Respected architect Seiichi Kawamura said goodbye to his group of colleagues at Shinjuku Station and boarded the commuter train to return to his home near Inokashira Park, just outside of Tokyo, Japan. Three days later, Kawamura’s body would be found sliced into 27 pieces and scattered in garbage bins.
Last seen alive at approximately 11 PM on April 21, 1994, some witnesses claimed to have seen Kawamura involved in an altercation with two other men near the department store at JR Kichijoji Station. Later, witnesses claimed that suspicious men had been walking around Inokashira Park with plastic bags. Nobody seems certain what had happened to Kawamura that evening, or why someone would want to murder the man in such a horrific fashion.
When Kawamura never came home on the night of April 21, Kawamura’s wife phoned the local police and reported that she believed that her husband was missing. Family and friends of Kawamura’s gathered a search party, but there had been no sign of the missing architect.
On April 23, a park employee had been in the process of cleaning up the park when she came across some plastic bags full of what she had believed to be fish inside of a trash bin. Since the park had been home to stray cats, she thought she would open the bag and leave the old fish out for the cats to feast on. However, when she reached into the bag the woman pulled out pieces of a human ankle.
Police had been called and combed through the park looking for the rest of the victim. There were 27 pieces of the body located. The victim’s head, pieces of the victim’s chest, and his genitals were never recovered. There had been efforts made to scrape off the victim’s finger and palm prints, and, most curious of all, is that the victim’s body had been sliced into perfect 20 cm pieces, just slim enough to fit into the trash bin’s 20cm x 30cm openings. The man’s blood had been completely drained and there were no signs of poisoning or injury prior to the man’s death, leading some to believe that he may have been alive as he had been sliced with surgical precision and deposited into the trash bins around Inokashira Park.
In spite of the great lengths taken to disguise the victim’s identity, a combination of partial palm prints and DNA were able to identify the victim as Seiichi Kawamura three days after discovering his body parts scattered around the park.
All of Kawamura’s family, friends, and colleagues were interrogated by police, but he seemed to have no enemies. Initially, Kawamura’s wife was considered a prime suspect in the case, but there wasn’t enough evidence to charge her with her husband’s murder. Some researchers have speculated that Kawamura may have become a target of the Yakuza, due to the particularly brutal nature of his death. Unfortunately, we may never know the real story behind Kawamura’s death and no justice will ever be served in his case. In 2009, the statute of limitations expired on Kawamura’s murder.
In 2014, the pond at Inokashira Park had been drained in order to eradicate invasive wildlife. Some were hopeful that additional parts of Kawamura would be recovered, but as far as what is known to the public, no human body parts were ever found.