Police authorities have yet to find sufficient information to solve the two murder cases in Chiba and Shimane involving female college students. In particular, the brutality and savagery of the Shimane murder has itself become a stumbling block, and some investigators seem to feel that it may end up as a cold case.
The discovery of the body parts of victim Miyako Hiraoka, 19, freshman at the University of Shimane, have been described by a police insider as simply atrocious. “The torso had been burned while organs had been removed. It is hard to believe this was done for the sole purpose of destroying evidence. The dismembered remains indicate it may be a crime for pleasure, and the possibility of cannibalism cannot be denied either.”
Similar homicides involving cannibalism in the past includes the 1981 incident of a Japanese male who shot and killed a female Dutch college student in France, as well as the infamous serial murder of young girls by Tsutomu Miyazaki in 1989. In view of these cases, Shimane prefectural police are looking into local video stores to see who has been renting hardcore horror films.
According to the police source, the possibility of an individual with a personal grudge against the victim was the initial focus of the investigation, but they are now using all possible means to identify the car that transported the body parts.
On the other hand, the arson-murder of Chiba University student Yukari Ogino, 21, was at first considered to be a relatively straightforward case. The victim had been working as a part-time club hostess in Ueno, and the police had been investigating a list of men she was affiliated with. However, an image of a man captured by bank surveillance cameras withdrawing money with the victim’s ATM card the day before the murder did not match any of these men, and the culprit’s identity remains unknown. The possibility that the assailant may have had no previous connection with the victim is being considered.
A Chiba police source comments, “In the Matsudo jurisdiction where the victim resided, 20 cases have been reported this year involving indecent assaults. The victim lived in an area with few streetlights and her apartment was close to railway tracks. The sound of a train would easily muffle the noise of breaking a window, and if anyone had been screaming or shouting, it wouldn’t be heard. In fact, we haven’t been able to get much information from our door-to-door investigation.”
The victim’s body was burnt most severely from her waist down, and body fluid that would have been a key to solving the crime has mostly evaporated. Police believe that finding any DNA is close to impossible.
At the same time, investigators are now also reviewing the 1996 homicide case of Junko Kobayashi, then a Katsushika Ward resident studying at Sophia University. The student’s residence had been set afire where her dead body was found, similar to the case of Yukari Ogino. While the prefecture may differ, Matsudo is located on the other side of the Edogawa River from the 1996 crime scene. As both cases remain unresolved, the police are widening their scope of investigation to find any other correlation between the two murders.© Japan Today