep all their feelings internally, it is cultural. Honmae/ tatemae. Let's be wise and wait to learn more.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Is there a better word than "invalid?"

I was wondering the same thing...what's an "invalid husband"??

In this case "invalid" just means "unable to care for oneself" not the opposite of valid.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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