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"I've Even Arrested Him In My Dreams"

The following article ran as part of Sankei Newspaper's year-end wrap up column dubbed "End of the Year Journal," where reporters reflect on some of the year's high profile stories.


"A guy working at the restaurant looks like Ichihashi."

Two detectives pull up in their car, returning from checking out the restaurant lead. "He really did look like Ichihashi, but it wasn't him," the senior detective sighs.

September 2007. Six months after the body of 22-year-old British English teacher Lindsay Ann Hawker was found at a condominium in Ichikawa City in March, reporters joined two detectives as they tracked 28-year-old Tatsuya Ichihashi's whereabouts.

The detectives revisit a Tokyo district with plenty of cheap lodging where Ichihashi may be holed up.

"You're back again? Haven't you caught him yet?" says the woman who runs one of the rooming houses. Return visits to a previously investigated scene is an ironclad rule of police work.

"Not yet. You haven't heard anything?"

"Nothing. He's gotta be dead by now."

Everywhere they visit the detectives hand out new wanted flyers1, bowing as they ask for cooperation.

"If I was off duty or on my way to work, if Ichihashi suddenly appeared I wonder about how I would make sure to arrest him. I have dreams where I catch him, and dreams where he gets away...I'm sure other detectives on the case have similar thoughts."

"I will never forgive the man who killed my daughter," said Hawker's tearful father as he held up a photograph of Lindsay. He saw off his daughter to what they believed was a safe country, but she ended up dead.

"The pain her family is going through must be unbearable. [Ichihashi] has to be caught," says the detective.

The search continues to crawl across the country, but it doesn't seem as if the words "Suspect Arrested" will reach the shores of England before year's end.

Mizuho Nishioka.

1 The revised flyer with the reward money for any leads leading to the arrest of Ichihashi. See the June 29 entry for details.

Article Source: Yahoo! News Japan, December 21st 2007, 8:21am (Tokyo). Originally appeared in Sankei Newspaper (article not online).

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