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Lindsay Hawker's accused killer appears determined to fight murder charge

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In March 2007, police found the bound and gagged corpse of 22-year-old English teacher Lindsay Ann Hawker in a bathtub on the balcony of an apartment occupied by an unemployed 28-year-old man named Tatsuya Ichihashi -- who fled the scene in his bare feet before he could be arrested.

During two years and seven months on the lam, Ichihashi worked as a laborer in Kansai and underwent plastic surgery to alter his appearance. He was apprehended last Nov 10 at Osaka port while attempting to board a ferry to Okinawa.

Shukan Bunshun (Aug 12-19) tracked down an associate of the slain teacher, identified only as "A," who gives the magazine her version of events.

"Ichihashi had accosted her in front of her station," A relates. "I suppose a lot of skeptics had asked, 'Why did she let him walk her home?' But Ichihashi was extremely persistent and perhaps Lindsay felt, rather than stand with him outside on the dark street, she'd feel safer at home, where her roommate was waiting."

At the door, Ichihashi sketched Lindsay's portrait on a sheet of paper, with his telephone number at the bottom. She agreed to meet him for English conversation lessons four days later at a nearby coffee shop.

"Lindsay had remarked there was 'something creepy' about the guy, and for her peace of mind only gave him lessons in the morning," A continues. "Why she agreed to go to his apartment I'll never understand. Considering that she didn't phone the school, despite penalties imposed on teachers for not showing up, I suppose he must have had her restrained in his room."

Thirty-six hours were to transpire until the police discovered her corpse.

"After I got a call that she'd gone missing, I started searching for her," A says. "By coincidence I walked past a 'mansion' and saw the yellow crime scene tape ... I felt this vague premonition, and then I asked a bystander who told me, 'It looks like there's been a murder. An English national,' and I was struck dumb. I put my hands against my head and crumpled."

The proprietor of an eatery regularly patronized by Ichihashi, who had been doggedly uncommunicative around the time of the incident, opened up to Shukan Bunshun's reporter.

"I haven't mentioned this to anyone before, but several days after Ichihashi first approached Lindsay, he brought her here," the man says. "They seemed to be getting along well, but I could see that Tatsuya-kun was treating her in a domineering manner."

Ichihashi, who faces charges of abandonment of a corpse, homicide and aggravated rape resulting in death, currently occupies a cell in the detention facility at Chiba prison. He completely denies all of the charges.

"As forensic evidence exists of his having committed rape, he's admitted to that," a court reporter is quoted as saying. "But it's expected his attorney will contest other charges, arguing that 'she died as a result of his efforts to quiet her down after she raised a ruckus' and that he had 'attempted to revive her with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.' Pre-trial arrangements are still ongoing and I think it will be difficult for the trial to begin within this year."

Ichihashi's attorney has also asserted his client had "felt great remorse" over the incident during his time on the run. He also complained that Ichihashi's jailers were engaging in "discriminatory treatment."

Shukan Bunshun gives A the last word on the subject.

"Despite their liking Japan, a lot of Lindsay's friends and colleagues left the country as a result of this incident," she tells the magazine. "They're all hoping Ichihashi will receive the maximum punishment."

In closing, the article adds ironically that Lindsay had remarked she "very much" liked Japan because she felt it was a "safe country."

© Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

59 Comments
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Can’t wait to see what travesty of J-justice will occur here. There will be no justice for this poor girl’s family.

I already have a good idea what will happen because the law in Japan works something like this ... If a women accepts an invitation to enter a man’s apartment, but get raped, the man will be spared from full punishment because she herself voluntarily accepted the invitation to enter the premises. Now, if a man accepts an invitation to enter a woman’s apartment, but SHE gets raped, the man is, once again, spared from full punishment because she voluntarily extended an invitation for the man to enter.

This case is going to last forever.

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Ichihashi's appeals are of no use, there is too much publicity and pressure not to receive the maximum punishment. Everyone knows he is guilty, and even if his intentions were rape, they need to put him away for good. This is one guy they should send to Iran for stoning.

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This case never ceases to disturb me. It sounds like he may have been doing all he could to gain her trust so that she would consider going to his apartment. And she was probably trying to give the guy the benefit of the doubt. Either that, or he was intimidating her. It makes me sick that he wants to fight the charges. It's completely obvious he did it, and everyone can see that.

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“I haven’t mentioned this to anyone before, but several days after Ichihashi first approached Lindsay, he brought her here,” the man says. “They seemed to be getting along well, but I could see that Tatsuya-kun was treating her in a domineering manner.”

Why did he not tell this to the POLICE? Shame on him. Perhaps the media are better at getting information?

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Why did he not tell this to the POLICE?

Bizarro, he almost certainly did. I think he is referring to his the hordes of reporters and curiosity seekers who flooded the neighborhood in the wake of the crime, wishing to keep his name out of it.

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“But it’s expected his attorney will contest other charges, arguing that ‘she died as a result of his efforts to quiet her down after she raised a ruckus’ and that he had ‘attempted to revive her with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.’

Sorry, but how/where is there any evidence of that?

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Oh God, if this guy gets off on any kind of lesser charge there is going to be hell to pay. If he killed her because she was creating a ruckus and he was trying to calm her down, surely that is still murder? He was trying to calm her down by beating the crap out of her and strangling her for gods sake! And why was she making a ruckus??? Don`t even answer that.

I was under the impression that she went to his apartment because he hadn`t brought the money to pay her for the lesson? She said to the taxi driver that dropped them off to wait, and she would just be a minute, but when she never came back he drove off to another call.

I can totally understand why she got involved with this guy, even if he was creepy. She was very young, not in Japan long, was under the misguded impression that it is a totally safe country, and it sounds like she was a nice girl with a good heart that wanted to help him. Wrong person, wrong place, wrong time, and I think that there but for the grace of god go many of us. I know I have had male students alone in my apartment and didn`t think twice about it before this happened.

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Sorry, but how/where is there any evidence of that?

Prior to a trial in Japan, both prosecuting and defence attorneys must submit documents to the court outlining how they will proceed with their arguments. I don't think they can be accessed by the general public, but a court reporter at the kisha club can probably arrange to get a peek at them.

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Ninjaboy, she did not just get raped, she got dead. Figure that into your equations.

I am afraid that they should probably keep Ichihashi in jail forever for his own protection. No telling what will happen to him on the street except that only his parents could possibly care. If he were my son I would kill him myself just so I could sleep at night.

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he has no mitigation for the ultimate penalty.....if the system manages to "let him off" so to speak i d be interested to see what wud catully happen to him given the outrage already around this heinous despicable crime

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This guy should be hanged and hung up to dry out and wither like a dead tree. What he did was pure evil. People like this should be cast out of society and be given a chance to survive on swine food.

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I'm confused. You want him dead, or you want to give him a chance to survive? I'm not exactly pro death penalty, but I think he would be deserving in this case.

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she died as a result of his efforts to quiet her down after she raised a ruckus

kira25 already mentioned it, but anyone who buys this or agrees with the logic behind it, is seriously warped.

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“But it’s expected his attorney will contest other charges, arguing that ‘she died as a result of his efforts to quiet her down after she raised a ruckus’ and that he had ‘attempted to revive her with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.’

"Sorry, but how/where is there any evidence of that?"

There isn't. It is his word against hers, and she is dead. See how that works?

And Beelz, you are referring to discovery, which is pretty common in other countries too, and although evidence implies arguments, usually the arguments themselves are not shared between defense and prosecution. Evidence is. Anyway, I don't think it matters much here, because there is no evidence of his claims anyway. He actually hid or destroyed it before he fled, and everyone knows that. I believe that all of the quoted matter above was pretty well figured out months ago when he was arrested and did not talk to anyone but his lawyers. I think his little plan is the only conceivable defense he has, unless he blames it on a one armed man with a limp who disappeared just after the murder. And it appears that he is not blaming anyone else, so that is out.

His lawyers are good. They have whittled this down and picked away at things without contradicting any evidence. They will drag it out and make people forget things and get sympathy for this guy. They will turn capital punishment into... what do you think? Ten years? Tack on another five or maybe ten for running? We all know that the running part is what the judge is really going to smack him for.

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He only killed one person so I think capital punishment has a very good chance of being ruled out...at least in an official capacity. Not sure what sentence the gaijin community will decide if he ever does get out though...

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Add this a-hole to the likes of Asahara Shoko and Miura and the other child killers (various as they are recently) as the worst of the worst of present day crime in Japan. If he gets anything but the rope, we should show Japan what a sit-in protest and demonstration looks like on this island of theirs...however long it would take to get justice for Lindsay Hawker and her family.

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( sigh ) What else cam be expected from this murderer? If he pleads guilty to the murder charge and is convicted, he might get death or life imprisonment. He wants to go free.

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@isthistheend

If he gets anything but the rope, we should show Japan what a sit-in protest and demonstration looks like on this island of theirs..

Who the hell are "we"?

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Japan needs to sort out their laws - if he beat her to death to shut her up, it is still mruder as Kira said. Regardless of premeditated or not, he killed her. Raped her, beat her, killed her, hid the body, did a runner, had surgery to cover his tracks. Save her family the agony and the tax payers the money and just hang him now. Usually not for the death penalty but this guy doesn't deserve to live.

Japan also needs to look into the whole rape/sexual assault issues they have in Japan. As someone said, if he doesn't hang or get life, the international outrage will be huge.

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"A_Cruise at 02:09 PM JST - 11th August Ichihashi's appeals are of no use, there is too much publicity and pressure not to receive the maximum punishment. Everyone knows he is guilty, and even if his intentions were rape, they need to put him away for good. "

Ummm... are you serious? Going by recent history the murder of a foreign national in Japan is nothing. Ichihashi will get a slap on the wrist at best.. Its the "one gaijin limit" rule in action again.

Ichihashi will go the same way as Atsushi Watanabe and Hiroshi Nozaki went. If he kills another foreigner then he will be treated like Joji Obara.

Sad, VERY sad, but true. Unfortunately I have no hopes of anything other than a suspended sentence.

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I think that the degree the body was beaten would prove or disprove his claims that he "tried to quiet her down". Rape, aggravated assault, manslaughter or murder, not properly disposing of a body (by contacting authorities probably). All charges that could apply. I hope he doesn't convince them that it was a mere manslaughter. He stalked this young lady to perform his crimes. Then he ran and hid like the coward he really is. I hope he gets full punishment.

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I agree the guy should be executed.

However, this should serve yet again as another lesson especially for Female English instructors in Japan. DONT go to the guy's apartment. I have many female English instructor friends, and they tell me stories of people all the time. Even though they ask for female only students guy constantly contact them.

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Yo kyushujoe...."we" are the gaijin community. Hello?

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Badge213 said: However, this should serve yet again as another lesson especially for Female English instructors in Japan. DONT go to the guy's apartment.

What horrible fear mongering. A woman simply needs to be on her toes when she is alone with a man or men she does not know well whom she is not currently having a sexual relationship with. The place is not really the issue, and neither is daylight. However, if she is up for sex all should be well. If not, then she should try to stay in public places with people around. Strange men are usually protectors and so are boyfriends and up. Its men who are trying to get to know them that women need to be on the look out for, while keeping in mind that most men are not monsters like this beast.

Also, a woman should put her secretiveness on hold enough to keep contact with someone reliable and let them know where she is in such a situation. And she should contact them every half hour as long as is practical. Let the guy know, no contact and the friend comes running.

In other words, women need to be smart and careful, not overgeneralize with rules like "DON'T go to the guy's apartment."

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Anyway she may not have expected to be alone in the apartment with him if he lied and said his parents, sister or brother would be there. You never know how he may have duped her.

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There will be no justice for this poor girl’s family.

let's wait and see before crying about it. It's his right to appeal, that's the law and justice you want.

I haven’t mentioned this to anyone before, but several days after Ichihashi first approached Lindsay, he brought her here,” the man says. “They seemed to be getting along well, but I could see that Tatsuya-kun was treating her in a domineering manner.”

thanks for that. lied to the police or hid, which is it mr upstanding citizen?

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The idea that women should be careful though isn't just Japan. I think so many people, male and female, are lured into this whole sense of false security. The Japanese seem to have their hands in the sand with regards to the safety issues Japan currently has with stalking and whatnot - again, male and female. They need to get tougher on crime, stop handing out suspended sentences for thing like child abuse, drug issues (thinking of the actor who let the hostess die) and manslughter/murder.

I don't think he will get off too lightly though as Japan really looked the fool by letting him get away from the police and him being able to hide for so long. If anything, I would suspect they are out for blood because they made the police force look like idiots. One can wish anyway.

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MistWizard, I have a better idea.

How about "No means no"? That makes things a lot simpler. You spend a lot of time dancing around after you tell people to not be fearful. If people were decent, women would not have to be afraid.

She did not do anything wrong, and he attacked and killed her. If someone wants to draw the lesson "Dont go to the guy's apartment", I am not going to argue.

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Now, as the guy is in jail, people generally see him as a criminal. But once he gets his suspended sentence, as soon as he is released he will write a book about their affair, and become a rich hero.

He also complained that Ichihashi’s jailers were engaging in “discriminatory treatment.”

At least somebody's not giving this guy a free pass.

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I don't think the murder was pre-meditated, so he probably won't get the DP. But, running away and all that will look bad, he'll probably get a decade or 2 and that's it.

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If he walks at all, there's going to be diplomatic problems between J and UK. What a waste of our day to bat this (and other things) about, but its OBON season, and hot and sticky and.....the 1985 airlines disaster related now in mourning.

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arguing that ‘she died as a result of his efforts to quiet her down after she raised a ruckus

And that is not murder? What is it? How can you say you didn't kill her but did this instead.

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gogogog...exactly. This is J-logic. "You are the first foreigner I've met, so I'm the first J-person you've met." Efforts to quiet her down my arse. Murder in the first degree you p....k.

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If this guy gets off or gets less than 10 years all foreigners march in protest, this is ridiculous!

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@thisistheend

"we" are the gaijin community. Hello?

But I'm part of the gaijin community, have been for over twenty years, and I'm utterly opposed to the death penalty in any shape or form (and there are plenty of others who feel the same way). So you really need to re-think your definition of the "we" who are going to stage a sit-in protest on this "island (sic) of theirs" if he doesn't swing.

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tmarie said: They need to get tougher on crime, stop handing out suspended sentences for thing like child abuse, drug issues (thinking of the actor who let the hostess die) and manslughter/murder.

Yes, those would explain why Japan is well known as one of the most dangerous countries on the planet. After all, Lindsay Hawker was murdered here and its all because of the failures you point out. Its so nice to hear from people who know how to make Japan better! All that need be done is to get tough! On everything! That always works, no exceptions!

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Kyushujoe, Good for you and your opinion. However, in this slime bag murderous fugitive young mans case, I stand apart, far apart from it, O.K.? So "we", it doesn't mean thee, I'll word it differently from now.

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@gogogo

If this guy gets off or gets less than 10 years all foreigners march in protest, this is ridiculous!

Calm down; you're hysterical.

How do you get from "If this guy gets off..." to "...this is ridiculous." ? He hasn't got off yet; the trial hasn't even started. Nothing is "ridiculous". Relax.

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Mist, no need to be patronizing. They have very light sentencing compared to many other countries and are seeing an increase in things like murder and child abuse. They give out strict punishments for things like drugs (if a foreigner) and let suspended sentences dominate in many others (child abuse). They need to actually punish people for their crimes, not let them get off. with a slap on the wrist. But since you;re so clever, why don;t you put forth a suggestion at what can be done to curb the increase of crimes in Japan?

With regards to teaching "no means no", you will also need to teach the women this as well. From my understanding many women say "no" all while making it clear they want it. I have heard of stories where the women has gotten angry at men for stopping after she has said no. Mixed message is not a good thing and both men AND women need to learn to communicate clearly.

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Now i get it. This explains the previous article on JT about why so few British people are doing JET these days.

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"With regards to teaching "no means no", you will also need to teach the women this as well. From my understanding many women say "no" all while making it clear they want it."

Just to summarize, Mist had made comments to the effect that saying that women should be careful is fear mongering. It seemed that he was making fun of people for looking at this situation and saying "Hey! I am not going to some guy's apartment no way no how." I am saying that in this society, NO MEANS NO is not acknowledged as meaningful, and (as somebody, I think MistWizard?, said) going to a guy's residence is seen in a court of law as an invitation for sex. In this environment, staying out of a guy's residence is a darn good idea and advising that or stating that is not fear mongering at all.

If somebody says NO to me, I am going to stop. No joke. I will play all kinds of sex games with a safe word, but I am not going to leave myself open to prosecution for rape just to play some coy little game with a woman I don't know.

No means no is a simple effective rule that society should adopt. If we are to be consenting adults, let's value that consent.

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This guy is an incredibly tough weasel. Very different from the typical Japanese perp. He does does not give up. Will interesting to see how the J legal system, which depends on confession and apologies, will handle this.

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Klein2 said: In this environment, staying out of a guy's residence is a darn good idea and advising that or stating that is not fear mongering at all.

You have implied it is always dangerous to go to a guy's apartment and did not suggest it could ever be safe to do so. That is fear mongering.

Mist had made comments to the effect that saying that women should be careful is fear mongering.

You must have skimmed my post...while drunk. Try reading it slowly while sober. I advocate caution. I decry overgeneralized "dont's" that just make dating difficult for both men and women. If his place is not to be gone to, then praytell where can a man and woman finally end up alone safely? Sometimes they both actually want to you know. Its no good going around pretending you are Miss Hawker about to be murdered all the time.

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@MistWizard:

I think you are the one that might be missing the point. The impression is that the law offers no protection for a woman that goes to the guy's apartment. See ninjaboy's comment (the first one in this article). If you assume ninjaboy's argument about what he refers to as "J-justice" is true, then there needs to be a change the precedent in the court that unjustly protects the rapist. Then, there might be a corresponding change in how safe a woman feels going to a man's apartment. Until then, it's better safe than sorry. If you feel his argument is false, then you should refute it.

Personally, I can't blame a woman for playing it safe.

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I don't want to hear she was a foreigner. It's irrelevant now. Just like the thing about her being an easy target of not. It's not her trial. She was a person, she was raped and killed by him (no doubt).

"she died as a result of his efforts to quiet her down"

It's killing her. Punish him. And add some penalty for every illegal action he and his relatives did to escape justice.

Japanese people are as scared of guys like him as foreigners are.

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Mist Wizard, I think you are missing everyone's point. First, the case took place in Japan, and in Japanese society, the majority will tell you that if a woman goes alone to a man's apartment she has already said yes. That's crazy, but ask around. Women will tell you the same thing! Secondly, some people here are warning women about going to people's apartments, because you can be as careful as you want, and end up in trouble. From the sounds of it, this girl was very careful.

But I agree wholeheartedly that no should mean no (at any time), and that being in a man's apartment does not justify anything. That's why I hope this guy gets the maximum possible sentence.

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But he and his lawyers will no doubt try every trick in the book to get away with it.

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Get away with what? Rape? Murder? Intent? Hushing up a Ruckus? It boggles the mind. Just shoot the dude.

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I think he may possibly get away with manslaughter, abandoning a body and sexual assault/rape. A 10-15 year sentence would likely be given. If the murder charge sticks, i would still expect life with about 15 years served.

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Her nationaility is irrelevant. Us angry Brits would do well to remember that many murderers in the UK serve less than 10 years. Personally I think he'll get 15-20, and that would be a tough sentence by UK standards.

Have to disagree with you here. The Crown Prosecution Service's guidelines state that murder with a sexual/sadistic element, as this one certainly did have, would mean a minimum sentence of 30 years before parole made be considered.

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I think it's worth pointing out that since the new "jury" system was introduced, common sense has generally prevailed and sentencing for violent crimes, especially murder, has generally been significantly stricter. I don't see him getting off the murder charge with a defence of "I was only trying to quieten her down whilst attempting to rape her". That may wash with an addled old judge more interested in the finer points of the law; it's not going to get past a bunch of normal people who (quite rightly) are going to see forensically confirmed rape, bound and gagged corpse, fleeing the scene, nationwide manhunt and plastic surgery. They're going to find him guilty of all charges and the only question is whether they hang him or lock him up for life.

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ADK99-thanks for the ray of hope to obtain justice for this animal, regardless of the kyushujoes of this world.

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A rope around his neck will "quiet him down"!

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But I'm part of the gaijin community, have been for over twenty years, and I'm utterly opposed to the death penalty in any shape or form (and there are plenty of others who feel the same way).

You can add my name to that list.

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isthistheend,

The only disappointment I had was that I wasn't the one putting him away. I had his picture on me the whole time he was on the lam and I would have done the right thing had I been in a position to do so. I am hoping for a fitting punishment to his crime, but not the death penalty, which I abhor.

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First time poster with an opinion on this topic.

I think its very unlikely that this guy gets the death penalty so anybody hoping for that is just setting themselves up for disappointment.

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given that the three vital components necessary for any chance of redemption within the japanese justice system are: disclosure, remorse, and admission of guilt, I'd say he's pretty much tying his own noose..

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They should throw this guy on an electric chair and shock the hell about of him for 6 months and then after that hang him until death. He does not deserve to go free for what he did to Hawker. Also the Hawker family should be compensated at least 700 million yen for all that they had to go through. The japanese police did not do much at all to try and ind this guy which is a very sad thing.

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@alladin

Why 700 million yen? How did you work that out?

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