WAKAYAMA (TR) – When the Supreme Court in 2009 handed Masumi Hayashi the death penalty for murdering four persons at a festival with arsenic-laced curry, many might have thought that the ugly incident had been safely jettisoned into the past.
That hasn’t been the case.
The woman and her 4-year-old daughter, who was in her arms at the time of the fall, were both confirmed dead after they were found by emergency personnel in the water below the bridge.
Since then, news site AERA dot. has learned that the woman was the eldest daughter of Hayashi. Sadly, that was only part of what transpired that day.
Just hours before, the woman’s eldest daughter was confirmed dead after she was found beaten inside her residence in Wakayama City. Later that day, her husband was found at the side of a road after an apparent suicide attempt.
The source of the information is Kenji Hayashi, who is the husband of Masumi.
“I talked to the head the investigation,” said Kenji Hayashi, “but with [the matter] still under investigation that was a lot that is not clear. After talking for almost an hour, there seems to be no doubt that it was my eldest daughter who committed suicide and [her 4-year-old girl] died with her.”
“My daughter spit up blood”
The saga began at around 2:20 p.m. on June 9, when the 37-year-old woman is believed to have telephoned emergency services from her residence in Wakayama City.
“My daughter spit up what appears to be blood,” the woman said about her eldest daughter. “She is collapsed and unconscious.”
The girl, 16-year-old Kokoro Tsurusaki, was later confirmed dead at a hospital. An examination of her body revealed bruising throughout, including to her abdomen.
The cause of death was shock due to external trauma, police said.
The woman is believed to have then driven to the Kansai Airport in Izumisano City, Osaka Prefecture — a distance of about 40 kilometers — with her 4-year-old daughter.
They arrived at the bridge at around 4:00 p.m. Emergency personnel found their bodies about 40 minutes later.
“Abused by her parents”
In addition to the woman and the two girls, her husband lives at the residence. According to Jiji Press (June 11), the man, who is Kokoro’s father, rode inside the ambulance with her to the hospital.
However, he was found squatting on the side of a road in the Minato area of Wakayama City. “I tried to hang myself but failed,” he reportedly told emergency personnel on the way to a hospital, according to Tokyo Sports (June 14). Police believe he attempted to take his life.
After the emergence of the chain events, police said that they were planning to question the man over suspected ill treatment of Kokoro.
A child consultation center reported in 2013 that she “was being abused by her parents.” Over the next year, the matter was investigated and the family received support.
Wakayama curry poisoning
At a festival in Wakayama City in July 1998, Masumi Hayashi, then 37, laced curry served to participants with arsenic, killing four of them and sickening 64 others.
In 2009, the Supreme Court, handed down the ruling based only on circumstantial evidence, with the court finding that Hayashi was the only person who could have laced the curry with arsenic.
Hayashi, today 59, has maintained her innocence. She is now on death row at the Osaka Detention Center. Since the ruling was handed down, her legal team has sought a retrial three times.
Last year, the Osaka High Court rejected the request, saying that there was no room for reasonable doubt that she was the killer. Her request was also rejected at the Wakayama District Court two years before that.
The third petition was filed last week — also on June 9. That day, Teruo Ikuta, a lawyer for Hayashi, filed a new motion for retrial at the Wakayama District Court.