Woman dead, son unconscious in apparent murder-suicide


Police said Monday that a 77-year-old woman was found dead Sunday in her home in Omuta, Fukuoka Prefecture, and her 49-year-old son was found unconscious in the bathroom, in what authorities believe was an apparent murder-suicide.

Police have identified the dead woman as Fumiko Furusawa. According to TV Asahi, Furusawa's daughter visited her mother's home at about 3 p.m. on Sunday. She found her mother lying motionless on the floor, with a cord wrapped around her neck, police said. Her brother -- a member of the Japanese Self-Defense Force -- was lying in the bathroom, having sustained what appear to be self-inflicted stab wounds to his chest and torso.

Emergency services were called to the scene and Furusawa was taken to hospital where she was confirmed dead, police said.

The son's condition is not life-threatening. A police spokesperson said investigators are looking into the possibility that the incident was a failed murder-suicide.

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Very very sad. We had one of these in our building late last year. It was truly awful. It involved a mother and two young children (mercifully one of them survived). I just cant understand the mentality, no matter how many times it is explained to me that children here are considered better off dead than a burden to someone else here, or a possession to be taken with the parents. If you want to die, it is your choice, but taking the lives of innocents who may want to live - this I just cant understand whichever way it is put to me.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Which bit was the failure - the murder or the suicide?

Moderator: The son's suicide, according to police.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ah Japan. No matter how long we live here, us non-Japanese will never understand the rationale behind these pathetic family murder suicides.... Like Nicky, I too think it is an act of pure selfishness to assume your family should also die just because you have given up... Sad.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think it is not about selfishness here. It's about sadness, boredom and the kankenai attitude that's killing the beautiful people here. Sometimes it makes me think that Japanese people's rationale is that their work is their life and after their left work, so as their relations with their "work friends." Personally this country is very sad and I hope we foreigners help change some of the attitudes of the locals. Let them appreciate life and look that there's a bigger world out there.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Where was the father? It would be interesting to know if the father was around.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In this case it was the child who failed to kill himself after he killed the parent, it seems. In a way I'm glad he survived and can now be punished. My guess is he's in for a world of hell, and he'll know it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Actually, this doesnt sound like the example I gave of a parent murdering a child, but rather a grown up trying to murder his ageing parent and cover it up to look like a murder-suicide to gain sympathy. I know that sounds horribly judgemental, but look at the facts:

She is dead - probably through strangling. But he has multiple stab wounds none of which are life threatening. If you really wanted to die it is not hard to do it, with all manner of options available to you. I dont think he wanted to die. But I wouldnt mind betting that given a choice she didnt want to either.

What I find so sad is that he is probably right - a murder suicide would gain sympathy here. I couldnt believe the comments that were being banded around in my area after the incident took place last year.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

My God. My blood just ran cold then! How do you raise a child to not murder you once you become old and a burden to them??! What kind of society are we living in where that kind of question even needs to be asked??!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Perhaps he was tired of looking after her? It isn't like he was unemployed and was a NEET sponging off mom. regardless, tragic. Sadly I think these numbers will only grow with the population aging and needing so much care.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Nicky, not to "defend" this guy but aging parents can be a huge burden. My FIL hasn't slept at his house in more than five years because he has to stay with his mom. She can't be trusted alone. No holidays, no day offs, no time to enjoy his retirement because of his mom. I think it is unfair and have suggested she be put in a home but alas, not enough of them. And she's just with it enough to howl like a banshee if they tried - they tried to speak to hear about moving into their house but MIL just can't take the stress of it all and neither can granny. It is a very, very sad situation and I pity my MIL the most. She's stuck doing all the cooking, the cleaning, the caring... She's no spring chicken either and sadly, I think it will give my PIL an early death note. The women is 83 and god knows how much longer she'll live. She isn't "living" but existing.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Too much stress for the son is my guess!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nicky, not to "defend" this guy but aging parents can be a huge burden

I completely agree tmarie - my question is meant to address exactly that - what kind of society are we living in where we have to ask how we raise our kids not to murder us when we are a burden to them - because they cant see any other option open to them. No help. No support. Being a carer is even harder than being a Mother - at least a baby is light, cute, doesnt shout back at you and verbally abuse you, is less likely to be able to physically abuse you because it is senile, etc. And you know with a baby this is eventually going to get easier and you will be rewarded a thousand times over for all your effort and work with smiles and cuddles and maybe even good school reports (still waiting on that one!) Caregivers are todays unsung heroes.

Reading between the lines on this it seems to me like the son had no intention of dying, and fully intended to murder his mother. Now it could be because she is too much of a burden, it could be a very sad situation where she is a danger to herself and he never ever gets a break. Or it could be simply that she hid the remote control from him!

This is a totally different scenaro to a parent-child (not yet adult) murder-suicide - hence my correction above. But murder-suicides here do seem to elicit sympathy rather than horror or condemnation. This seems like a cry for just that - sympathy and support.

It is a huge problem in most developed countries but in Japan especially, and it is only going to get worse. I hate the idea of becoming a burden to my children in years to come.

A friend of mine, a doctor, comes from a family of doctors who among other things run a respite care centre in Shizuoka. They take elderly patients for a week or so at a time so that their carers can have a break. They are completely over-run with applications and they are always full, but staffing such a facility with dedicated nurses 24/7 is an expensive business.

I dont know what the answer is. Maybe for all the championing I do on here for equality and womens rights etc etc maybe I have been wrong all along - maybe it IS necessary that someone in the family -either the man or the woman - has to make the necessary sacrifice and dedicate themselves to first raising the kids and then caring for the elderly.

I remember an old episode of Star Trek once, where someone came from a planet where at the age of 60 (bear in mind this was the 70s!) they held a big grand ceremony, said goodbye and killed themselves . The idea was that they got to say goodbye in style and the elderly were never a burden on their planet. Crazy idea of course, but this issue of caring for the elderly MUST be addressed.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I don't know. I think parents have the responsibility of not burdening their parents. My grandmother is on a home because my mom got sick and tired of dealing with her calls for help and the like. My mom basically said "I can't handle the stress of looking after you and if you can't look after yourself, you need to pay someone to do it". My grandmother now lives in a home with freedom. She's got great company, plenty of visitors, free to come and go as she pleases as long as her health is okay. Japan needs to embrace this. People are living far too long in horrible health or mental states to have their family look after them.

My grandmother in law needs to be in a home. My FIL needs to get over himself being the chonan and him thinking it is his job to look after him. He's not giving her the care she needs - and I have been in tears watching the way she gets treated. It isn't his fault he can't care for her. He's not trained on how to lift, carry, baths... This women is sitting in a house worth a lot of money. Sell the house, pay for her care. They have enough to get her into a nice place as cheaper places are limited. They could visit her there everyday. Or, they could hire a private caregiver. But he won't. Instead, he plays the martyr. It would cost a heck of a lot of money - her money, but FIL won't. It's his "job" when in actual fact, my MIL gets shafted as she has to households to cook for and clean.

Modern medicine has created a monster with this. People with the mental wits but not the body, people with the body but not the mental capacity. I think a line needs to be drawn as to when it becomes ridiculous. If the guy lived the way my PIL do, I can see why he's snap - I can see why anyone would.

As yes, like you said, it isn't like a baby. Older people are heavier, need more care and can be very nasty and dangerous. Moms are young when looking after their kids. Kids looking after their parents are not. Mark my words, this problem is going to get much, much worse. Parents killing their kids, punks with no job preying on the weak and the ill....

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

That should be burdening their kids. I have made it clear to my folks from years ago that they need to save their pennies as I won't be looking after them. And am already doing the same for myself! If we have kids, they'll never have to wipe my butt!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It's terrible when the family bonds are lost and all that's left is this kind of negative result. The government needs to look at building a society where family's natural interactions are based on love not murder.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Sad to hear how families in Japan not only want to kill themselves but loved ones, I still cant understand it. But I guess its their culture and beliefs. tokyokawasaki has some good points. Japanese people are so lovely and to see them look at death as an escape is sad.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not only sad but criminal. I see nothing nothing lovely about a culture that accepts murder or suicide as a solution.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

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