Thursday, February 28, 2008

Blog Posts Lead to Japanese Murder Suspect's Arrest

Because I blog on controversial topics, I never post personal information, family pictures, or specific travel itineraries. It's enough that I'm a public blogger, not to mention that I've had serious threats against my safety on more than one occasion.

Thus, given
the often rough nature of online publishing, I'd expect bloggers to use that kind of caution.

I guess that's not so in the case of Kazuyoshi Miura, a Japanese national wanted for the suspect murder of his wife in Los Angeles 27 years ago.
The Los Angeles Times has the story:
In the end, it was his own Internet blog that helped Los Angeles detectives nab Kazuyoshi Miura.

The Japanese businessman was wanted for allegedly hiring a gunman to shoot his 28-year-old wife, Kazumi, on a downtown Los Angeles street 27 years ago. Miura, who was wounded in the attack, made it appear to be a random crime, fanning Japanese fears of a city known for its street violence.

Miura was arrested Friday while trying to leave Saipan, a popular tourist destination in the Pacific north of Guam. He had remained in the sights of the Los Angeles Police Department as a generation of homicide investigators came and went.

The 60-year-old suspect spent 13 years in Japanese prison after being convicted in that country of attempted murder for an earlier attack on his wife in a Little Tokyo hotel in Los Angeles. He was also convicted in Japan for the murder of his wife, but the case was overturned on appeal.

Miura, who was charged here with murder two decades ago, had remained out of the reach of Los Angeles police and prosecutors until the persistence of retired police Lt. Jimmy Sakoda and other detectives finally paid off, officials told The Times.

For the last two years, police had been monitoring a blog written by Miura, who had become a crime sensation in Japan because of saturation media coverage of his case. In recent blog postings, he spoke of his international travel plans, including a possible trip to Saipan.

Sakoda, who worked with Japanese authorities in their prosecution of Miura, had maintained contact with his international counterparts and immigration officials in Saipan, according to Det. Rick Jackson of the LAPD's Cold Case Homicide Unit.

When Jackson got a call last year from Sakoda about the blog postings, detectives alerted Immigration and Customs officials in Guam and Saipan, both U.S. territories, to be on the lookout for Miura.

On Friday, immigration agents caught Miura as he was preparing to leave the island for Japan. The arrest culminated a case that has spanned three decades and has become one of the most sensational crimes in Japanese history -- that nation's version of the O.J. Simpson case.

"It was just a matter of wait and see," Jackson said of the final push to catch Miura. "If he left [Japan], and whether things would work out with our liaisons in other countries."

Miura, who has repeatedly denied involvement in his wife's murder, is awaiting extradition back to Los Angeles.

Additional details on the case will be discussed this afternoon at a City Hall news conference. Officials said that, based on recent court decisions, prosecuting Miura again in Los Angeles in his wife's murder does not violate the ban against legal double jeopardy.
Well, it's safe to say Miura didn't have time to make guest-blogger arrangments. Extented vacations can be murder on blog traffic.