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Why do criminals on the lam have an irresistible urge to get it on?

Naoko Kikuchi (Twitter)

On June 3, police arrested Naoko Kikuchi, a member of the Aum Shinrikyo cult who had been among Japan’s most wanted criminals for the past 17 years. She is alleged to have been involved in the cult’s toxic gassing of the Tokyo subway in March 1995.

One question that has been raised in the wake of her arrest was about what sort of sex life, if any, Ms. Kikuchi had during her years on the lam.

Last December another Aum fugitive, Shin Hirata, turned himself in. It was revealed not long afterward that Hirata had been sheltered by a lady friend, a former nurse who doled out tender, loving care for nearly 17 years as the two moved, under several aliases, from Miyagi to Aomori to Fukushima.

After Hirata’s arrest, police went to the woman’s apartment in Sendai where the two had last lived together, and found several discarded condoms.

Apparently being wanted by the police is a great way to stimulate your libido.

“When the brain receives a signal that one must flee, a huge amount of physical power is necessary, and the body secretes large quantities of adrenalin, says Joji Suzuki, a psychiatrist, tells Nikkan Gendai (June 9). “This leads to greater, even abnormal, sex urges. Since the mind is always in a state of anxiety because the slightest slip-up can mean death, it is instinctive for people in a heightened state of urgency to have a greater libido. The sex act helps to relive their stress. Such people tend to come on strong to their partners.”

“When a fugitive flees as a couple, with a partner, it also makes it harder for them to be traced,” says clinical psychiatrist Hiroshi Yawata. “It is assumed that most fleeing criminals are solitary, and people tend to be less suspicious when they see what they perceive to be a married couple, who enjoy the status of social acceptance.”

Another such example would be the late Kazuko Fukuda, who fled Ehime Prefecture after murdering a co-worker at a cabaret and who later became the common-law wife of a confectioner while living in Ishikawa Prefecture. After police offered a substantial reward for information leading to her arrest, Fukuda was finally turned in by an informant and arrested in 1997 just three weeks before the statute of limitations on her crime ran out. She died eight years later while serving a life term in prison, at age 57.

Source: “Naze tobohan wa hageshii seiyoku ni modaeru no ka?” Nikkan Gendai (June 9, page 5)