crime

Woman who fell to death from 9th floor was thrown by husband, police allege

39 Comments

Police in Kunitachi, Tokyo, on Sunday arrested a 44-year-old man on suspicion of killing his 41-year-old wife last year by throwing her from the balcony of their 9th-floor apartment and trying to make it look like a suicide.

Police said Jun Takahari, a company employee, has denied killing his wife Asaka, Fuji TV reported. Police allege that on the evening of Nov 29, Takaharu strangled Asaka until she was unconscious and then threw her body from the balcony.

Takahari initially told police that he and his wife had quarreled the night before and that she had secluded herself in her room and that he was not aware she had jumped from the balcony. He called 110 early the next morning and said that when he went out onto the balcony to smoke a cigarette, he saw his wife’s body on the ground below. He told police he believed his wife had committed suicide because she had been stressed out recently from raising their one-year-old daughter.

At first, Asaka’s death was believed to be a suicide due to the severe injuries she suffered from the fall. However, an autopsy revealed she had been strangled and that she was probably unconscious before she hit the ground. Furthermore, her fingerprints were not on the balcony door or railing.

Police said the victim’s mother told them she had spoken with her daughter on the phone on the day of her death and that she seemed fine. She told police her daughter was a fighter and would never commit suicide.

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39 Comments
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Is it always necessary for media to publish the names of people before they have been found guilty?

11 ( +20 / -9 )

Poor little girl.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Is it always necessary for media to publish the names of people before they have been found guilty?

It seems so. Remember that people I’m Japan are guilty until they prove themselves innocent.

15 ( +20 / -5 )

very shocking

11 ( +11 / -0 )

""Is it always necessary for media to publish the names of people before they have been found guilty?""

Yes, it is very important for several reasons, one people who have relatives living in this area want to know, employers, friends, and authorities want to know.

When we reach adulthood, that child or minor coverage is peeled off.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

The heartbreaking part of this is the 1 year old child.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Yes, it is very important for several reasons, one people who have relatives living in this area want to know, employers, friends, and authorities want to know.

These are all very thin justifications for revealing the name of someone who hasn’t been adjudicated guilty yet.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

If he didn't strangle her, whodunnit?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Thought he could get away with it but good thing they did an autopsy. Those seem rare from what I've read here.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I guess the guy figured he would give it a go with the suicide story.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Not enough information for me to make an opinion. But it sounds like murder.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Not enough information for me to make an opinion.

So I won't.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

However, an autopsy revealed she had been strangled and that she was probably unconscious before she hit the ground.

Wait, I thought Japan doesn't do autopsies? At least that's what the JT experts would have you believe.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

At the time, Asaka’s death was ruled a suicide due to the severe injuries she suffered from the fall. However, an autopsy revealed she had been strangled and that she was probably unconscious before she hit the ground. Furthermore, her fingerprints were not on the balcony door or railing.

Sounds like some stellar crime case work! Hats off to the forensics department! This dummy thought he could get away with murder, but you can't get away from science and hard evidence!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Japanese in general are car dwellers avoiding outside. Balconies are rarely used as Westerners tend to do. They are for hanging clothes and beddings.

I find it impossible to believe that her finger prints were nowhere to be found.

Plus doing an autopsy in a body that has fallen nine floors is not going to show finger marks on a neck.

I watch detective shows and even Columbo could tell us that. :-)

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Another day another family murder in Japan.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Stressful family life increasing day by day.

We should find way out to spend a peaceful life.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It's irrelevant, but I would like to know what she said, that he felt not only obliged to strangle her but to throw her off the balcony.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

It's irrelevant, but I would like to know what she said, that he felt not only obliged to strangle her but to throw her off the balcony.

Well, the throwing off the balcony was apparently a cover-up for the strangling part. Still, he must have been pretty angry to strangle his wife to death. Let's see if he was too drunk to remember it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

In the absence of a confession, it's going to be hard to make that case. The evidence is circumstantial.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

There’s nothing irregular with circumstantial evidence used to convict. Fingerprints and DNA are circumstantial evidence, and those are frequently all that is needed for a conviction.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The investigation will disclose IF the husband did it, not the media. ‘Motive’ will be the last thing we learn, if ever. We can only speculate on the actual investigation.  However, we can repudiate the comments here of *@10:27 JST’s ‘armchair detective work**’*.

Thanks for autopsy on this one. Tiny ‘petechial’ hemorrhages are found in the eyes & facial tissues of 85% of strangulation victims.  These tiny red & purple spots are an indication of stoppage of blood flow and oxygen to the head and brain.  The detectives request an autopsy.

ONLY an autopsy could reveal the additional breaking of the tiny, ‘hyoid’ bone in the base of the throat. 75% of hyoid bone fractures are the result of direct trauma to the neck & throat by manual strangulation, hanging, blunt trauma or projectiles. 

Note: Hyoid bone fracture caused by a fall has very seldom been found.

Strangulation can be facilitated by means other than the hands (details not given), leaving other types of ‘ligature marks’.

The absence of fingerprints in a location known that the victim often inhabited is an indication of persons familiar excessively ‘wiping down the scene’.

There are many, many more ‘forensic methods’ available that call be used to question a ‘suspicious death’ that are no discussed in the article nor can be accounted for here.

Finally, sympathy for the family and cultural sensitivity is always important but consent for autopsy should not be necessary in ‘suspicious deaths’.  In the true interest of ‘justice for all’, state-mandated autopsy in ALL suspicious deaths are needed.

Sincere condolences to the surviving family members in their grief.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It's irrelevant, but I would like to know what she said, that he felt not only obliged to strangle her but to throw her off the balcony.

Pent up anger no doubt about some matter of mutual concern. Then he got mad and saw red and attacked her and couldn't contain the rage. I can get it. Need to always vent peacefully by exercise or something to avoid that point. I am always careful what I say to the wife after hearing a long time ago from my Japanese boss that he told his Japanese wife he wanted to move out and she got so angry she stabbed through the stainless steel sink with a big kitchen knife, meant for his back no doubt. He was scared crapless after that but still moved out.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It is horrible what the man did. I feel extremely sorry for the victim and for the one year old offspring.

We need to have a society of law and order with ultimately would result in a safer society where someone can meander around without worried about being a victim of violent crime. Of course the extreme liberals would have an issue with tough laws because for some reason the extreme liberals care more about the criminals than the innocent victims.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It certainly looks like he did it, but is this really enough to be sure?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Political stances aside, @baroque1888, it’s evident you are concerned about society.

Here, there are laws prohibiting crimes, but most are worded ambiguously. Therefore*, the **enforcement is ‘inconsistent’,** the prosecution is ‘selective’ and the punishments are ‘varied’; sometimes, ‘minimal’. ***

The laws in place and threat of punishment are a small deterrent, if any, to most criminals committing random or, calculated acts against others .

This crime was not random. It was another case of ‘inter-family violence’, present in Every culture.

Often, we’ve noticed, You recommend “60 years!”. Not sure if that is in the ‘sentencing guidelines’.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Political stances aside, @baroque1888, it’s evident you are concerned about society.

Here, there are laws prohibiting crimes, but most are worded ambiguously. Therefore*, the **enforcement is ‘inconsistent’,*** *the prosecution is ‘selective’ and the punishments are ‘varied’; sometimes, ‘minimal’. ***

The laws in place and threat of punishment are a small deterrent, if any, to most criminals committing random or, calculated acts against others .

This crime was not random. It was another case of ‘inter-family violence’, present in Every culture.

Often, we’ve noticed, You recommend “60 years!”. Not sure if that is in the ‘sentencing guidelines’.

The laws should be edited to harsh so this way violent crime goes to NIL. It is time for a radical change. 60 years is unfortunately not in the books but it should be in the books in order to protect victims and to deter criminals from committing violent acts.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It certainly looks like he did it, but is this really enough to be sure?

I imagine there'll be a trial as well, after a lot more medical examination.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Passed a crime scene a few years ago where an innocent pedestrian was killed by a suicide body. For months after that I always looked up when passing tall buildings.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Passed a crime scene a few years ago where an innocent pedestrian was killed by a suicide body. For months after that I always looked up when passing tall buildings.

You are far more likely to kill yourself by tripping that way. The odds of being hit by a falling body are so tiny they are not worth craning your neck over. If something that unusual happens, you just have to assume your time was up anyway.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Passed a crime scene a few years ago where an innocent pedestrian was killed by a suicide body.

For months after that I always looked up when passing tall buildings.

Same thing happened just last October at Osaka's famous HEP FIVE building.

Teenage boy jumped off and killed a teenage girl.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

If he did it, he sounds very cold, going out for a fag and noticing his wife on the ground, sounds all matter of fact

0 ( +1 / -1 )

DNA is not circumstantial evidence when found at a crime scene; it can even be exculpatory. If hers wasn't found, maybe the cops botched the scene, or wiped it. Stranger things have happened. The most telling evidence would be the amount of blood at the scene below. If her heart had been pumping, there would have been a significant amount; if not, much less. If she was simply unconscious, it would have made no difference to the amount of blood at the scene. None of that was mentioned in the article. Unless the bruises were hours old, they would also likely have been indistinguishable from her other injuries. He could still claim she committed suicide due to their fight, if he has a halfway competent attorney - though it would be hard to explain a body laying there all night undetected. Again, no mention in the artice of the time it was found... Again, it sounds to me like a cop with a wild hair attempting to do someone for murder.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Agreed, @expat. We just don’t have all the details.

And, yes, have met some uniform police officers with ‘questionable’ motives on the streets. Homicide detectives at the scene are more ‘skeptical’ than others; encountering humanity’s worst on a frequent basis. Medical Examiners have screwed up evidence collection before. But ‘wild hairs’ and ‘hard-ons’ by one cop for one suspect rarely can move through the Western judicial systems, unless everyone is complicit.

Can’t tell you about Japan. Very different circumstances here with rumors of 21 days holding; long days of questioning and isolation; no defense attorney to be present in the room during questioning; 30 min attorney ‘consultations’; and, a 99% conviction rate for the cases prosecutors ‘choose’ to pursue.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I just hope that little daughter has an aunt and uncle with some cousins she's quite close to who will now take her in.... such a tragedy for her.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

CaptDingleheimer

I just hope that little daughter has an aunt and uncle with some cousins she's quite close to who will now take her in.... such a tragedy for her.

Absolutely. According to the article, at least she has a grandmother.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It seems so. Remember that people I’m Japan are guilty until they prove themselves innocent

A presumption of innocence does not mean that the allegations are assumed to be wrong. It simply means that the accused cannot be punished prior to conviction.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's irrelevant, but I would like to know what she said, that he felt not only obliged to strangle her but to throw her off the balcony.

I imagine it would be something akin to “Help, help, he’s going to kill me” followed by strangling noises. But you were right, it was certainly irrelevant.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

her fingerprints were not on the balcony door or railing.

Fingerprints don't always transfer to objects that are touched So to arrest him over the lack of fingerprints is Jumping The Gun.... That's not much evidence to convict on.... And of course the mother is gonna say her daughter would never commit suicide....

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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