Article: Inokashira Park Dismemberment

Article: Inokashira Park Dismemberment

On April 23 1994 in Tokyo, Japan, a cleaner finishing her shift at Inokashira Park found a garbage bag in the park’s trash can. And while that isn’t unusual in itself, the smell emitting from the bag smelt like rotten, raw fish. The cleaner calls over some other colleagues to have a look with her and inside they find a human ankle. The police were called immediately to the scene. They check the contents of the bag and find a total of 24 human body parts, including a shoulder, two hands and two feet. The bag was tied off with a special knot usually only used by fisherman.

The body parts were transported to Kyorin University Hospital where an autopsy was conducted. The body was not battered and there were no traces of drugs so the cause of death was unable to be determined. Each of the body parts were washed thoroughly and completely drained of blood. The coroner noted that it was his opinion this would have required the skills of a highly trained medical doctor. Each of the body parts were cut to the length of exactly 7.8 inches using an electric saw and a blunt knife. Due to slight traces of internal bleeding in the muscle tissue, the coroner concluded that the man may have been cut while he was still alive.

Despite the head and torso never been recovered, DNA taken from the remains was able to identify the victim three days later as 35-year-old architect, Seiichi Kawamura.

Seiichi was last seen on April 21. He went out for dinner with his family and then went to a karaoke bar with an old work friend. Seiichi left the bar alone about 11pm to walk to his home which was less than a mile from the Inokashira Park. He never made it home. The following day, when his family couldn’t contact him, they reported him missing to police.

In the months that followed, police questioned about 37,000 people, but no one was ever arrested and police never name any suspects. There were reports of two suspicious men walking in the park and carrying a plastic bag around 4am on the day Seiichi’s body was discovered but they have never been identified. Every friend and acquaintance of Seiichi was interviewed at length, and his house was thoroughly search however nothing could be found to assist the investigation. Unfortunately, eleven months after Seiichi’s remains were found, many of the investigators were recruited to investigate the Sarin Gas Attack on the Tokyo Subway. And the murder of Seiichi Kawamura becomes a cold case.

It has been suggested that Seiichi may have been struck by a car and that in the panic to cover up the crime, the killer or killers cut him up to get rid of the body. This theory is supported by witnesses that say they heard the sound of a car’s brakes squealing and a thud, in the very early hours of April 22.

Another popular theory is that Seiichi had been a member of a religious cult but had wanted to leave the group, and he was killed as a result.

Whether Seiichi was murdered because of a hit and run situation, by a satanic cult or by the hands of a psychopathic doctor, we may never know. Prior to 2010 in Japan, the statute of limitations for murder was fifteen years. This expired in 2009, one year before this law was changed.  

Episode Sixteen: The Upstairs Lounge Arson

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Episode Fifteen: Lindy Chamberlain