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  1. #1
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    NV - Las Vegas, AsianMale UP404, aka Henry Owaka, Jun'73 - Tee Kee Seah

    Unidentified Asian Male

    The Doe Network Hot Case 439
    NamUs UP Case Number: 404
    Clark County Case Number: #73-0451

    The victim was discovered on June 17, 1973 in Las Vegas, Clark County, Nevada in Room 508 at the Hacienda Hotel, which at the time was located at 3950 S. Las Vegas Blvd. Las Vegas, NV 89119.
    Estimated Date of Death: June 17, 1973

    Estimated age: 40+ years old (PD gives age as 25-30)
    He was about 5'5 or 5'6" tall and 125 lbs.
    He is described as having straight, medium length black hair and brown eyes.
    His dentals are available. He is described as having removable dentures and missing all upper teeth. NamUs also says that there were fillings or crowns and implants present.
    According to NamUs, he had 2 scars inner left forearm, multiple scars to left knee.

    On June 17, 1973, Hacienda Hotel housekeeping discovered this person deceased in the bathtub of his hotel room. The tub contained 8 - 10" of water. Blood and broken furniture were noted to the room. Multiple abrasions, lacerations, and contusions noted to the decedent. His cause of death is classified as "undetermined."

    He was registered under the name of "Henry Owaka" from a false address in Houston, TX.

    NamUs says that the victim had a “recognizable face” and I really believed at one time I saw a photograph of the victim. I thought the photo was on the Clark County Coroner website yet, if there was a photo on the coroner’s website, they took it down.

    http://www.doenetwork.org/hot/hotcase439.html
    https://identifyus.org/cases/404
    http://www.clarkcountynv.gov/Depts/c....aspx?uni_id=9
    Last edited by CarlK90245; 11-09-2012 at 11:37 AM.

  2. #2
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    Owaka is a small town in New Zealand.

    Heihachirô "Henry" Ôkawa was an actor from Japan who was born in 1905 and died in 1971.

    I wonder if there was something in his toxicology which caused the ME/Coroner to say that his death was undetermined; because otherwise it sounds like there was a struggle in the room and he was murdered?

  3. #3
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    I searched NamUs and was really surprised that no Asian males were reported missing for years prior to this man's discovery.

    Coincidentally, another unidentified Asian male was discovered in the Las Vegas, NV area about two months before "Henry Owaka"was discovered in his hotel room.
    https://identifyus.org/cases/406
    On 4/8/73, hikers found this decomposed body in an open desert area of Sunrise Mountain.
    He was wearing a Gaberdine tan raincoat, blue long-sleeved sweater, blue suit with pin stripes, jockey shorts, black shoes, and black socks. A key chain, pen and case (all with NY, NY on them) found near the body. This doesn't sound like clothing a person would wear to go hiking on Sunrise Mountain.
    After "Henry," the next unidentified Asian male was found in 2000.

  4. #4
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    Recently Henry's page on NamUs was updated. It is possible that he had one of his teeth (#14) extracted within the past 8 months.

    Also, according to NamUs, his DNA is in Codis
    Full STR & mtDNA profiles uploaded to national CODIS

  5. #5
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    I never really noticed this before, but "Henry's" Doe Network page also has two agency case numbers (one for coroner/medical examiner and one for police) --
    Agency Case Number:
    Police: 245-007
    Coroner: 73-0451
    That, combined with the way that Room #508 was found, makes it sound that another person was responsible for his death and it wasn't a toxicology/seizure/allergy/etc issue.

  6. #6
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    Asian man dead in a hotel casino registered with a false address. Hmmm.

    There can be many possibilities

    There is no description of clothes in his room.

    Was the casino owned by anyone in organized crime? What about Asian gangs in the 70s in NV?

    Looks like he was beaten bad. Maybe he was a John who was robbed by a hooker and a pimp that beat the man to death by accident.

    Multiple wounds and a bath tub with water could be consistent with torture.

    There really is not much to go on. I highly doubt this one will ever get solved.

  7. #7
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    Mar 2006
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    Maine USA
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    A-ha!

    Argent Corporation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Organized crime connections with the owners that took over hotel after the death of the matriarch of the family.

    Wikipedia says they took over in 1974, but other websites imply that it was an immediate transition.

    After a bit more research he did take it over in 74. So, while Glick may not be involved, it still does not discount the possibility of organized crime.
    Last edited by KateB; 04-28-2015 at 09:21 AM. Reason: repair url tag.

  8. #8
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    This article about Kazuo Okada obtaining a California Gaming License got my attention because it made me think of this UID --
    Okada's Aruze Gaming America is privately held and separate from Aruze USA, which is wholly owned by Okada's Universal Entertainment Corp, and was Wynn's largest shareholder until February 2012 when the board forcibly redeemed its 19.75 percent stake at a 30 percent discount.
    http://news.yahoo.com/japanese-casin...7--sector.html

    Does anyone know if Kazuo Okada (or any of his family members) was involved in Las Vegas gambling operations back in the 1970s? Maybe it is unlikely, but Okada sounds like it could be a similar surname to Owaka and it has to do with gambling (Las Vegas' economy is strongly influenced by gambling and this probably why someone would come there from out of town (especially back in the 1970s before they tried to diversify their attractions)).

    I would really like to know if the UID filled out the registration card or if someone else asked him for the information, the filled it out (and maybe he had an accent that caused the information not to be understood correctly?)? I hope that is not too much of a stretch.

  9. #9
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    Roger Kikuchi is wanted in the state of Washington. While I go back and forth about whether or not he is too young (25 years old, although Henry Owaka's age is now estimated to be between 18 to 70 years old in NamUs and the Doe Network) to be "Henry," I think the timing is interesting (the warrant for his arrest is dated January 11, 1973) and, as a wanted person, this would definitely be a reason to use an assumed name.


    http://www.doc.wa.gov/mostwanted/Off...,%20Roger%20K.

    So far, he is the only Asian male that I have located who went missing or was otherwise unaccounted for before Henry Owaka and NamUs UP #406 were found. It's unfortunate that the Clark County Coroner doesn't have a photo or composite of either of them available.

    There actually aren't very many unidentified Asian male adults found between the time the warrant for Mr. Kikuchi's arrest was issued on January 11, 1973 to December 31, 1978. There are the two in Las Vegas (who have already been mentioned), an older gentleman (45 to 80) found in St. Mary's Square in San Francisco, CA in December 1973 https://identifyus.org/en/cases/5838, and the partial skull of a 15 to 20 year old Asian male found in the woods of Faulkner County, AR on October 20, 1978 https://identifyus.org/en/cases/5798
    Last edited by Ambercat; 06-07-2014 at 08:34 PM. Reason: added info about other Asian male UIDs

  10. #10
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    Thinking Out Loud

    Henry's page on the Doe Network has been changed to http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/2026umnv.html

    I was able to locate a number of people with the surname Owaka including a Henry Owaka from Kenya. I keep debating back and forth about whether "Henry" checked into the Hacienda Hotel under an alias or if the hotel accidentally made a typo in the guest's name. There was a H. Okawa from Houston, TX who has unclaimed property that was turned over to the state of Texas. I really wish there was more information out there about the address and the original investigation. Unfortunately, the newspaper archive that I use the Long Beach Public Library is missing the Las Vegas Sun for 1973 and 1974.

    Back in the 1970s, did you usually need ID and a credit card when you checked into a hotel [like you do today]? If a person had an anglicized nickname, such as Henry for Hideki or Hiroshi, I would assume that the hotel would put the person's given name in the hotel register?


  11. #11
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    I believe back in the day anyone could check into a hotel under almost any name and pay cash, especially if it was a "seedier" for lack of a better word.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by amputate View Post
    I believe back in the day anyone could check into a hotel under almost any name and pay cash, especially if it was a "seedier" for lack of a better word.
    I know what you mean. Henry isn't the only person to have met an untimely end at a Las Vegas hotel reserved by someone with an alias; about a decade later in 1982, Krista Lee Elliott was stabbed to death by a man who had checked into the Frontier under the alias of Gerry Simms (http://www.lvmpd.com/Sections/Homici...5/Default.aspx). There are probably a lot more examples.

    I don't know that much about the Hacienda and have never stayed there, so I'm not really sure what kind of hotel it was (if it was the sort of place people would regularly check into under assumed names). If anyone has stayed there or otherwise has some insight, I would really be interested.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ambercat View Post
    I know what you mean. Henry isn't the only person to have met an untimely end at a Las Vegas hotel reserved by someone with an alias; about a decade later in 1982, Krista Lee Elliott was stabbed to death by a man who had checked into the Frontier under the alias of Gerry Simms (http://www.lvmpd.com/Sections/Homici...5/Default.aspx). There are probably a lot more examples.

    I don't know that much about the Hacienda and have never stayed there, so I'm not really sure what kind of hotel it was (if it was the sort of place people would regularly check into under assumed names). If anyone has stayed there or otherwise has some insight, I would really be interested.
    The Hacienda was at the very south end of the Las Vegas strip adjacent to the airport. It was very ordinary compared to the other hotels on the strip. It was blown up about 20 years ago, and the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino now stands where the Hacienda Used to be.

  14. #14
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    I had no idea it was where Mandalay Bay is now, I'm staying there next month. Yikes!

  15. #15
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    Recently, when I tried to access Henry's NamUs page, I received an error message. I wonder if his case has finally been solved? His Doe Network page is still up, though, and doesn't have any notations about being solved.

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