Kyoto woman linked to series of mysterious deaths

Shukan Asahi Apr. 25
Shukan Asahi Apr. 25

The March 28 issue of Shukan Asahi indicated that a full investigation is underway of a Kyoto woman who has been connected to four suspicious deaths over the past few decades in the Kansai area.

According to the article, the matter came to light following the death of her husband in December due to poisoning.

Now, in its April 25 issue, the magazine says that Kyoto Prefectural Police have identified a fifth victim of the 67-year-old woman, who has yet to be named.

The article cites her motive as being the reception of inheritance money. In an interview with the woman in March, she denied involvement in the deaths. “I did not receive any inheritance,” she is quoted by the magazine.

Shukan Asahi, however, believes otherwise — and profiles the death of Mr. Five.

On March 9, 2012, a man operating a motorcycle crashed and died on a major road in Osaka. The cause of death was ruled to be a heart attack originating from an irregular heartbeat.

At the time of his death, he was 71 years old. Up until a year before the accident, he had been employed as a seaman.

“From a health perspective he didn’t come across a guy beyond 70,” says a former colleague. “He ate brown rice, he spent lavishly on health products and he went through regular health check-ups. I couldn’t believe it when I heard he died.”

Arriving to confirm the identity of the corpse was none other than the woman in question.

“About six months before he died I met him in a coffee shop and he introduced her to me,” says a neighbor living in the same apartment building as the man. “He said he was going to marry her. I was shocked when he died so suddenly thereafter.”

Shukan Post Mar. 28
Shukan Post Mar. 28

A month after the incident, a used goods trading company arrived at the apartment of the man for the disposal of its contents. By the end of the year, the woman had already sold the property.

“She wasn’t listed on his family register, but the ownership of the property had been transferred to her and it was sold,” said the aforementioned neighbor. “I heard that he, while still alive, wrote her into his will as the receiver of the apartment.”

Regarding their relationship, the woman told the magazine, “It was not a common-law marriage.”

The March 28 issue of Shukan Post says that it believes the total number of victims of the woman to surface will eventually exceed 10. As of now, there have been no arrests or charges filed.

“It is a time-consuming task to fully understand the incidents,” an investigator with the Kyoto Prefectural Police tells Shukan Post. “We plan to investigate the matter carefully.”

A reporter covering the Kyoto police says that caution is being taken as the case is extending into other prefectures. But that’s not all.

“They also must fear criticism about why only now are these crimes coming to the forefront,” says the reporter. (K.N.)

Source: “Kansai renzoku fushinshi jiken dai5 no dansei made mo fujo,” Shukan Asahi (Apr. 25, page 148)

Note: Brief extracts from Japanese vernacular media in the public domain that appear here were translated and summarized under the principle of “fair use.” Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy of the translations. However, we are not responsible for the veracity of their contents. The activities of individuals described herein should not be construed as “typical” behavior of Japanese people nor reflect the intention to portray the country in a negative manner. Our sole aim is to provide examples of various types of reading matter enjoyed by Japanese.

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