Ichihashi reportedly seen in Tokyo's gay area

Ichihashi reportedly seen in Tokyo's gay area A wanted poster of Tatsuya Ichihashi on a station wall in Tokyo.

Tatsuya Ichihashi, 29, who is the prime suspect in the murder of British language teacher Lindsay Ann Hawker, 22, in Ichikawa City, Chiba Prefecture in March of 2007, has reportedly been seen in an area of Kabukicho popular with the gay community.

Hawker’s family visited Japan in March to appeal for public help in locating Ichihashi, but there has been no progress in the case. The most common theories have been that he is being hidden by the yakuza or that he is already dead.

However, undercover police officers from the Chiba prefectural police went to the Shinjuku 2-chome area of Kabukicho after a gay man reported that he had seen a guy resembling Ichihashi in gay bars.

The man told police that he met Ichihashi in a motel. “I slept with him twice. I first met him at midnight on Feb 28 at a motel where many gay people gather to meet each other. After taking a shower, I went to a room where three guys were sleeping, one of whom was him.”

The witness describes the guy he met as “tall with long arms and legs, and long, narrow eyes. Since he was my type, I approached him and we got it off straight away.” The witness says he met him again when he visited the same motel in the early hours of March 2. “It was the same guy. But what was strange was that he didn’t let me see his face fully, keeping the room dark. I sensed he had some secret. It didn’t click that he might have been Ichihashi until later.”

When the witness checked out of the motel at 8 a.m. on March 2, he bumped into a friend who told him that the guy resembled Ichihashi. “Then I remembered Ichihashi’s wanted poster and that’s when it clicked. My friend suggested we take photos of him and follow him, but he disappeared. I think he might have overheard our conversation.”

The witness said he didn’t report his encounter to police sooner because he wasn’t 100% sure the guy was really Ichihashi. But finally, on March 14, he called the Gyotoku police station in Chiba which is in charge of the investigation. On April 8, he also gave police the guy’s underwear, which he had kept, for DNA testing, but since he had washed the underwear, no DNA was detected.

A spokesperson for the Chiba prefectural police declined to comment on the man’s story, other than to say the police were checking all leads.

“Motels where gay people gather are good for some criminals who want to hide themselves for a short term because a lot of guests hate to tell police they are gay, which makes it difficult to disclose what is going on there,” said Kenichi Sawa, editor of a gay magazine. “However, in general, the majority of gay people are good citizens and willing to cooperate with police. So those motels cannot be permanent places for criminals to hide out.”

One police source did admit that they have received reports on sightings of Ichihashi in Shinjuku 2-chome before. But he says, “Many Chiba police officers are not familiar with the area, so it is actually very difficult to search for him there or get cooperation from locals.”

So was it really Ichihashi? “Of course, I’m not 100% sure,” said the witness. “But since I work in the hospitality industry, I’m good at recognizing faces. In addition, when I saw Ichihashi’s wanted poster for the first time, I felt he was my type. Especially, his eyes were very impressive. So my gut feeling tells me the guy was absolutely Ichihashi.” (Translated by Taro Fujimoto)

  • 0

    Razor

    I hope the Hawkers don't have to read these sort of lurid stories, but they may very well be reading Japan Today to see if there is any news on their daughter's killer.

    Personally, I don't buy this story. There has never been any information to suggest Ichihashi was gay.

  • 0

    sincity

    Razor,

    Why would you discount the story based on something that is equally speculative either way? His sexual orientation has Zilch to do with his alleged criminal actions. I think you just assumed that because it wasn't mentioned he was, or might be, you assumed he wasn't. And we know what happens when we assume ;)

    Even if he isn't Gay, per se, perhaps necessity is the mother of perversion?

    Not that being gay is perverse...............

    I laughed at the way they fetishise the witnesses Gay-ness.

    Welcome to the 19th century, but with neon!

    Yokoso, Japan!

  • 0

    Hughgarse

    I guess the good thing here is that people are actually talking about Ichihashi and are on the lookout for him.. its a bone at least!

  • 0

    Altria

    Thanks for the laugh!

  • 0

    telecasterplayer

    SO.. the Shinjuku cops have time to harass those two women from Singapore (see the Japan Today commentary page), but they can't find this guy? I'm not gay, I don't live in Japan and even I've known for months that witnesses have been spotting Ichihashi in Kabuki-cho.

  • 0

    northlondon

    Sorry to have to say this, but for such a serious crime committed amongst the foreign community here in Japan, Japan Today has gone to new depths in publishing this irresponsible story.

    Any information that leads to the capture of Ichihashi is vital, but if you read this story it just sounds like a tabloid gay sex story.

    Is Ichihashi seriously going to expose himself to all kinds of people working as a male prostitute whilst trying to evade a nation chasing after him ?

    For a guy who had a sexual thing about women and who stalked women, is he seriously going to have sex with other men just to keep out of the mainstream ?

    So was it really Ichihashi? “Of course, I’m not 100% sure,” said the witness. “But since I work in the hospitality industry, I’m good at recognizing faces. In addition, when I saw Ichihashi’s wanted poster for the first time, I felt he was my type. Especially, his eyes were very impressive. So my gut feeling tells me the guy was absolutely Ichihashi.”

    Sorry, as the murder of Lindsay Hawker is serious, but this article is an all-time low.

  • 0

    Altria

    Too bad though, all that DNA gone to waste.

  • 0

    BIJ

    I reckon there is something here...maybe just a sense I had when I saw that video of him on the apartment elevator - preening in the mirror to check his appearence...and when they released artist impressions of him recently one of the pix had him in a long hair, brown wig...

    But Chiba police have a pretty weak excuse..I hope their Kabukicho area colleagues help out the poor darlings. Don't they HAVE undercover officers in Kabukicho??!

    Meanwhile I'll go on wearing my campaign T-shirt that I got through Being a Broad in Japan - so I can keep this guy's face in people's minds...

  • 0

    anderstungtwist

    Why would they notify him that "We're getting warmer!" I suppose next time they'll announce an address they plan to break into suddenly after arriving with 30 noisy sirens.

  • 0

    niku

    That's right, I had sex with the killer 5 times, then I thought, oh, he's killer, I'll call the police and the press now.

  • 0

    niku

    What's DNA?' Said the Japanese police? What channel is that on? The people turned and decided it was about time they took the law into their own hands............................

  • 0

    BigDudeGSO

    Sorry to have to say this, but for such a serious crime committed amongst the foreign community here in Japan, Japan Today has gone to new depths in publishing this irresponsible story.

    Any information that leads to the capture of Ichihashi is vital, but if you read this story it just sounds like a tabloid gay sex story.

    Is Ichihashi seriously going to expose himself to all kinds of people working as a male prostitute whilst trying to evade a nation chasing after him ?

    For a guy who had a sexual thing about women and who stalked women, is he seriously going to have sex with other men just to keep out of the mainstream

  • 0

    openyoureyes

    You think these Chiba cops would have been removed for sheer incompetence at this point. Oh, wait. Given what we know about police here, they probably have the highest ability in the country.

    Give me a break. They don't check a place with multiple sightings because they aren't familiar with the area? Probably they're more afraid of catching "the gay" than anything else.

  • 0

    eresay

    Dont know about anybody else, but I see guys who look like this guy every day. He seems to have a kind of generic look which I think has fuelled all of these "sightings."

  • 0

    Proffessor

    C'mmon fellow readers, this article is from those weekly tabloids (Shukan). Unless if you really want to take them seriously. It's just sad that such a serious criminal case is being turned into another 'Wai Wai' kind of talk.

  • 0

    sincity

    eresay,

    Agreed. He looks like a quarter of the incoming class of '99 at Kyoto U.

    Read = Geek.

    I don't undestand why the possibility that he is sexually omnivorous fazes some people. He could hardly be described as having healthy sexual appetites............

    It is the gay subtext of this article I find repulsive. More prurient sensationalism from a nation that accepts underage sex symbols, but reviles open homesxuality.

  • 0

    pathat

    This story may very well be true, but I know for a fact that the police were also tipped off about Ichihashi`s possible whereabouts around three weeks ago by a foreigner who lived in the same apartment building as I do. (He has since wrapped up his business here and gone on to another country.)

    My neighbor spent some time looking on AdultFriendFinder thinking that Ichihashi might be advertising in disguise to provide sexual services to make a living, perhaps in a place like Kabukicho.

    He found some pictures of one tranny who looked a lot like Ichihashi. (He later showed them to me.) The nose had been altered, but the eyes were a dead give-away. He took the pictures to a police box near where I still live in western Tokyo and the police were amazed at the similarities between Ichihashis public photo and the trannys. They quickly passed on the info to others in Tokyo.

    The noose is tightening around Ichihashi, and none too soon. I hope for an arrest soon so that the Hawker family can start the process of finding some justice and closure.

  • 0

    Altria

    My neighbor spent some time looking on AdultFriendFinder thinking that Ichihashi might be advertising in disguise to provide sexual services to make a living

    That's what I told my wife when she looked through my internet history.

  • 0

    nandakandamanda

    Some friends of mine were on a train in Tokyo last Friday. A couple climbed on board, but the 'female' didn't look quite right, they said. When they reached their destination, to their amazement, two blokes got off the train. Only in Japan, they were thinking...

  • 0

    umbrella

    So now the latest is that it's being suggested that Ichihashi is a back door merchant?? Irrelevant. I'm sure he was out of the country within days of the alleged crime, funded by relatives. Wonder which country though?? As long as it's not USA or S.Korea, he can't be touched.

  • 0

    European1

    So, were these gays so happy to sleep with him that didn`t feel like report him to Police? He is supect for killing a girl, foreign girl!!!or is the way as always used to be in this country "Is not my business as long as it is not about my own family". right...let him and friends enjoy life.

  • 0

    opposite13

    I'm sure he was out of the country within days of the alleged crime, funded by relatives.

    Too bad the police never thought ask your opinion, since you're so sure....

    Wonder which country though?? As long as it's not USA or S.Korea, he can't be touched.

    What the heck are you talking about? What do the USA and Korea have to do with harboring murder suspects?

  • 0

    MeanRingo

    Sounds like the need to call in Hard Gay Razor Ramon. Only with the aid of Japan's talentless talento can they put this circus sideshow to rest. Maybe they can have a bunch of them dress up in drag and make a contest out of who looks most like Ichihashi in his supposed new dregs. In a few more years they'll be celebrating this guys ability to get bi the statute of limitations. truly pathetic.

  • 0

    umbrella

    opposite13

    Hallo mate! It's just my humble opinion that the guy fled the country. Nothing more! And I referred to USA and South Korea because they are the only two countries, as far as I am aware, that japan has extradition treaties with. Anyway, let's hope they catch him soon. But I'm not holding my breath on that one.

  • 0

    nisegaijin

    gettin ready for that pound me in the as$ prison?

  • 0

    JeromeInJapan

    "On April 8, he also gave police the guy’s underwear, which he had kept, for DNA testing"

    Haha yea right! I guess all people in Japan just keep underwear incase of DNA testing.

    Btw Altria that was funny as hell! I visit this website 1 for the news and 2 for the humourous posts.

  • 0

    frontandcentre

    when I saw Ichihashi’s wanted poster for the first time, I felt he was my type.

    What, this guy likes the type who abuses and murders an innocent young woman and buries her in a sand filled bath? Nice. Perfect for a bit of exciting gay sex, huh?

    I hope that they catch this twisted scum bag very soon. He seems to have one of those faces - because I have seen a lot of guys who have a passing resemblance to him, that's for sure

  • 0

    Wakarimasen

    They will catch this guy when he is spotted looking at someone's bicycle suspiciously or if he sets himself on fire at a copshop

  • 0

    WilliB

    I don´t remember anything in previous articles about the guy to say he was homosexual. And to straight males, the idea of having sex with guys is quite abhorrent. So I don't know where this fascination with Shinjuku 2-chome comes from. Desperation? Face it, nobody knows where he is, period.

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