Saturday, January 3, 2015

Miyoko Sumida, Matriarch of Japan’s Serial-Killer “Piranha Family” - 2012


Amagasaki City, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan – On November 7, 2012, Miyoko Sumida, her common-law husband and six relatives were arrested on suspicion of abandoning the body of Jiro Hashimoto, 53, in a drum filled with concrete. The suspects include Sumida’s sister-in-law, Mieko Sumida, 59, Sumida’s cousin Masanori Sumida, 38, Sumida’s son Yutaro Sumida, 25, and Rui Sumida, 27, Yutaro’s wife.

On December 5, 2012, Miyuko Sumida, 64, was arrested [second arrest] following the a long investigation. Police had received a tip that a number of people who had visited her luxurious penthouse apartment in had subsequently disappeared.

Miyuko Sumida is regarded as the prime suspect in a conspiracy involving six others, relatives, in a scheme to collect insurance after murdering selected victims. The killers received a total of 90 million yen from insurance companies. Sumida was charged with the murder of a 66-year-old woman, Kazuko Oe, whose body was found in November 2012 in a concrete-filled metal drum in a warehouse in Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture. Yet she committed suicide after only 7 days in jail, on December 12.

On October 14 and 15, 2012, police discovered the partly mummified remains of three corpses (Mitsue Ando, 71, Mariko Nakashima, 29; Takashi Tanimoto, 68) wrapped in blankets and hidden beneath floorboards at the the home of the 88-year-old grandmother of Mrs Sumida’s daughter-in-law, Rui Sumida, 27.


~ Organized Crime Family ~

The source who had intitially tipped off investigators described a highly organized crime family in which there was a designated treasurer, Mieko Sumida (59-year-old sister-in-law), a bodyguard, Masanori Sumida (38-year-old-cousin), as well as a chosen successor in leadership Rui Sumida (27-year-iold daughter-in-law).

According to the informant, “Miyoko and her minions were so intimidating that they forced family members of one victim to participate in her death.”

Included among the other five suspects are the 42-year-old husband of Mariko Nakashima’s and Masanori Ri, 38, Miyoko Sumida’s cousin who is serving a prison sentence in the death of Kazuko Oe.

A complex flow chart has been produced by a Japanese news source showing the interrelations of perpetrators and victims.


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Amagasaki City, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan – On November 7, 2012, Miyoko Sumida, her common-law husband and six relatives were arrested on suspicion of abandoning the body of Jiro Hashimoto, 53, in a drum filled with concrete. The suspects include Sumida’s sister-in-law, Mieko Sumida, 59, Sumida’s cousin Masanori Sumida, 38, Sumida’s son Yutaro Sumida, 25, and Rui Sumida, 27, Yutaro’s wife.

On December 5, 2012, Miyuko Sumida, 64, was arrested [second arrest] following the a long investigation. Police had received a tip that a number of people who had visited her luxurious penthouse apartment in had subsequently disappeared.

Miyuko Sumida is regarded as the prime suspect in a conspiracy involving six others, relatives, in a scheme to collect insurance after murdering selected victims. The killers received a total of 90 million yen from insurance companies. Sumida was charged with the murder of a 66-year-old woman, Kazuko Oe, whose body was found in November 2012 in a concrete-filled metal drum in a warehouse in Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture. Yet she committed suicide after only 7 days in jail, on December 12.

On October 14 and 15, 2012, police discovered the partly mummified remains of three corpses (Mitsue Ando, 71, Mariko Nakashima, 29; Takashi Tanimoto, 68) wrapped in blankets and hidden beneath floorboards at the the home of the 88-year-old grandmother of Mrs Sumida’s daughter-in-law, Rui Sumida, 27. 

~ Organized Crime Family ~

The source who had intitially tipped off investigators described a highly organized crime family in which there was a designated treasurer, Mieko Sumida (59-year-old sister-in-law), a bodyguard, Masanori Sumida (38-year-old-cousin), as well as a chosen successor in leadership Rui Sumida (27-year-iold daughter-in-law).

According to the informant, “Miyoko and her minions were so intimidating that they forced family members of one victim to participate in her death.”

Included among the other five suspects are the 42-year-old husband of Mariko Nakashima’s and Masanori Ri, 38, Miyoko Sumida’s cousin who is serving a prison sentence in the death of Kazuko Oe.

A complex flow chart has been produced by a Japanese news source showing the interrelations of perpetrators and victims.

~ Reign of Terror ~

In the two-month period leading up to the arrest of  Miyuko Sumida six other people – including her sister-in-law and daughter-in-law – who were connected to the series of murders involving her. The news media dubbed the group “The Piranha Family.”

An unnamed police source claimed that the victims were confined in a storage shed at a condominium owned by Sumida, and were given limited quantities of water to drink and fed only once a day on dehydrated noodles and other instant food.

Wikipedia states that in what has been called the Amagasaki Serial Murder Incident “several family households were tortured continuously for more than 25 years. These crimes were committed mainly in Amagasaki, and also in six prefectures, Hyogo, Kochi, Kagawa, Okayama, Shiga and Kyoto. Many people were abused and imprisoned; at least 8 people were killed.” Two of the recovered corpses, those of Jiro Hashimoto, 54-year-old man, and Kazuko Oe, a 66-year-old woman, were then dismembered and placed in large metal drums, which were filled with concrete.

~ Husband murdered ~

Following the death of Hisayoshi Sumida, 51-year-old husband of Mieko, assumed at the time to have been accidental, which took place during a sightseeing trip to Cape Manza in Okinawa in 2005, payouts of 90 million yen for insurance policies and a home mortgage exemption were made to “the junior Sumida” [Masanori Sumida, adopted son (?)].

[Robert St. Estephe, based on various news sources]

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Victims:

1987 – Miyoko Sumida’s mother, missing since 1987.
Oct. 2005 – Hisayoshi Sumida, 51, husband, Okinawa.
Oct. 14-15, 2012 (discovery) – Mitsue Ando, 71, body found beneath floorboards; the partner of Mrs Sumida’s older brother.
Oct. 14-15, 2012 (discovery) – Mariko Nakashima, 29, body found beneath floorboards; older sister of Mrs Sumida’s daughter-in-law.
Oct. 14-15, 2012 (discovery) – Takashi Tanimoto, 68, body found beneath floorboards; whose elder brother was a friend of Mrs Sumida.
Oct. 30, 2012 – Jiro Hashimoto, 54, body found in barrel, Hinase Harbor in Bizen, Okayama Prefecture, brother of Mieko Sumida’s husband.
Nov. 2012 – Kazuko Oe (female), 66, body found in barrel.

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Suspects:

Mieko Sumida, 59-year-old, Sumida’s sister-in-law
Rui Sumida, 27, daughter-in-law, Yutaro Sumida’s wife.
Masanori Ri, 38, Miyoko Sumida’s cousin.
Mr. Nakashima, husband of victim Mariko Nakashima, 29.
Yutaro Azumayori, 62 – Miyoko Sumida’s common-law husband, implicated, although his complicity in the crimes is unclear.

***

Sources:

[“Japan in shock over woman’s ‘reign of terror,’” The Asahi Shimbun, Nov. 9, 2012]
[“Victims found at Amagasaki house were imprisoned  on apartment balcony before death,” Japan Today, Oct. 29, 2012]

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