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

This is why I wonder if he was a younger child. Perhaps having a smart older brother who the family was proud of? (Quietly “extinguishing” the youngest son so that he doesn’t watch what comes to follow looks merciful in comparison with the rest.)
short stature large feet also suggest to me an adolescent who later grew taller IMO
 
I've sort of been out of commission and off the thread for a while lately, but wanted to let folks here know that I recently finished Nic's book: "Blue Light Yokohama". I highly recommend it for anyone interested in detective/crime books. I found it compelling on several levels, most of all for the sort of tight, complex (but not too convoluted) main plot, but also the many interesting characters and the backdrop of ever-fascinating Tokyo. Kudos to our resident author here. May he be as effective in solving our real-life murder as Inspector Iwata was at his.
My first book review on WS! You’re too kind, @fridaybaker. So glad you enjoyed it :)

There are another two Inspector Iwata mis/adventures out there if you run out of good things to read. And here’s hoping your sabbatical was just a needed rest
 
Hi all. New member here. 15 year resident of Tokyo but recently moved close to the Chitose Karasuyama station which is about a 15 minute walk from the Kamisoshigaya Park where the house is, and the station the family shopped days before the murder.

I decided to walk and see the house for myself a few weeks ago to see how it looked in 2024. I arrived there around 17:15 just as dusk hit. I was surprised to see no security besides it being fenced off. There was no police officer stationed by the house either, although it’s possible it isn’t a 24 hour operation or more likely that they leave at the end of the work day.

I was able to go right up to the house to take some pictures which I’ll post here for the curious. They are not fantastic as it was already dark by the time I arrived, but I didn’t expect to be able to get up so close. You can see the back of the house is protected by a plastic wall but the front has hardly anything. I could have gone right to the front door if I pushed through the fence.

There were signs saying the house is alarmed and has CCTV so I didn’t want to try my luck any further and get in any trouble with the police. And to be honest, being so close to the house after reading and learning about the case for years and years had my heart pumping.

Anyway, the photos for the curious. I also hope no one thinks too badly of me for taking the photos of such a place.
Welcome to the thread, @Incoherent. Thanks for the post. You’re the most local member here! Re; the house, so sad the TMPD seems to have given up on it. They’ve always had a constant sentry there every time I’ve visited. Of course, within days of ceasing this, some kids broke in. Only a matter of time til it comes down in such a fashion. (Not that I’m saying the TMPD should police it indefinitely). If you happen to hear of any updates to the house, please do let us know. And if you come across any locals who mention the case, give me a shout. If all goes well, I’ll be out in Japan interviewing locals…
 
Wow thank you! It is so nice to see these photos. Thank you so much!
You are very welcome. I have debated going back during the day but the park attached is still in use and I expect kids and their parents are there at that time. It wouldn’t look very good if I were seen snooping around taking photos and I might be reported. When I arrived it was already empty.
Welcome to the thread, @Incoherent. Thanks for the post. You’re the most local member here! Re; the house, so sad the TMPD seems to have given up on it. They’ve always had a constant sentry there every time I’ve visited. Of course, within days of ceasing this, some kids broke in. Only a matter of time til it comes down in such a fashion. (Not that I’m saying the TMPD should police it indefinitely). If you happen to hear of any updates to the house, please do let us know. And if you come across any locals who mention the case, give me a shout. If all goes well, I’ll be out in Japan interviewing locals…
Hello! I’m new to Web Sleuths and have just realised who you are! It’s good to see you here. Your podcast was a great listen and source of information for me and I’ve listened a fair few times already.
It did seem to me the TMPD didn’t have a presence there anymore when I arrived. It felt very much left alone and abandoned and very eerie. The park attached to the house was empty already, but ironically across the street the loud sounds of skateboards and teenagers laughing and belching could be heard. The neighbourhood is so quiet and those sounds stood out as very loud to me and it sent a shiver down my spine for a moment.
Re: local people - I do know of two Japanese-American sisters who lived in that neighbourhood a while ago. They’re not exactly my friends, but friends of a close friend. When I spoke of this case to him he mentioned the sisters lived in Kamisoshigaya but we didn’t talk more about it. I can ask him a bit more and see if that may be any kind of help for you if you end up returning here.

For everyone else - if you have any questions about the surroundings or how the property is now feel free to ask me as I’m sure I’ll be back there again to look.
 
You are very welcome. I have debated going back during the day but the park attached is still in use and I expect kids and their parents are there at that time. It wouldn’t look very good if I were seen snooping around taking photos and I might be reported. When I arrived it was already empty.

Hello! I’m new to Web Sleuths and have just realised who you are! It’s good to see you here. Your podcast was a great listen and source of information for me and I’ve listened a fair few times already.
It did seem to me the TMPD didn’t have a presence there anymore when I arrived. It felt very much left alone and abandoned and very eerie. The park attached to the house was empty already, but ironically across the street the loud sounds of skateboards and teenagers laughing and belching could be heard. The neighbourhood is so quiet and those sounds stood out as very loud to me and it sent a shiver down my spine for a moment.
Re: local people - I do know of two Japanese-American sisters who lived in that neighbourhood a while ago. They’re not exactly my friends, but friends of a close friend. When I spoke of this case to him he mentioned the sisters lived in Kamisoshigaya but we didn’t talk more about it. I can ask him a bit more and see if that may be any kind of help for you if you end up returning here.

For everyone else - if you have any questions about the surroundings or how the property is now feel free to ask me as I’m sure I’ll be back there again to look.
Thank you for posting the pictures and update. I wonder if there's something to be said about the house no longer being patrolled. Is it some kind of "statement" by TMPD?

I've been privy to a couple local unsolved murders. One involving a friend's mother and another involving a couple close friends. In these cases, and others I've read about, the locals always seem to "know" who did it, and why. Of course, there are a few dissenting opinions. But overall, most agree on the same suspects. In fact, in the case of my close friends, another friend is a police officer actually on the case, who validated suspicions. Unfortunately, law enforcement doesn't have sufficient evidence to convict. I suspect in most unsolved murder cases, locals seem to have a pulse that outsiders don't.

I'm wondering/suspecting if local residents have some insider insights. Maybe not "who," but "why." In this forum, the predominant theory seems to be a US military son. Do those in your area share that suspicion? Or do they have another theory? I suspect they have a unique perspective that us behind our computers don't. Is there hope or optimism the case will one day be solved? Or is the local vibe that it'll never be solved? Any insight you have on the word on the street would be GREATLY appreciated.
 
One idea I was pondering on is that perhaps the healed wounds he sustained while he horrifically attacked the Setagaya family might catch the attention or notice of the perp’s family, friends and doctors? Knife or stab wounds often tend to leave behind raise linear scars and it perhaps it is possible he had more than one of them?

I could imagine if he is changing his clothes for the gym or the beach or for bed and his friends, coaches, teachers or mom noticed they may question where they came from or what happened to him to leave such a scar. It may also trigger alarm bells among his family members if they notice that the appearance of the these scars may coincide with the length of time that has passed since the Setagaya murders.

If he also returns to using the same doctor for medical checkups or is just looked over by the school or Air Force nurse, they may also notice the new or interesting appearance of these marks and their location (the hands and arms as Setagayas did their best to defend themselves as he wielded the knife). This may lead them to ask out of concern what caused them, was he assaulted, is he or was he in danger, was anybody else in danger or harmed or if he has recently engaged in a fight or carried out some type of assault while wielding a knife or some type of sharp of object.

If this possible I wonder then if it is also possible that there are any school, medical or nursing records that may still exist in the area the perp moved to or stayed in next that will show this and that would match a person with the same lifestyle or history and physical and genetic profile as the perp or POI?

Edit: Since New Years Eve the next day, perhaps those around the perp were taking pictures during the festive holiday season and by chance they show that the perp had parts of his body wrapped indicating he had been injured? Or they remember the perp flinching or he was noticeably unable to use his dominant hand and arms due to some injury he didn’t disclose to them?
 
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Given the possibility of the perpetrator being korean or chinese (DNA results) , is it known if the Miyazawas' had any relatives involved in the japanese colonization of Korea and China or in violent or repressive acts against citizen of those japanese "colonies"? Was this investigated?
 
Thank you for posting the pictures and update. I wonder if there's something to be said about the house no longer being patrolled. Is it some kind of "statement" by TMPD?

I've been privy to a couple local unsolved murders. One involving a friend's mother and another involving a couple close friends. In these cases, and others I've read about, the locals always seem to "know" who did it, and why. Of course, there are a few dissenting opinions. But overall, most agree on the same suspects. In fact, in the case of my close friends, another friend is a police officer actually on the case, who validated suspicions. Unfortunately, law enforcement doesn't have sufficient evidence to convict. I suspect in most unsolved murder cases, locals seem to have a pulse that outsiders don't.

I'm wondering/suspecting if local residents have some insider insights. Maybe not "who," but "why." In this forum, the predominant theory seems to be a US military son. Do those in your area share that suspicion? Or do they have another theory? I suspect they have a unique perspective that us behind our computers don't. Is there hope or optimism the case will one day be solved? Or is the local vibe that it'll never be solved? Any insight you have on the word on the street would be GREATLY appreciated.
Unfortunately I don’t have any links to the community as I’ve only recently moved into this area of Setagaya. Although I’ve lived in Tokyo for 15 years, the city is so vast that I’ve only ever been 1.5-2 hours away from here and it was my first time exploring Soshigaya Park. I arrived at 17:15 and there was no police officer but I haven’t been back since so can’t say for sure that it is never patrolled. I will say that every year on the anniversary date the news and often TV will air a segment about it and the TMPD renews their plea for any information. The people I’ve spoken to about it who are familiar enough of all the details to have a conversation all seem to think the killer was in the US Army and was opportunistic. Despite the DNA not being “allowed” to be used in such a way to find the killer, the people I’ve spoken to simply don’t believe that unless he was US Army and somewhat protected he would have been found by now. I do have a friend that knows two Japanese-American sisters who lived in the area that may have more insight but as of yet I haven’t reached out to my friend about it.
 
Wow. It always comes back to an American serviceman/family. Sadly, I wonder just what interest there really is in tracking him down if that's truly the case. Certainly, there could folks in the TMPD interested, but among the powers that be? And that's in Japan. What about the U.S?
 
Wow. It always comes back to an American serviceman/family. Sadly, I wonder just what interest there really is in tracking him down if that's truly the case. Certainly, there could folks in the TMPD interested, but among the powers that be? And that's in Japan. What about the U.S?

JMO. I am a civilian. Precedents, this is how legal systems work. Iraq is not a partner, yet the process of Charles Graner comes to mind. Likewise, if there was aggravated assault, battery and murder during a serviceman/family stay at the base in Japan, and 23 years later, there are talks about it in the locality, then, given multiple DNA samples left, we have to help, by providing access to our DNA bases. It is possible that with all assumptions, he is not a US citizen. But, should the perp be from US, he should be provided access to both a Japanese and a US lawyers. There may be mitigating circumstances, such as age, or the lack of proper diagnoses/treatment on a US base of 2000-2001. MOO.
 
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The house itself is roughly the same distance between two train stations in opposite directions, Chitose-Karasuyama and Seijogakuen-Mae, both roughly a 20 minute walk away. Those are the most accessible but there are other stations if you walk longer. If the killer did not live in the area I would presume he used one of these stations to get to Soshigaya Park. Even if he took a taxi or bus afterwards and did not walk to the house, the nature of central Tokyo wards is such that almost everyone is getting around by train up to a certain point. To be able to figure out the access point to the Miyazawa’s house I would think the killer would have had to have made this trip to the park a few times and there is definitely CCTV in those train stations.
Train stations in Tokyo stop service roughly around midnight and then begin again between 4-5am at the earliest. The first train for both of those stations are 4:55am, and the last train for Chitose-Karasuyama is 0:08am and Seijogakuen-Mae is 0:25am and it is unlikely to have been different even back in the year 2000. We also know the killer was in the house around 1:20am due to the computer access. There is no way he had a way out of the area by train at this point. If he left before 4-5am then he either walked, injured, and waited somewhere before catching the early morning trains which means there is CCTV of him out there. If he took a taxi at this time, I’m sure he would have been reported as suspicious by the driver due to the time of night, the wound, and reports of the murder the following day. If he had accomplices who picked him up in a car it means there are multiple people out there who KNOW what happened and for some reason are protecting him. If he stayed in the house until early morning and then made an escape he would have done so in the early morning light and would risk being seen jumping down from the window by passers by on the river walk to the side of the house, the road in front of it, or by surrounding residences.
Or perhaps we can scrap this entirely if he really did live walking distance in the same area, which we could then maybe think the killer actually is a Japanese person who was out to kill the family that pissed him off for using the skate park? Or we had an opportunistic young killer who selected an easily accessible house to try his first murder.
This is just my rambling as someone who has lived in Tokyo a while and what seems likely to me based on the evidence we have. Sorry I don’t have any conclusion really, but what do you all think of the extra points I have made? They’re likely not entirely new points to the situation but perhaps could inspire some more thinking in others.
 
He didn't necessarily take the train. When the killer planned the murders he probably also thought about a quick way out. I think he travelled by bike or motorcycle. He avoided public transportation and being seen in public places.
Travelling by motorcycle in central Tokyo would get you noticed way more than the train. Everyone travels by train in Tokyo, it is so incredibly easy to blend in and not be noticed if you’re doing nothing suspicious but motorcycle is the complete opposite. Japan has historically had an issue with motorcycle gangs and youths causing trouble, so someone on one in such a quiet and residential neighbourhood such as Kamisoshigaya would be noticed most definitely.
As for bicycle, it is possible, but as I mentioned before - Tokyo is so vast that if he travelled while injured on a bicycle he most definitely lives in the area unless he cycled for hours to escape and avoid the train which I doubt.
What you said makes sense from a Western perspective but not Japanese.
 
He didn't necessarily take the train. When the killer planned the murders he probably also thought about a quick way out. I think he travelled by bike or motorcycle. He avoided public transportation and being seen in public places.
The bicycle is a possibility, though he had hurt his hand to at least some kind of moderate degree. Which doesn't make a bike impossible. The motorbike feels a lot less likely. However, nobody ever talks about the possibility of a car. Why? We know that there are reports of Mikio shouting at drivers parking too close to the house. We know Yasuko had supposedly complained of one particular car parking too close to the house. A car would explain how he disappears with zero witnesses. Frankly, the idea of a young man without a jacket and a bandaged hand, even on the first train of the day, not being noticed by anyone on the 31st of December, feels so unlikely. The killer would be taking such a risk. The car would minimise that significantly.

It just so happens to jive perfectly with the theory of a US airman (or familial dependent).
 
The house itself is roughly the same distance between two train stations in opposite directions, Chitose-Karasuyama and Seijogakuen-Mae, both roughly a 20 minute walk away. Those are the most accessible but there are other stations if you walk longer. If the killer did not live in the area I would presume he used one of these stations to get to Soshigaya Park. Even if he took a taxi or bus afterwards and did not walk to the house, the nature of central Tokyo wards is such that almost everyone is getting around by train up to a certain point. To be able to figure out the access point to the Miyazawa’s house I would think the killer would have had to have made this trip to the park a few times and there is definitely CCTV in those train stations.
Train stations in Tokyo stop service roughly around midnight and then begin again between 4-5am at the earliest. The first train for both of those stations are 4:55am, and the last train for Chitose-Karasuyama is 0:08am and Seijogakuen-Mae is 0:25am and it is unlikely to have been different even back in the year 2000. We also know the killer was in the house around 1:20am due to the computer access. There is no way he had a way out of the area by train at this point. If he left before 4-5am then he either walked, injured, and waited somewhere before catching the early morning trains which means there is CCTV of him out there. If he took a taxi at this time, I’m sure he would have been reported as suspicious by the driver due to the time of night, the wound, and reports of the murder the following day. If he had accomplices who picked him up in a car it means there are multiple people out there who KNOW what happened and for some reason are protecting him. If he stayed in the house until early morning and then made an escape he would have done so in the early morning light and would risk being seen jumping down from the window by passers by on the river walk to the side of the house, the road in front of it, or by surrounding residences.
Or perhaps we can scrap this entirely if he really did live walking distance in the same area, which we could then maybe think the killer actually is a Japanese person who was out to kill the family that pissed him off for using the skate park? Or we had an opportunistic young killer who selected an easily accessible house to try his first murder.
This is just my rambling as someone who has lived in Tokyo a while and what seems likely to me based on the evidence we have. Sorry I don’t have any conclusion really, but what do you all think of the extra points I have made? They’re likely not entirely new points to the situation but perhaps could inspire some more thinking in others.
These are all very good points. My feeling is that he had no accomplices but at least one person close to him will know what he has done. If it's a family member, the possibility of them having a sudden change of heart and approaching the TMPD now--while possible--I think is unlikely. He just needed a car, no accomplices needed. Many people drive one-handed anyway.

OR he walked. And if he walked, he's almost certainly local. And if he was a local, my feeling is the TMPD would've caught him long ago. As for selecting that house opportunistically -- he came with gloves a bag and a knife, likely covered his face too -- all of that is a plan. So, let's assume he saw the house, went to get his kit, and then came back. Why? Why that house? What opportunity presented itself? For burglary, it seems like a terrible idea. For murder, that's a different matter. Their location feels significant in all of this. Their relative isolation (within a Tokyo context).
 
Wow. It always comes back to an American serviceman/family.
Color me camoflauged, but this crime does not vibe US serviceman / family to me:

- Murders by US servicemen? They clearly happen. But.... the usual headline is: "Two prostitutes found Rage Murdered". "Bar owner and waitress stabbed- One Dead". The usual location of the crime is: Entertainment district frequented by servicemen.

- North east Asian DNA? There are alot of such Asians in the US military. But.... most of them are American Asians. This perpetrator had Asian comfort food in his stomach, not hamburgers, pork chops, corn and mashed potatoes. Likewise, being of Asian decent does not automatically mean "comfortable off the beaten path" in metro Tokyo

- Asian shoe sizes and clothing? But.... Asian servicemen and their family members tend to prefer base PX shopping and US brands.

- Apparent descent fluency in Japanese? But.... plenty American Asian servicemen do not read or speak Asian languages any better than my neighbor speaks Greek, or I do Russian. Likewise, being of Asian descent does not automatically lead to an interest in learning Japanese, even if stationed in Japan.

In the end, I am thinking the two leading suspects are:

- "Steven Chiang" The bad news son of a Pacific Rim Chinese business owner. Due to anti Chinese sentiment and a desire to control his noted aggressive tendencies, Chiang was encouraged to study competitive martial arts. This prevents bullying but in Chiangs case, also made him a more dangerous predator. Family honor dips as the once bullied Steven quickly takes to bullying his siblings and mother.

Sent to Japan to study hard, bring honor to his family and to well.... get rid of him. Steven spent his time cruising red light districts. Hired the mother as a "cram tutor" for the all important examinations in a last minute effort to salvage his sinking situation. Fails badly as tutors cant work miracles. Steven could careless about family hoinor, but cares deeply about being cut off for failing grades. Murders the family in a rage as family shame mounts. Then flies back to Indonesia.

"Min-Su Park": The son of a Korean Chaebol executive. Min took quickly to wrestling in high school, where despite a propensity for racking up fouls, he excelled. Mandatory service in the Korean marines followed. Commanders noted what the wrestling coach noted.... Park mixes athletic talent with a lack of both self control and personal discipline.

Sent to Japan to study hard and bring honor to his family. Spent his time cruising red light districts. Even knows Chiang distantly. Hired the mother as a "cram tutor" for the all important examinations in a last minute effort to salvage his sinking situation. Flames out badly in the end and fears his playboy life is over. Murders the family in a rage as fear of family shame mounts. Then flies back to South Korea
 
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Color me camoflauged, but this crime does not vibe US serviceman / family to me:

- Murders by US servicemen? They clearly happen. But.... the usual headline is: "Two prostitutes found Rage Murdered". "Bar owner and waitress stabbed- One Dead". The usual location of the crime is: Entertainment district frequented by servicemen.

- North east Asian DNA? There are alot of such Asians in the US military. But.... most of them are American Asians. This perpetrator had Asian comfort food in his stomach, not hamburgers, pork chops, corn and mashed potatoes. Likewise, being of Asian decent does not automatically mean "comfortable off the beaten path" in metro Tokyo

- Asian shoe sizes and clothing? But.... Asian servicemen and their family members tend to prefer base PX shopping and US brands.

- Apparent descent fluency in Japanese? But.... plenty American Asian servicemen do not read or speak Asian languages any better than my neighbor speaks Greek, or I do Russian. Likewise, being Asian descent does not lead to interest in learning Japanese, even if stationed in Japan.

In the end, I am thinking the two leading suspects are:

- "Steven Chiang" The bad news son of a Pacific Rim Chinese business owner. Due to anti Chinese sentiment and a desire to control his noted aggressive tendencies, Chiang was encouraged to study competitive martial arts. This prevents bullying but in Chiangs case, also made him a more dangerous predator.

Sent to Japan to study hard and bring honor to his family. Spent his time cruising red light districts. Hired the mother as a "cram tutor" for the all important examinations in a last minute effort to salvage his sinking situation. Fails badly as tutors cant work miracles. Murders the family in a rage as family shame mounts. Then flies back to Indonesia.

Min-Su Park: The son of a Korean Chaebol executive. Min took quickly to wrestling in high school, where despite a propensity for racking up fouls, he excelled. Mandatory service in the Korean marines followed. Commanders noted what the wrestling coach noted.... Park mixes athletic talent with a lack of both self control and personal discipline.

Sent to Japan to study hard and bring honor to his family. Spent his time cruising red light districts. Hired the mother as a "cram tutor" for the all important examinations in a last minute effort to salvage his sinking situation. Flames out badly as tutors cant work miracles. Murders the family in a rage as family shame mounts. Then flies back to South Korea
Nice work on the opening line ;) My thoughts on your points in order:

1) "but the usual..." -- Nothing about this case is the usual.

2) This point has been raised many times. When I am in Japan, I eat Japanese food. This proves nothing, nor tells you where I am from. Let's say he had sushi inside his stomach. It could've been the first time he'd ever eaten the stuff. Or he could be a sushi connoisseur.

3) again, "tend to". What are the tendencies here that line up with anything? Also, I do not think the killer was simply Asian. I think he was Asian-American. And where people on-base tend to shop is neither here nor there. I have bought clothes before in Tokyo many times. Why would the killer be incapable or disinclined to do the same?

4) plenty may well be plenty but it is not all. Moreover, the person of interest I think may be involved in these cases was getting A's in Japanese throughout his high-school education. Just because you may not speak a second or third language means that I cannot?

5) Your Steve Chiang theory is, like all of the others possible, but fundamentally predicated upon the idea that the mother hired him. My problem there is that 1,000% the TMPD would catch him with such a direct connection. JMO. Your Min-Su Park idea, however, is impossible. We know that the killer is not only not from South Korea, he's never even been to the country. This is confirmed by the TMPD who, in turn, were informed by their counterparts in Seoul -- where there is a national fingerprint database of all citizens, residents, and visitors.

Essentially, while you're reasonably pointing to things that are the norm and why that makes the killer unlikely to be a US serviceman, I strongly believe that he simply stands outside of the norm. The POI lines up with every single element. This is why he is my POI. Moreover, the theory is not that he's actually in the USAF himself, but related to someone he is. Which, again, lines up with the POI.
 
I've always thought the possibility of the perpetrator being a tutoring student of Yasuko's to be pretty remote. There's the idea that Nic states above, which is that the TMPD would likely be on that person pretty quickly. Apparently, they looked very hard at those close to or in any way connected to the Miyazawas.

Also, it just doesn't strike me as the kind of crime related to tutoring/failing classes. It can happen, sure, but this is an entire family, murdered almost beyond recognition. Wouldn't the rage be focused almost solely on Yasuko? This entire family, except for Rei, was absolutely slaughtered.

For the poster above, who is attempting to make a case based on tendencies and usual behavior, I would think this would be the last scenario. Certainly, it does happen that students have murdered teachers for bad grades, but the incidences of taking out an entire family for bad grades I'd think would be infinitesimal.

At any rate, I keep running into views, from various unrelated people/articles, that imply it was someone, or someone related to someone, in the US military. I can so easily see it. The fact that he hasn't been found, despite what seems to have been an incredibly robust investigation, easily points to someone who simply disappeared soon afterward, as in, left the country.

Then there's the affluence (I'm not asserting that he needed to be wealthy of even of any significant affluence, but, considering the new/new-ish, branded clothing, he wasn't poor. He had access to money, which I think is likely in the son of a serviceman.) Then there's the Edwards Air Force Base sand. THAT SAND!
 
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The sand both from Edwards and from Miura seems like extremely strong concrete evidence that there is a US military link, yet for whatever reason TMPD doesn't seem interested in pursuing that line of inquiry, and besides the DNA (which for legal reasons can't be matched), it seems to be the only line of inquiry not fully explored. Not sure if related, but there were actually protests against US military presence in Japan in the late 90s after several servicemen assaulted a teenage girl.

If we do base things on likelihood, that sand is factually there. It'd be a massive coincidence for someone not connected to the military to have sand from both areas.

I think it's also important to differentiate between a soldier and the teenage child of someone working for the military. If we're going off generalized assumptions/speculation, I would say that while this case doesn't fit the profile of servicemen who kill, it does fit a teenager.

I've worked with teen offenders (including for homicide) before. The crime is both paradoxically reasonably well-planned and at the same time extremely sloppy. There's a seemingly extreme rage-based violence for someone you don't actually have a direct personal connection with that's probably a proxy for something else. The shocking lack of empathy in straightaway murdering a sleeping child, and the ability to then stay out of trouble suggesting the person may not have fully understood consequences nor what the ramifications were, but now does on some level, etc. However, admittedly, this can't be said for certain because having such a mindset can be caused by a number of factors.
 
So many excellent points raised.
I am a little guilty of trying to see this from the perspective of a resident and the typical behaviours of someone who lives their life here in Tokyo. And none of it is really making sense.
Like others I’ve spoken to and most people here, for many factors it does make the most sense that the killer was not Japanese or a local but indeed someone or related to someone in the US military…

Just out of curiosity, would anyone be interested in seeing some photos of the surroundings to get more of a feel for how the killer may have escaped, roads he’d need to use to do it, etc? All available on something like Google Earth but in the interest of raising more talking points and for my own curiosity I’d like to go back and study the area a bit more.
 

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