Japan - Miyazawa family of 4 murdered, Setagaya, Tokyo, 30 Dec 2000 #2

But what does the attack itself tell us? The boy - strangled, lying on the bed, covered by the futon (very little blood). The father, attacked on the head, but also, his pants cut on the legs and thighs. (It might indicate that he was coming down from the attic, although the police thinks that Mikio was more likely in the computer room, so, coming up?). The daughter and mother, viciously attacked in the head and face. The mother attacked savagely, but afterwards, it seems both the daughter's and the mother's faces were covered (perhaps the bodies, too.) The police thinks the murderer does it if the victims are known to him. One, however, might interpret it differently. The cruelty seems to mount with each murder, and the guy has slaughtered the house. When all are dead, the perp is left alone and helps himself to the food, naps, etc. He "lives" in the house for a while, and it is possible that he feels it unpleasant to view his "job". So he covers everyone - except for Mr. Miyazawa. For a certain reason, the perp is unfazed by Mikio's dead face. I can imagine that covering the body of a dead "enemy" and maybe, even crossing oneself is ritualistic. But when it comes to Mikio, the attitude changes to "whatever". Does it mean anything, or is it random?
SBM:

The sequence of the murders themselves is the part I'm most confident in. The absolute lack of blood on Rei tells us not only was he first to die, it also tells us the killer is very unlikely to have touched him afterwards too. Mikio is then almost certainly second for several reasons. Firstly, because the knife is both broken off in his head. The stab wounds to his buttocks and such, I think, is a byproduct of the killer initially having a reach / height advantage as they clash on the stairs but then Mikio starts blocking that to grapple with him, where the killer then switches to lower blows. Secondly, we know that the killer interrupts his attack on Yasuko and Niina to discard his own broken knife and swap it for the carving knife. It also allows time for Yasuko and Niina to descend the ladder and end up where end up. So, in terms of the order of the murders, I'd be happy to say they're set in stone.

And the only person who is covered is Yasuko. The killer seemingly lays his jacket over her torso. Now, as I've said before, this could be seen as an "affectionate" gesture. Like tucking her into bed. But so too could it simply be he took of his jacket and let it fall on her in the same way he pulled out those draws from the cabinet and dropped them on Mikio. He was not covered. Niina was not covered. Rei was not covered. As for whether it's random or it has any meaning, it would be pure speculation without having access to any kind of motivation. And that lack of (apparent) motivation is the very heart of this paradox.
 
Also, I’m not sure if anyone has read this article about a special Fuji TV aired in 2020 about the method of entry.
The article is Japanese (hit that translate button) but it says that Fuji TV made an exact replica of that side of the house, down to the exact size of the window the killer supposedly entered and exited and the height of the fence he would have climbed. They even used an actor wearing the same clothes and was the same height and build speculated.

It concludes that it would be impossible for the killer to enter or exit and leave zero traces of blood or fibres. Just look at how the killer would have had to have squeezed into that window.
Fantastic images here, great post. I'd only heard about this reconstruction, never seen. It just goes to show you that for the killer to enter the house that way, it would be possible but unlikely given practicalities. Impossible, given the evidence. So, for me, that only solidifies the theory that he entered through Rei's balcony.
 
This one is even more interesting
The DNA database collection in Japan and they do solve a housewife's murder that happened in 2020

So things must be changing
SBM:

This is actually the only way in which the TMPD or any other Japanese police force can use DNA to catch a killer:
"Since this year, the type of DNA collected in connection with another case has been revealed. It appears that the DNA pattern matched the one left in the house at the time. It appears that it was not an incident, but a violation of the Firearms and Swords Act."

So, nothing is changing given the above. They had his DNA, he then broke the law again, they matched his DNA, bingo. This was available to the TMPD in 2000. It's available to them now. It's useless until the murderer of the Miyazawa family breaks another law in Japan and leaves behind his DNA...

Speaking with former LE in Japan, it seems as if it's inevitable the legal framework will eventually be adopted by Japan in order to fall into line with the rest of the world. It will just take a long time.
 
Nice find! The website is quite hard to navigate.

Here are some points from that article the author makes and theorises (not in order sorry) and I tried my best to translate into English with my own Japanese:

1. The killer was a child/very young with autism.
2. The killer was a former student of Yasuko’s cram school, said to be a Kumon school. These are very popular and widespread schools in Japan and do indeed take in students in their teenage years. He may have seen them at an entrance ceremony if he wasn’t a direct student of Yasuko.
3. The killer held a grudge against the Miyazawa family and was acting on pure hatred/grudge with intent to kill.
4. The killer did not think about his actions well and chose a knife that is weak/easily broken due to its purpose of cutting fish. This would not be the kind of knife a killer would choose to murder a person with effectively. It’s almost certain to snap and break.
5. The killer particularly disliked Rei due to his mental development issues, perhaps because it made the killer think of his own.
6. The reason the killer’s actions in the house were so bizarre is because he was a child/young and autistic. He didn’t plan as such, he just went in to kill.
7. After killing, he indulged in too much ice cream and tea and needed to poop and did not flush because he did not want to make any further noise.
8. The careless actions and focus on eating a lot of ice cream is indicative of childish behaviour and someone young.
9. His body type was incredibly slender to be able to fit in the window and not leave a trace so being much older than a teenager is unlikely.

That’s what I got from it from those interested. I’m not sure who this author is.
Appreciate all the translation! So helpful.

My problem with these in general is that they're basically a choose-your-own-adventure. Of course, speculation is more or less what we're left with, but given the killer's seeming contradictions in his actions or lack of apparent motive, a list like this is a one-sided game of Battleship. This one is particularly bad, though.

1. The youth is very likely given that's the official line from the TMPD. The autism part I think is garbage. Based on what?
2. I would bet my life savings (if I had any) that the killer was NOT a student of Yasuko's. There are valid criticisms about the TMPD but I don't think there is ANY conceivable way the killer could be so obviously and evidently connected to the family and the detectives overlooked him. I think this is improbable to the point of being able to discard it right now.
3. He was clearly driven by emotion. There is absolutely zero that points to the Miyazawa family being the ones to provoke this emotion within him. These blogs never discuss the possibility of them being surrogates for the killer's rage.
4. Evident.
5. Again, based on what? This is as likely as me theorising he hated women given the violence visited on Yasuko. Or as likely as his pathological hatred of the letter M driving him to destroy the first family he saw in the phone book.
6. Poor planning is not the exclusive preserve of autistic people or children.
7. Possible but he didn't exactly show much caution across the board. And why would a flushing toilet raise any alarm?
8. Being careless or eating ice cream is indicative of nothing. I'm 39 years old and am guilty of both.
9. As the reconstruction showed, you don't have to be a teenager to fit through that window. In any case, I think it's moot because my contention is that he never touched that window (though likely did consider it as someone was seemingly pacing below it given the broken twigs and footprints in the mud).
 
Yes, they even mentioned the possibility of the perpetrator being the patient of some outpatient mental health facility, and Rei going to speech therapy in a similar place, too, if I translated correctly.

You know, I think the board has something in common with similar FB groups. Overall, it is "use at own risk" information, but occasionally, true gems might be found. The Japanese boards organizers seem to run into such problems, too, as they have issued a similar warning about a.sori's posts (re. the suicide of a teenager living near Setagaya.)

This being said, there must be certain truth in the stories about maimed animals in Setagaya Park. "Setagaya murders" Japanese Wikipedia mentions such occurrences, too. So, it probably happened, and clustered around december of 2000, but whether it was linked to Setagaya murders or not, remains unknown.
As with the killer being one of Yasuko's students, I would be stunned if the killer was connected to Rei's clinic. Moreover, we know the TMPD looked hard at the kids' schools, the clinic, both the jobs of the parents. I think it's very unlikely they had a suspect in any of those forums and, for whatever reason, he slipped by unnoticed.

As for the animal killings / torture that was going on around Setagaya, the police arrested him. No connection to the Miyazawas. He protested his innocence, interestingly enough, which isn't the case as often as it is in the US or Europe.
 
Those kuromutsu 2chan posts, if verified true, are incredible. That poster knew so much so soon after the murders. And even 3 days before, says he plans to kill the happy family next door before the new year.
They are not true. The Chief said they found the poster and he was 'eliminated'. I'm assuming from the investigation. I can't tell you what the outcome was for the poster, if any. But as I've said many times, those message boards don't hold the key here. (Though intriguing that some of posts above explicitly mention the US air base -- I just don't get the context).
 
To me, it seems like the perpetrator may have had mental health issues. The police should have investigated all individuals with mental health conditions, including those living with siblings. A DNA test could potentially uncover the perpetrator's gender and age based on the DNA material left at the scene.
 
To me, it seems like the perpetrator may have had mental health issues. The police should have investigated all individuals with mental health conditions, including those living with siblings. A DNA test could potentially uncover the perpetrator's gender and age based on the DNA material left at the scene.
If he had mental health issues, which is of course quite possible, he was certainly taking no medication for it as his blood came up free of anything. As for investigating all individuals with mental health conditions, I'm not sure how viable that is unless they have criminal records -- we know that in late 2020, the number of Japanese receiving treatments for mental and behavioural disorders like schizophrenia and manic depression was around 5 million. Though, if any country was going to go through a number like that, it would be Japan. We know that they have fingerprinted over 1 million men in this case.

As for DNA testing, if you read through this thread (and the first thread which got to about 60 pages), you'll see in Japan this is not possible for legal reasons. Also, not sure DNA tells you age? I have no idea on science stuff, happy to be contradicted there.
 
Thanks for all the clarification @FacelessPodcast on all the speculation going on here today! Happy if I’ve provided anything useful or interesting for discussion.

I have done some searching and found the clip of the TV special where the entry into the window was recreated. I’ve uploaded it for everyone to watch if interested but there may be an expiry on the link as it’s a free website.

View here: Recreation of the killer entering the 2F bathroom window - Streamable

What strikes me most is the amount of noise and apparent struggle it is to even get up there and into the window.

Unfortunately my previous post got messed up when I asked a mod to remove my dead video links so the photos and videos I took recently have gone. However, in the interest of Nic’s theory about the entry point actually being Rei’s balcony here are some as close up photos as I could get when I was there Saturday to see how the killer may have entered.


IMG_2916.jpeg

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IMG_2914.jpeg
 
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Thanks for all the clarification @FacelessPodcast on all the speculation going on here today! Happy if I’ve provided anything useful or interesting for discussion.

I have done some searching and found the clip of the TV special where the entry into the window was recreated. I’ve uploaded it for everyone to watch if interested but there may be an expiry on the link as it’s a free website.

View here: Watch unnamed | Streamable

Unfortunately my previous post got messed up when I asked a mod to remove my dead video links so the photos and videos I took recently have gone. However, in the interest of Nic’s theory about the entry point actually being Rei’s balcony here are some as close up photos as I could get when I was there Saturday to see how the killer may have entered.


View attachment 487696

View attachment 487697

View attachment 487698
Brilliant, thanks for the links and the photos -- they're great. You see how low down the balcony is. Even if we know that Mikio's Citröen Xanthia was parked right underneath it and therefore giving the killer and obvious route up, I'm pretty sure I could jump and pull myself up from a standing position. Let alone someone actually athletic. Now, what I'd never noticed before (as I never got that close given the police guard) was that there's a side window just adjacent to the garage. Mikio would've had his back to it (assuming it wasn't obscured like it is here) so the killer would've taken a chance even getting up onto the car. The front door theory, walking right up and knocking, makes no sense to me. Seeing it like this, it only further convinces me that Rei's balcony was the point of entry.
 
Watching that video: one, the noise the fence makes when the man gets up on to it. That metallic clattering wasn't exactly subtle. Could've easily at least interested Mikio. Also, as the man himself says, "semai", pretty sure that means cramped? Thirdly, he makes noise clattering against the outside wall. He makes noise getting in through the window (assuming it was open that night). All in all, unconvincing.
 
Watching that video: one, the noise the fence makes when the man gets up on to it. That metallic clattering wasn't exactly subtle. Could've easily at least interested Mikio. Also, as the man himself says, "semai", pretty sure that means cramped? Thirdly, he makes noise clattering against the outside wall. He makes noise getting in through the window (assuming it was open that night). All in all, unconvincing.
Yes the reporter first of all says “kanari semai” which means it’s very cramped/narrow, he then goes on to say “girigiri hairimashita” which means that the actor only just managed to get himself through the window and the reporter is surprised he did it.

They are following the exact way in which the killer is speculated to have entered into that window, including using the electrical box for a leg up.

I cannot get over how much noise it made and the struggle it would’ve been.
 
Brilliant, thanks for the links and the photos -- they're great. You see how low down the balcony is. Even if we know that Mikio's Citröen Xanthia was parked right underneath it and therefore giving the killer and obvious route up, I'm pretty sure I could jump and pull myself up from a standing position. Let alone someone actually athletic. Now, what I'd never noticed before (as I never got that close given the police guard) was that there's a side window just adjacent to the garage. Mikio would've had his back to it (assuming it wasn't obscured like it is here) so the killer would've taken a chance even getting up onto the car. The front door theory, walking right up and knocking, makes no sense to me. Seeing it like this, it only further convinces me that Rei's balcony was the point of entry.
Why do TCMP seem to think it was the back window? I agree after looking at these recent photos that balcony looks quite doable as a point of entry. It aligns with the way Rei was killed as well, i.e. quietly.
 
Why do TCMP seem to think it was the back window? I agree after looking at these recent photos that balcony looks quite doable as a point of entry. It aligns with the way Rei was killed as well, i.e. quietly.
I can only tell you that from speaking with the Chief, they are *uncertain* how he got in. The grandmother didn’t remember whether the door was locked or not as she entered or even if the front door was ajar
 
Balconies in Japan are generally not used as they are in the West, for example a spot to relax or a place for a table and chairs - they’re used for laundry, especially in a family home. You can see on the photos I attached a long metal rod type pole leaning on the right side of the balcony. That is a typical laundry pole here and it is usually suspended between two points either side of the balcony.

The balcony doors to Rei’s room also very typical and come with just a small latch to lock. It is possible since it is likely to have been used for laundry during the day that the latch could have been left unlocked and the killer entered. I’m not sure how the killer could have unlocked it himself, I don’t think it’s possible from outside. It is more likely IMO that the bathroom window was left ajar than a balcony door left unlocked.
Unless it was just… open for some reason? But at 11:30pm in December it would have been too cold for a sleeping Rei if so.
 
Balconies in Japan are generally not used as they are in the West, for example a spot to relax or a place for a table and chairs - they’re used for laundry, especially in a family home. You can see on the photos I attached a long metal rod type pole leaning on the right side of the balcony. That is a typical laundry pole here and it is usually suspended between two points either side of the balcony.

The balcony doors to Rei’s room also very typical and come with just a small latch to lock. It is possible since it is likely to have been used for laundry during the day that the latch could have been left unlocked and the killer entered. I’m not sure how the killer could have unlocked it himself, I don’t think it’s possible from outside. It is more likely IMO that the bathroom window was left ajar than a balcony door left unlocked.
Unless it was just… open for some reason? But at 11:30pm in December it would have been too cold for a sleeping Rei if so.
Weird -- to me it just looks like a window?

Screenshot 2024-03-03 at 22.03.13.png
 
Weird -- to me it just looks like a window?

View attachment 487805
They will be sliding doors, not just a window, to gain access and use the balcony. I have them myself in my home too. Like I mentioned balconies are used for laundry here so it won’t be just a window. I could take a picture of mine if it helps as they’re pretty identical.

Also another thought, it is very likely they would have had their air con units running on warm at that time too. The Miyazawa house is wooden in structure and those types of houses have zero insulation - they’re absolutely freezing. Having the AC running would an add extra layer of noise around the house outside as the units hum fairly loudly sometimes. I believe one such unit is above where Mikio sat.
 
As for investigating all individuals with mental health conditions, I'm not sure how viable that is unless they have criminal records -- we know that in late 2020, the number of Japanese receiving treatments for mental and behavioural disorders like schizophrenia and manic depression was around 5 million. <...> Also, not sure DNA tells you age? I have no idea on science stuff, happy to be contradicted there.
Sorry, I should have been more clear – I meant all registered mental health patients, both in and out of the hospital, living in the town or within that district.

DNA analysis can provide information about gender, but estimating age from DNA is less accurate. While certain DNA markers can indicate sex, determining an individual's exact age from DNA is challenging. Age prediction may involve assessing specific markers associated with aging, but it is more of an estimate than an exact science.
 

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