Detective Tamegoro Ikii and the Bank Poisoning Massacre Part 3

About the famous detective Tamegoro Ikii and the bank poisioning massacre, history and solution of the crime.



The Solution

Although ordered by his superiors to drop the artist as a suspect, Ikii persisted. He believed no murderer could conceal the facts without telling little lies. Hirasawa claimed the money he deposited in the bank came from one of his artistic benefactors--the patronage system was still much in use in Japan--but Ikii learned that actually this man had died two months earlier. During his meetings with the suspect, Ikii treated him with the utmost respect and even asked him for an autographed photo of himself. Hirasawa said he had none, which Ikii knew had to be another lie; all artists used photographs to promote their careers. Before escorting the suspect to a restaurant, the officer phoned the hostess there and asked her to have photos taken as he and his guest said good-bye. But in one the artist dropped his gaze and in the other he distorted his face, so the survivors of the massacre could not identify Hirasawa from the pictures.

Finally, the detective caught Hirasawa in a lie that all of the other investigators had overlooked. He had said he no longer had Dr. Matsui's card because the card had been in the pocket of an overcoat that had been stolen in a Tokyo restaurant the previous May. Ikii pounced on that, charging the artist with a string of deceptions, the supposed theft of the overcoat being the capping one. No one in Tokyo, he pointed out, wore an overcoat in the steamy month of May.

The artist eventually cracked and made a full confession. He also admitted that the so-called rehearsals had been tries at the real thing, but that his mixture of potassium cyanide had been too weak to kill. At his trial Hirasawa retracted his confession, saying the police had not allowed him to sleep until he made a statement. In a Japan mindful of democratic reforms, the defendant's charge was taken seriously, even though few crimes had enraged the public as much as the mass poisoning. Defense leagues were organized for the artist, and they pointed out that some of the survivors were shaky in their identification of Hirasawa. Nonetheless, the artist was found guilty and sentenced to be hanged. Many Japanese, however, fought against any resumption of the death penalty. As a result the case dragged through one appeal after another, and Hirasawa still has not been executed. Now in his 80s, he is the oldest man on death row anywhere in the world. While many people fought to prevent the execution of Hirasawa, many others lionized Officer Ikii. When he retired in 1964, he held the rank of inspector and was often hailed in the streets as a celebrity--a gesture decidedly out of character for the normally reserved Japanese people.

You Are Here: Trivia-Library Home » Great Private Detectives and their Most Famous Cases » Detective Tamegoro Ikii and the Bank Poisoning Massacre Part 3
« Detective Tamegoro Ikii and the Bank Poisoning Massacre Part 2
DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ - By printing, downloading, or using you agree to our full terms. Review the full terms at the following URL: /disclaimer.htm