Japan - Miyazawa family of 4 murdered, Setagaya, Tokyo, 30 Dec 2000 #3

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Mikio Miyazawa 44, wife Yasuko 41, Niina 8, and Rei 6

"All four were brutally murdered on December 30, 2000 in a crime that shocked Japan and began a grim new chapter in the country's criminal history.

Police know so much about the killer — everything except who he is and why he committed such a violent crime.

He left his DNA everywhere.
He left clothes at the scene.
He left the murder weapon.
He used the victims' computer.
He ate at least four ice creams from their freezer.
And he stayed inside the house for hours as the family lay dead.

Almost 250,000 investigators have worked on this case, receiving more than 15,000 tip-offs from the public.

But nearly two decades later, officers are seemingly no closer to solving a crime that is extremely rare in this largely peaceful country.

[...]"


Please welcome our new verified Websleuths member, FacelessPodcast, a published author who is researching and producing a podcast on NBC Universal about this horrific, unsolved crime. Hopefully some day the brutal killer of this family can be caught and brought to justice.

If FacelessPodcast wishes to share their personal identity, we'll leave it to them to do so.

Thank you to everyone for being here to discuss this case and hopefully help catch this killer. It's been far too long.


Thread #1 Thread #2
 
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As a Verified Author who is familiar with this case, FacelessPodcast is not required to provide links to what they state about their knowledge of this case.

As always, please treat our Verified member with respect at all times. Of course you may ask questions, but if you disagree with something they have to contribute, please don't argue with them or challenge them. Just remain the polite, respectful bunch that we know you to be :)

ETA: For sleuthing purposes, this case is referred to as both the Miyazawa family murders and the Setagaya family murders.
 
2022
''One of the first shocking elements of the case is the fact that it happened in Japan, a country with one of the lowest murder rates in the world, according to a study by the United Nations.
Furthermore, the killer left numerous pieces of evidence at the scene, including his DNA and the murder weapon''

''To this day, the case remains one of the largest mysteries in Japanese history. More than 246,044 investigators have been involved and over 12,545 pieces of evidence has been collected. Still, law enforcement remains baffled, according to Japanese outlet The Mainichi.''
 
Welcome, all! Thread number three, wow. So lovely so see all the contributions here -- I'm sure Setsuko Miyazawa would be touched.

Carrying over a couple of points from Thread 2:

@BatataPoha: your point about a slim young man being able to overpower a family of four not being all chance and luck. I go back and forth on this. Obviously, on paper, it's a wild risk for the killer to assume he would be able to accomplish this at all. But also, the police have described him as slim or athletic. Now, I've been open here that my own person of interest was definitely the latter at the time of the murders. He fits with the physical attributes the police state but would not have huge problems in dispatching Mikio, at least on paper, once you've given him a knife and the element of surprise. Mikio was not a large man, he was in his own home at night, the last thing he's expecting is somebody to appear at the top of the stairs. And, even when you see someone with a knife moving towards you, the brain is capable of thinking surely, he's not going to stab me. Even though it's illogical, I can vouch for this personally. Once Mikio is dead, who almost managed to disarm the killer it must be added despite all the above, I don't think it's a huge leap for him to have overpowered Niina and Yasuko, particularly given that they were in bed. This is not to say that I think the killer had zero exposure to violence. But if the TMPD are right and he is as young as 15, he's not going to be a trained marine or some such. You don't need to be an expert to stab someone and this is precisely what the killer demonstrates: a lack of expertise but sadly coupled with a strong determination to finish the job, despite his injury. As stated on my podcast, the experts find the idea that this was a robbery laughable given the above. He meant to kill them, not rob them.

Your idea that he maybe lied to Yasuko and told her to follow instructions -- very interesting and very possible, I hadn't considered that. That would, of course, require some Japanese on his part. Interestingly, given how brazen he was, I don't think he would have had any qualms about letting his voice be heard, either.

Your final point about video games. Certainly, there were gory titles back in 2000. But I'm afraid for me, this idea whenever it is raised, never ever holds any weight. For one, the studies are simply not there. Are there examples of killers playing video games? Of course. But if Ted Bundy or Anders Brevik also enjoyed ice cream, it's not the cow that's to blame. Japan has more people playing video games than anywhere on earth but the lowest murder rates. This is not to say I think the killer would have not been interested in computers. In fact, I would bet money that he did like video games. I just find the notion that this is what in any way inspired or desensitised him to real violence as absolutely empty.

@Auntie Cipation: I too think that the documents and the mess were likely an afterthought to give the illusion of a robbery gone wrong, or some such. We see this behaviour so, so often in cases of spousal murder, for example. The husband staging a robbery with no conception of what robberies actually tend to look like. If I were a betting man, I would say the moving of the documents and so on where motivated by this. Then again, why tear them up? Why defecate on them (also possible he had already used the toilet and simply threw documents in there after). Why leave such obvious items behind such as Yasuko's valuables or the money on the computer he had just used? As ever, one step forwards, two steps back with this guy.

In answer to your question, the attic level was where the parents slept -- just a futon and a TV, more or less. Great point about the sound. The Irie family definitely would've heard that sound of the ladder on a regular basis (assuming it wasn't permanently down, though it would've very much been in the way). However, my mother has a similar ladder and it is possible to close it relatively quietly. Maybe it was heard as a bang because the killer did it harder than they were used to? At any rate, we know he wasn't shy about his presence being known...
 
I think it’s possible the killer could have given Yasuko instructions too, but I don’t agree that she had no idea Rei was already dead.

Yasuko and Niina’s place of death was right next to Rei’s bedroom doorway. Some diagrams even show Yasuko’s body partly lying in his bedroom.
After likely already seeing Mikio dead at the bottom of the stairs after coming down the loft ladder, and with no noise or movement coming from Rei’s bedroom, I think it probably went through her head Rei was dead too. The bottom of the ladder is so close she could have even seen inside there before the killer reappeared from the kitchen.

Re: the killer being able to take them all out given his size and stature - Mikio was actually 5cm shorter than the killer at 165cm. As @FacelessPodcast mentioned he wasn’t a big guy at all and neither was Yasuko. This could be the reason why the killer didn’t ditch his shoes or trousers - Mikio’s were too small so he had no choice.
An athletic young man like described may have had the upper hand on all of them, and given the element of surprise on all of them too and the frankly brutal and frenzied stabbing with the knives, I can see why he managed it. But it’s not like he managed it unscathed.
 
Hey Nic. Thanks for your replies.
Welcome, all! Thread number three, wow. So lovely so see all the contributions here -- I'm sure Setsuko Miyazawa would be touched.

Carrying over a couple of points from Thread 2:

@BatataPoha: your point about a slim young man being able to overpower a family of four not being all chance and luck. I go back and forth on this. Obviously, on paper, it's a wild risk for the killer to assume he would be able to accomplish this at all. But also, the police have described him as slim or athletic. Now, I've been open here that my own person of interest was definitely the latter at the time of the murders. He fits with the physical attributes the police state but would not have huge problems in dispatching Mikio, at least on paper, once you've given him a knife and the element of surprise. Mikio was not a large man, he was in his own home at night, the last thing he's expecting is somebody to appear at the top of the stairs. And, even when you see someone with a knife moving towards you, the brain is capable of thinking surely, he's not going to stab me. Even though it's illogical, I can vouch for this personally. Once Mikio is dead, who almost managed to disarm the killer it must be added despite all the above, I don't think it's a huge leap for him to have overpowered Niina and Yasuko, particularly given that they were in bed. This is not to say that I think the killer had zero exposure to violence. But if the TMPD are right and he is as young as 15, he's not going to be a trained marine or some such. You don't need to be an expert to stab someone and this is precisely what the killer demonstrates: a lack of expertise but sadly coupled with a strong determination to finish the job, despite his injury. As stated on my podcast, the experts find the idea that this was a robbery laughable given the above. He meant to kill them, not rob them.

This is a slight misinterpretation from your side. I never said that this guy could not have done it coz of his build without planning. I said he couldn’t do it in relative silence. Ofcourse this assumes that the neighbours are telling the truth. I personally don’t think so, but I just wanted to generate an alternate hypothesis for how a relatively soundless crime could be committed.

He definitely did overpower the entire family, separately and at points spread across time and space. Could it have been dumb luck? Maybe. But we know that Mikio was maybe partly visible working from the outside. So it could have been part of the plan. Which would explain the relative lack of sound.

Again I never said the guy was trained to kill. Quite the opposite. We know he is a novice. But that doesn’t mean he couldn’t have had the means to plan ahead a kill. The acts of killing itself are brazen and senseless, but maybe the ambush was not.

Your idea that he maybe lied to Yasuko and told her to follow instructions -- very interesting and very possible, I hadn't considered that. That would, of course, require some Japanese on his part. Interestingly, given how brazen he was, I don't think he would have had any qualms about letting his voice be heard, either.

You are right. We see the killer is very brazen in his attacks and his thud. He does demonstrate a lack of self preservation. But you would presume Yasuko and the little girl would still have certain survival instincts. We know the killer leaves them to go to the kitchen and get the 2nd knife, so how is he sure they would not start screaming or banging the attic walls or even the attic floor. We know sounds from there definitely do carry across since the Ann’s reported that. So why was nothing heard?

Again this assumes the Ann’s are telling the absolute truth, something I don’t believe in.

@Incoherent the final position of the body isn’t very indicative of what she may or may not have seen. We know she was the one viciously attacked so it could have been moved post mortem. It all depends on what Rei looked like. From far away, he could look like he was sleeping to a severely injured and distraught mother. Maybe she was even trying to reach his room before she was intercepted by the killer a 2nd time.
Your final point about video games. Certainly, there were gory titles back in 2000. But I'm afraid for me, this idea whenever it is raised, never ever holds any weight. For one, the studies are simply not there. Are there examples of killers playing video games? Of course. But if Ted Bundy or Anders Brevik also enjoyed ice cream, it's not the cow that's to blame. Japan has more people playing video games than anywhere on earth but the lowest murder rates. This is not to say I think the killer would have not been interested in computers. In fact, I would bet money that he did like video games. I just find the notion that this is what in any way inspired or desensitised him to real violence as absolutely empty.

Its again a misinterpretation. I have never really factored in video games as having any relevance into the crime. That point was just to explain to someone else about how one could maybe be used to a certain degree of violence and be very calm and collected about it, especially around blood despite being young and not being into one of those professions which tend to work with a lot of human or animal blood. Ofcourse it could just as well be that the killer is a born psychopath. Nothing to rule that.

But the killer exhibits a certain degree of calmness despite his own blood loss and the gory sight of his victims. We know he is not a trained killer. He is quite the novice so how to explain his demeanour around blood. This was an attempt at that.

Just to reiterate- I don’t think the video games are relevant.
@Auntie Cipation: I too think that the documents and the mess were likely an afterthought to give the illusion of a robbery gone wrong, or some such. We see this behaviour so, so often in cases of spousal murder, for example. The husband staging a robbery with no conception of what robberies actually tend to look like. If I were a betting man, I would say the moving of the documents and so on where motivated by this. Then again, why tear them up? Why defecate on them (also possible he had already used the toilet and simply threw documents in there after). Why leave such obvious items behind such as Yasuko's valuables or the money on the computer he had just used? As ever, one step forwards, two steps back with this guy.

In answer to your question, the attic level was where the parents slept -- just a futon and a TV, more or less. Great point about the sound. The Irie family definitely would've heard that sound of the ladder on a regular basis (assuming it wasn't permanently down, though it would've very much been in the way). However, my mother has a similar ladder and it is possible to close it relatively quietly. Maybe it was heard as a bang because the killer did it harder than they were used to? At any rate, we know he wasn't shy about his presence being known...

I agree with your explaination at the end. Its like if you have creaky shoes, you try to tread lightly, and it could very well be the case that the Miyazawas were more careful around it. Could also explain the soundproofing done to maybe dampen the effect at their house although wouldn’t explain why he would do it at both sides.
 
I said he couldn’t do it in relative silence. Ofcourse this assumes that the neighbours are telling the truth. I personally don’t think so, but I just wanted to generate an alternate hypothesis for how a relatively soundless crime could be committed.
RSMB: Ah, my misunderstanding. I too think there was almost certainly noise during the murders. We can assume there was shock and we can even accept the possibility perhaps therefore there were no screams. But we know Mikio fell / was pushed down the stairs. Those stairs are wooden and he was not made of feathers. If anybody hears the bang of the ladder how do they not hear the body down the stairs. Now, it may be argued that this, in fact, is what the Iries heard. But the problem is that the TMPD replicated the sounds via experiments and it was judged to be the ladder.

So, even if he had the compliance of Yasuko and Niina, it's a fact that Mikio went down the stairs and it's a fact he struggled with the killer in a narrow space. As I have stated from the beginning of this thread, it may be possible that played out in silence. I'm just yet to see a convincing explanation for it.
He definitely did overpower the entire family, separately and at points spread across time and space. Could it have been dumb luck? Maybe. But we know that Mikio was maybe partly visible working from the outside. So it could have been part of the plan. Which would explain the relative lack of sound.
Wait, was Mikio visible from the outside? How so? I didn't realise he was visible at all. At any rate, even if he was, does this assume the killer knew he was in there but didn't tackle Mikio first? That would either demonstrate extreme confidence in his ability to enter the house silently (something which the reconstruction shows is impossible if he uses the bathroom window) and definitely discounts the front door. That leaves Rei's balcony. But that's either extreme confidence or just a stupid approach; anybody would try to disable the primary threat to their plan first.
Again I never said the guy was trained to kill. Quite the opposite. We know he is a novice. But that doesn’t mean he couldn’t have had the means to plan ahead a kill. The acts of killing itself are brazen and senseless, but maybe the ambush was not.
Why couldn't he have the means to plan the kill? Apologies if I'm not understanding.
You are right. We see the killer is very brazen in his attacks and his thud. He does demonstrate a lack of self preservation. But you would presume Yasuko and the little girl would still have certain survival instincts. We know the killer leaves them to go to the kitchen and get the 2nd knife, so how is he sure they would not start screaming or banging the attic walls or even the attic floor. We know sounds from there definitely do carry across since the Ann’s reported that. So why was nothing heard?
He also demonstrates self-preservation; he patches himself up, he rehydrates, he flees and avoids police, never handing himself in. As I always say, he's so contradictory. As for Yasuko and Niina's survival instincts. They were likely in shock. When the killer leaves them in the attic, they may have wanted to believe he was going for good. How could they have known he would abort the attack to find a better knife? As someone who has been stabbed, I can say that my brain did not want to accept what was about to happen. It was a useless thought but it's what went through my head nonetheless. When Yasuko carries Niina down, it's possible she thought the killer had even left. Or simply, she was so in shock, that she couldn't make the sounds we think someone might. I've seen many times in my life, someone freeze in a fight or flight situation. Someone being groped on a bus, someone in an earthquake, or me when I was stabbed etc.

Now, while I believe that there were sounds, I'm just saying it's possible there weren't any / as many from Yasuko and Niina. My feeling is that Mikio would be the main source of noise.
Again this assumes the Ann’s are telling the absolute truth, something I don’t believe in.
While I understand your concerns here and have said multiple times that there are aspects here that don't make sense, they are relatives of the victims and WS policy here is always to be victim-friendly. I'm sure you already know that, just something to be careful of as I've seen users moderated on this topic.
@Incoherent the final position of the body isn’t very indicative of what she may or may not have seen. We know she was the one viciously attacked so it could have been moved post mortem. It all depends on what Rei looked like. From far away, he could look like he was sleeping to a severely injured and distraught mother. Maybe she was even trying to reach his room before she was intercepted by the killer a 2nd time.
There are photos and videos of the scene. In one of my first posts here in Thread 1, the video of Ann in the home makes it pretty clear the relation of the ladder to the boy's bed, where he was found. He died face down. Personally, I don't think Yasuko could have any way of knowing that Rei was already dead. But if she had enough time to get down the stairs and was physically able to, I don't see how she doesn't at least call his name. Then again, she might have been so badly hurt that she didn't -- or she didn't want to give away her position to the killer. Who knows.
Its again a misinterpretation. I have never really factored in video games as having any relevance into the crime. That point was just to explain to someone else about how one could maybe be used to a certain degree of violence and be very calm and collected about it, especially around blood despite being young and not being into one of those professions which tend to work with a lot of human or animal blood. Ofcourse it could just as well be that the killer is a born psychopath. Nothing to rule that.
I understood you to have raised video games as something to explain the killer's desensitisation to violence. If I misunderstood that, my bad. My point was that I disagree with that entirely, fictional violence and real violence are obviously very different things. I've scored the winning goal in a world cup final in a video game, it wouldn't give me an edge in the real world. We can agree to disagree. RE: the killer's disposition, we also don't know how calm he was in the moment. He could have been panicking (though I agree that his actions subsequent to the murders don't really jive with that). But it's also possible that, while scared, he simply thought that since the police had not yet come, he was safe. Psychopathy is also possible.
I agree with your explaination at the end. Its like if you have creaky shoes, you try to tread lightly, and it could very well be the case that the Miyazawas were more careful around it. Could also explain the soundproofing done to maybe dampen the effect at their house although wouldn’t explain why he would do it at both sides.
As far as I know, Mikio didn't want to put up with the noise, nor did he want the Iries to hear his. I have my theories on that but it's nothing revolutionary, all families argue. What I found shocking was when it was explained to me how poor the soundproofing was, how little it would do to actually stop sound travelling. Thanks for your thoughts, @BatataPoha
 
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Random thoughts fwiw.
Maybe one big reason that the M family was chosen to be attacked by the perp, is because each member, including the father, is smaller than the perp.

Wondering if the sight of a lot of blood is less disturbing to someone (usually male) with colour blindness?
'Color blindness is a common hereditary disorder in men. Most color-blind persons (up to 98%) have red-green color deficiency of varying degrees.2 This study has demonstrated that red-green color-blind persons are significantly less able to identify whether photographs of stool, urine, or sputum depict blood compared with non–color-blind age- and sex-matched controls. '
 
RSMB: Ah, my misunderstanding. I too think there was almost certainly noise during the murders. We can assume there was shock and we can even accept the possibility perhaps therefore there were no screams. But we know Mikio fell / was pushed down the stairs. Those stairs are wooden and he was not made of feathers. If anybody hears the bang of the ladder how do they not hear the body down the stairs. Now, it may be argued that this, in fact, is what the Iries heard. But the problem is that the TMPD replicated the sounds via experiments and it was judged to be the ladder.

So, even if he had the compliance of Yasuko and Niina, it's a fact that Mikio went down the stairs and it's a fact he struggled with the killer in a narrow space. As I have stated from the beginning of this thread, it may be possible that played out in silence. I'm just yet to see a convincing explanation for it.

Agreed.
Wait, was Mikio visible from the outside? How so? I didn't realise he was visible at all. At any rate, even if he was, does this assume the killer knew he was in there but didn't tackle Mikio first? That would either demonstrate extreme confidence in his ability to enter the house silently (something which the reconstruction shows is impossible if he uses the bathroom window) and definitely discounts the front door. That leaves Rei's balcony. But that's either extreme confidence or just a stupid approach; anybody would try to disable the primary threat to their plan first.

I read somewhere here that his back was to the window. Was that not the case? Apologies although that would beg the question whether the lights in his office would be visible from the outside and could indicate Mikio’s location inside the house.

The primary threat to the plan is not Mikio. Its someone leaving the house. With the relative silent killing of Rei, the killer ensures that even if something doesn’t go to plan, family members are more likely than not gonna circle back to his room to check in on him/pick him up. Atleast that’s my interpretation of things.

It could explain the timing of the attack. If he had struck instead at 1 am, he wouldn’t have the element of surprise to successfully attack 3 people in the attic.
Why couldn't he have the means to plan the kill? Apologies if I'm not understanding.

I am saying he wasn’t a trained killer or nor was he very experienced in killng. But he could very well have planned well for a successful ambush.
He also demonstrates self-preservation; he patches himself up, he rehydrates, he flees and avoids police, never handing himself in. As I always say, he's so contradictory. As for Yasuko and Niina's survival instincts. They were likely in shock. When the killer leaves them in the attic, they may have wanted to believe he was going for good. How could they have known he would abort the attack to find a better knife? As someone who has been stabbed, I can say that my brain did not want to accept what was about to happen. It was a useless thought but it's what went through my head nonetheless. When Yasuko carries Niina down, it's possible she thought the killer had even left. Or simply, she was so in shock, that she couldn't make the sounds we think someone might. I've seen many times in my life, someone freeze in a fight or flight situation. Someone being groped on a bus, someone in an earthquake, or me when I was stabbed etc.

First of all sorry for your personal experience. You are right. There is a certain degree of shock/helplessness felt by victims of major crimes. Yet we know she wasn’t in complete shock as she does make the effort to get herself and her daughter out of the attic. Would it have been that difficult to make more noice up there in the attic, something that could have alerted someone from the outside? No. Usually people are in a state of shock when their survival is not in question. I have been through one of the worst earthquakes in terms of human casualties and I made the beeline to survive. Ofcourse not everyone and their response to sudden tragedy is the same.

I had not considered her expecting the killer to have moved on. I had thought that if we are expecting the neighbours to have heard sonething inside the house, then its even more likelier for someone in the attic to hear a person using the basin and trying to find a knife. Ofcourse the killer could have been in the kitchen silently, but we see him have no regard for sound for his grappling with Mikio or later with the ladder, so why would he suddenly go radio silent in the kitchen? It would be odd behaviour and not in line with what happened before or after.

Ofcourse I don’t know if kitchen soundss transmit through to the attic. I think you can maybe shed some light on that?
I understood you to have raised video games as something to explain the killer's desensitisation to violence. If I misunderstood that, my bad. My point was that I disagree with that entirely, fictional violence and real violence are obviously very different things. I've scored the winning goal in a world cup final in a video game, it wouldn't give me an edge in the real world. We can agree to disagree. RE: the killer's disposition, we also don't know how calm he was in the moment. He could have been panicking (though I agree that his actions subsequent to the murders don't really jive with that). But it's also possible that, while scared, he simply thought that since the police had not yet come, he was safe. Psychopathy is also possible.

Not desensitisation to violence, but to blood specifically especially of himself and his victims. I was drawing from my own med school experience, where I saw many sturdy 18-19 yr olds feel nauseous and even dizzy at the sight of formalin bodies and blood filled dead specimens. Especially once you consider his near perfect actions after his killing frenzy and the initial excitement/ rush is over.

This was just to explain how someone who isn’t in those specific professions might still be able to keep a cool head in the presence of his own blood loss and the blood/ gore from the victims.
As far as I know, Mikio didn't want to put up with the noise, nor did he want the Iries to hear his. I have my theories on that but it's nothing revolutionary, all families argue. What I found shocking was when it was explained to me how poor the soundproofing was, how little it would do to actually stop sound travelling. Thanks for your thoughts, @BatataPoha
Agreed. My own understanding of it was that it was just a subtle way of suggesting for slightly less interference, especially considering the soundproofing was not great and Mikio being a meticulous guy would probably be wise enough to not spend money on futile ventures without cause.

MOO.
 
Random thoughts fwiw.
Maybe one big reason that the M family was chosen to be attacked by the perp, is because each member, including the father, is smaller than the perp.

It could indicate the sign of a novice killer trying to maximise his chances of a successful kill.
Wondering if the sight of a lot of blood is less disturbing to someone (usually male) with colour blindness?
Technically the report says they have more difficulty finding out blood if the background is less contrasting. Because of human conditioning, we generally associate red with something important or dangerous, so I have no idea how someone with a red green blindness would perceive danger and danger signals.

Interesting food for thought. Good thinking.
 
Random thoughts fwiw.
Maybe one big reason that the M family was chosen to be attacked by the perp, is because each member, including the father, is smaller than the perp.
RSBM: If I'm almost certain of anything, it's that he didn't pick them at random. And there's absolutely no way he was going to pick a family of sumo wrestlers or some such. My instinct tells me that the Miyazawas were surrogates for his deep anger, as I've said many times, and he wanted to take that out. The fact that they were a loving suburban family with no conception that a person like this could come into their world is integral to his plan. JMO.
 
Agreed.


I read somewhere here that his back was to the window. Was that not the case? Apologies although that would beg the question whether the lights in his office would be visible from the outside and could indicate Mikio’s location inside the house.
This might be right, do you know where you read it? Was it a primary source? I'm almost certain that he was facing the computer which was against the wall (the side of the house). His back to the wall that separates the house from the garage. And if you had opened the front door, you would have been looking at the right side of Mikio's face. My grasp of it is that there was no real way for the killer to know Mikio was at home from the outside, other than lights were on. Of course, the car was parked at home and it was a young family during the holidays fairly late at night, it was entirely reasonable to conclude he and they would have all been at home. Moreover, those who suggest the killer was somehow not expecting that, or was taken unawares to find them at home -- that simply doesn't stack up on any level for me.
The primary threat to the plan is not Mikio. Its someone leaving the house. With the relative silent killing of Rei, the killer ensures that even if something doesn’t go to plan, family members are more likely than not gonna circle back to his room to check in on him/pick him up. Atleast that’s my interpretation of things.
If you mean someone leaving the house could leave and call the authorities, then how does he know they don't call the police from the attic immediately? How does he know the neighbours don't the second they hear the struggle. Of course it's self-evident that letting anyone live will lead to big problems for him. But my point is that if anyone is going to thwart him killing the family, it's going to be Mikio.
It could explain the timing of the attack. If he had struck instead at 1 am, he wouldn’t have the element of surprise to successfully attack 3 people in the attic.


I am saying he wasn’t a trained killer or nor was he very experienced in killng. But he could very well have planned well for a successful ambush.
I'm almost certain he had watched them in the past, yes. On the night, we have no way of knowing. Niina went over to the Irie's to watch TV earlier in the night. When she went back home, around 9, Haruko phoned and all was well except that Niina felt sick. That's why she was up in bed with her mother. Perhaps coincidence that he didn't strike before that time. But again, also possible he waited until they were all in the same house. Also, could explain why he was pacing downstairs at the rear of the house -- maybe he was trying to look into the rear windows to determine who was in.
First of all sorry for your personal experience. You are right. There is a certain degree of shock/helplessness felt by victims of major crimes. Yet we know she wasn’t in complete shock as she does make the effort to get herself and her daughter out of the attic. Would it have been that difficult to make more noice up there in the attic, something that could have alerted someone from the outside? No. Usually people are in a state of shock when their survival is not in question. I have been through one of the worst earthquakes in terms of human casualties and I made the beeline to survive. Ofcourse not everyone and their response to sudden tragedy is the same.
Thank you, it was just a person who was mentally unwell and I made the mistake of intervening. Funnily enough, I've also been through some severe earthquakes, and yes -- people absolutely respond in all different ways.
I had not considered her expecting the killer to have moved on. I had thought that if we are expecting the neighbours to have heard sonething inside the house, then its even more likelier for someone in the attic to hear a person using the basin and trying to find a knife. Ofcourse the killer could have been in the kitchen silently, but we see him have no regard for sound for his grappling with Mikio or later with the ladder, so why would he suddenly go radio silent in the kitchen? It would be odd behaviour and not in line with what happened before or after.
I think the second Mikio discovers him and they struggle, he loses all concern for keeping quiet. But Yasuko's up in the attic, maybe Niina is crying, maybe she's hyperventilating, maybe she assumes the killer thinks they're dead, or she thinks he only wants to burgle them. Maybe she hears him going through their cutlery and that's when she realises she has to get out. One problem with that, it seems as if Niina gets the first aid kit in the moment the killer returns. Now, ignoring that this detail is heartbreaking, it makes me wonder if she had been taught to do that. We know that Rei had developmental problems and had maybe been careless in his play before. Possible her parents had taught her to go and get the first aid kit whenever anyone was hurt. Or, that Yasuko was too injured to move at that point. I've carried a suitcase up and down those folding ladders before and it's so awkward, it becomes really quite taxing. Let alone a child while you're stabbed. The blood upstairs in the attic was significant so we know if wasn't a few surface injuries she was carrying at that point. Maybe she was incapable of going any further. Or maybe she said go check on your brother and Niina, having seen him unresponsive, went for the first aid kit. At any rate, I don't think the killer would have made any real effort to keep quiet while getting the second knife. But nor do I think it's unconceivable for Yasuko to be bewildered in that moment / making decisions that could puzzle 24 years later. Last point on that -- they hear the bang of the ladder next door around 11pm. Now, that's either after Yasuko is dead. Or that's the point where he is just about to kill her and he throws the ladder up to have more space. The blood spatter would have told the TMPD that, even in 2000. But if it's the latter, it only confirms how cold he is.
Ofcourse I don’t know if kitchen soundss transmit through to the attic. I think you can maybe shed some light on that?
It's the one room I've actually never seen very well. But I can say that sound moves through that house extremely freely.
Not desensitisation to violence, but to blood specifically especially of himself and his victims. I was drawing from my own med school experience, where I saw many sturdy 18-19 yr olds feel nauseous and even dizzy at the sight of formalin bodies and blood filled dead specimens. Especially once you consider his near perfect actions after his killing frenzy and the initial excitement/ rush is over.

This was just to explain how someone who isn’t in those specific professions might still be able to keep a cool head in the presence of his own blood loss and the blood/ gore from the victims.
I wonder if perhaps he was into dissection. My own person of interest did extremely well at school in things related to biology. Perhaps he got a taste for it. People here have often speculated about the cat murders (they were mostly actually maiming cases) in Soshigaya Park before the Miyazawas. Now, we know the culprit was arrested by the TMPD for that (though again, given their conviction rate of 99.99999%, can we be sure it was the right guy?) But I do think it's quite possible the killer had taken his anger out on something before this family. To go from 0-100mph, while possible, seems like a big leap to me.
Agreed. My own understanding of it was that it was just a subtle way of suggesting for slightly less interference, especially considering the soundproofing was not great and Mikio being a meticulous guy would probably be wise enough to not spend money on futile ventures without cause.

MOO.
You're absolutely right that Mikio wouldn't spend money in a frivolous way. And the soundproofing is something that An Irie has openly regretted allowing happen. But she did. I'm assuming, it was win-win. As you say, we know Mikio was extremely careful with the family finances. I don't think it's a coincidence that the police looked at the new years cards that I think were near the computer and that there was also money right there. Perhaps he had separated out the right amount to put into those cards? Perhaps that money was set aside for things needed in the new year, the new term etc.
 
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This might be right, do you know where you read it? Was it a primary source? I'm almost certain that he was facing the computer which was against the wall (the side of the house). His back to the wall that separates the house from the garage. And if you had opened the front door, you would have been looking at the right side of Mikio's face. My grasp of it is that there was no real way for the killer to know Mikio was at home from the outside, other than lights were on. Of course, the car was parked at home and it was a young family during the holidays fairly late at night, it was entirely reasonable to conclude he and they would have all been at home. Moreover, those who suggest the killer was somehow not expecting that, or was taken unawares to find them at home -- that simply doesn't stack up on any level for me.

I read in one of the earlier threads. I will go back once I have more time and verify.
If you mean someone leaving the house could leave and call the authorities, then how does he know they don't call the police from the attic immediately? How does he know the neighbours don't the second they hear the struggle. Of course it's self-evident that letting anyone live will lead to big problems for him. But my point is that if anyone is going to thwart him killing the family, it's going to be Mikio.

I didn’t know the attic had telephone. I had assumed it was down below. Ofcourse if the attic did have a telephone we have no idea why it wasn’t used, just like we have no idea why the mum didn’t shout or scream or bang the walls.

I don’t disagree with you completely that Mikio may have been the biggest threat. And the best way to take him out would be to have the higher ground plus element of surprise on him. Which Rei’s bedroom and subsequent killing does give him in a way.
Thank you, it was just a person who was mentally unwell and I made the mistake of intervening. Funnily enough, I've also been through some severe earthquakes, and yes -- people absolutely respond in all different ways.

Funnily enough. I was nearly attacked during my psych rotation as well. She thought I was her brother, who she indeed did try to kill in her past. Thankfully she didn’t have anything too dangerous to attack me with other than a BP machine.
I think the second Mikio discovers him and they struggle, he loses all concern for keeping quiet. But Yasuko's up in the attic, maybe Niina is crying, maybe she's hyperventilating, maybe she assumes the killer thinks they're dead, or she thinks he only wants to burgle them. Maybe she hears him going through their cutlery and that's when she realises she has to get out. One problem with that, it seems as if Niina gets the first aid kit in the moment the killer returns. Now, ignoring that this detail is heartbreaking, it makes me wonder if she had been taught to do that. We know that Rei had developmental problems and had maybe been careless in his play before. Possible her parents had taught her to go and get the first aid kit whenever anyone was hurt. Or, that Yasuko was too injured to move at that point. I've carried a suitcase up and down those folding ladders before and it's so awkward, it becomes really quite taxing. Let alone a child while you're stabbed. The blood upstairs in the attic was significant so we know if wasn't a few surface injuries she was carrying at that point. Maybe she was incapable of going any further. Or maybe she said go check on your brother and Niina, having seen him unresponsive, went for the first aid kit. At any rate, I don't think the killer would have made any real effort to keep quiet while getting the second knife. But nor do I think it's unconceivable for Yasuko to be bewildered in that moment / making decisions that could puzzle 24 years later. Last point on that -- they hear the bang of the ladder next door around 11pm. Now, that's either after Yasuko is dead. Or that's the point where he is just about to kill her and he throws the ladder up to have more space. The blood spatter would have told the TMPD that, even in 2000. But if it's the latter, it only confirms how cold he is.

I didn’t know about the First Aid kit, and that would go more with your theory that Yasuko for some reason thought the killer had left. Coz I don’t think she would send her daughter downstairs with a killer around.
It's the one room I've actually never seen very well. But I can say that sound moves through that house extremely freely.

I wonder if perhaps he was into dissection. My own person of interest did extremely well at school in things related to biology. Perhaps he got a taste for it. People here have often speculated about the cat murders (they were mostly actually maiming cases) in Soshigaya Park before the Miyazawas. Now, we know the culprit was arrested by the TMPD for that (though again, given their conviction rate of 99.99999%, can we be sure it was the right guy?) But I do think it's quite possible the killer had taken his anger out on something before this family. To go from 0-100mph, while possible, seems like a big leap to me.

Yes I have speculated it as well in a previous post. Although I took it more in the vein of previous rule breaking and break in and entering and a sudden escalation to murder possiblly from some personal event of great magnitude in the killer’s own life.
You're absolutely right that Mikio wouldn't spend money in a frivolous way. And the soundproofing is something that An Irie has openly regretted allowing happen. But she did. I'm assuming, it was win-win. As you say, we know Mikio was extremely careful with the family finances. I don't think it's a coincidence that the police looked at the new years cards that I think were near the computer and that there was also money right there. Perhaps he had separated out the right amount to put into those cards? Perhaps that money was set aside for things needed in the new year, the new term etc.
I didn’t know about this last part. Do we know from which card the killer took the money from? Like were they labelled or anything? Coz we know he took some but left more behind. I wonder if he took cash from some specific file like maybe money for toys or games or something?
 
@Incoherent the final position of the body isn’t very indicative of what she may or may not have seen. We know she was the one viciously attacked so it could have been moved post mortem. It all depends on what Rei looked like. From far away, he could look like he was sleeping to a severely injured and distraught mother. Maybe she was even trying to reach his room before she was intercepted by the killer a 2nd time.
Rei was found like this.
IMG_3217.jpeg
He likely wasn’t touched after murder as no blood was found on him. Though I can’t really say if he were moved into this position before the rest of the killing began. To me, I don’t think so. The room looks a mess here and Yasuko coming down the ladder would’ve had a clear view inside of it.
IMG_3215.jpeg
The two circles here are the proximity between the 3 bodies of where Rei, Niina, and Yasuko were found.
IMG_3216.jpeg
Here is also a diagram of the location, note Yasuko’s body in red with half of it inside Rei’s doorway. Rei is on the bed in blue, in the same position as the previous image.

Yasuko may have fallen in such a way that she landed in her final position, or I suppose the killer could have physically moved her? But due to the theories that the killer reappeared and the close proximities of where they were all found, I’ve gotta say I can’t really believe she had zero idea of her son’s death here.
 
If I were a betting man, I would say the moving of the documents and so on where motivated by this. Then again, why tear them up? Why defecate on them
Not to belabor the obvious, make light of the situation nor get too graphic, but -- four ice creams would certainly have that effect on ME...
 
He was definitely a younger man! Half a cup, and I’d be in real problems…
All that adrenaline pumping, 4 cups of ice cream, then swigging down tea, it’s no wonder he needed the bathroom!

If he ripped up the documents and threw them in the tub and the toilet before using it, he may have not wanted to flush because the mixture of the paper etc could cause the toilet to flood or overflow? Maybe why.
 
Not to belabor the obvious, make light of the situation nor get too graphic, but -- four ice creams would certainly have that effect on ME...
its the gastro-ileal reflex. If you distend the stomach a lot, the ileocolic sphincter relaxes moving food into your colon and giving you an urge to defaecate.

With all his actions of cooling down, I assume it’s fairly like he defaecated soon after the ice creams and before he staged the document search scene
 
Rei was found like this.
View attachment 507777
He likely wasn’t touched after murder as no blood was found on him. Though I can’t really say if he were moved into this position before the rest of the killing began. To me, I don’t think so. The room looks a mess here and Yasuko coming down the ladder would’ve had a clear view inside of it.
View attachment 507778
The two circles here are the proximity between the 3 bodies of where Rei, Niina, and Yasuko were found.
View attachment 507779
Here is also a diagram of the location, note Yasuko’s body in red with half of it inside Rei’s doorway. Rei is on the bed in blue, in the same position as the previous image.

Yasuko may have fallen in such a way that she landed in her final position, or I suppose the killer could have physically moved her? But due to the theories that the killer reappeared and the close proximities of where they were all found, I’ve gotta say I can’t really believe she had zero idea of her son’s death here.
Good work @Incoherent however this narrow passageway and the bed being on the opposite end to the visual field seems to further my conclusion that Yasuko at the very least could not see right from the outside if Rei was already dead or not.

Looking at her final resting place, it seems the killer ambushed her a 2nd time as she was about to enter Rei’s room or exiting from it, both of which would mean she was checking in on him. Ofcourse it could very well be that someone ( the killer/Nina) told her about Rei’s deatg and she went in to confirm.

Ultimately it matters not, coz it’s fairly obvious that she does indeed venture close to his room for those reasons.

Interestingly, I don’t know if this is the actual house or a recreation? I had always assumed that the ladder was in the middle of the staircase coming from down and Rei’s bedroom. However from this photo it looks like the ladder is at the end.

So was Mikio’s body visible from her vantage point? Moot point but she chooses not to take a potential exit but instead circles back to Rei’s room, which would further my point that she had the very least had no idea Rei was already dead until it was too late. Ofcourse traumatised people obviously react differently but I think it’s fairly safe to assume that my conclusions could very likely be close to the truth
 

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