On the eve of 32-year-old Tatsuya Ichihashi's trial for the rape and murder of English converstion teacher Lindsay Ann Hawker in Tokyo in 2007, the former fugitive has published a controversial book "Until I Was Arrested" (Taiho Sareru Made: Kuhaku no Ninen Nanakagetsu no Kiroku) about his two years and seven months on the run from the Japanese police.
The 240-page book has been criticized by Hawker's parents, who said they "wanted only justice" for their daughter and were "hurt" and "disgusted" by the book's release.
Ichihashi initially escaped barefoot from a group of nine police officers, who had gathered outside his apartment to question him. He then fled to the far north of Japan and also spent time in Okinawa as well as working for a construction company in Osaka to pay for his extensive plastic surgery.
Ichihashi details how he cut off a prominent mole on his cheek with a knife and wandered around more than 20 prefectures while fleeing capture, sometimes existing on a diet of fish and snakes while on the tiny and remote Ohajima in Okinawa. He also details how he visited the famous pilgrimage route in Shikoku hoping to "bring Lindsay back to life."
According to reports in the Japanese press, publisher Gentosha said Ichihashi penned the book "as part of an act of contrition for the crime," and intends to hand over any royalties to Hawker's family. The cover illustration and other drawings inside the book are the work of Ichihashi, who has admitted he bound his victim before assaulting her and then abandoning her body in a bath of sand on his apartment balcony.
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