Thursday, September 9, 2021

“Shizuoka Girl,” 16-Year Old Sociopath Poisoner – Japan, 2005

On October 21, 2005 an unnamed 16-year-old girl from Shizuoka prefecture in central Japan, was arrested for slow-poisoning her 47-year-old mother with thallium over a period of four months. She was obsessed with the British serial killer Graham Young (“The Teacup Poisoner,” arrested November 21, 1971), whose biography she owned in a Japanese translation. Young used thallium to kill his victims. The girl was an excellent student and her teachers regarded her as having a brilliant future in chemistry. Her mother began to feel ill in July from thallium-laced food and drink and developed a rash on her face, arms and legs. She was taken to hospital on October 2, but slipped into a coma. The girl tried to poison her mother's tea while she was in hospital and taken photographs of her in a coma.
Graham Young started testing toxins when he was 14 and later recorded his poisonings in a notebook. The Shizuoka girl seems to have followed his lead in keeping a blog diary on the effects of thallium over time on her mother.
On 3 July, she wrote on her blog: “Let me introduce a book: Graham Young's diary on killing with poison - the autobiography of a man I respect.” Police later noted that in her blog, in which used code names, the girl referred to herself as 'boku', the Japanese word for 'I' used only by men, which police believe denotes her close identification with Young.
She also posted quotes from the book repeatedly. On August 19, she wrote: “My mother has been sick since yesterday. She has a rash all over her body.” On September 12: “My mother has been complaining her legs are no good for two or three days. It is almost impossible for her to move.” Later on: “Mother seems to have started hallucinating.” 'I got sympathy from my teacher when I tearfully talked about mother. … I guess people are more gullible than I had imagined.” When her mother had become gravely ill, she wrote: ''I took a photo of her today, as I did yesterday. My brother said I had a penetrating stare and that he was horrified.”
Following the lead of her role model Graham Young, the girl poisoned herself in an attempt to put herself beyond suspicion and was hospitalized on October 21, but was arrested as soon as she was discharged, after her brother told police he feared his sister was behind their mother's illness. In her room, investigators found several animal parts that she had dissected and preserved in formalin, along with the severed head of a cat. 

When Police investigated her blogging activity, they discovered this chilling post from September 4: “To kill a living creature. The moment of sticking a knife into something. The little sigh. I find it comforting.”
The girl, nevertheless denied attempting to kill her mother, claiming the woman, who, at the time of the daughter’s arrest remained critically ill in a coma.
[Robert St. Estephe, based on: Justin McCurry, “Confession of teenage poisoner,” The Guardian, Nov. 6, 2005]
[451-9/12/21; 2867-7/17/22]

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