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Takuma Sentenced to Death & more things the Cat dragged in

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    Takuma Sentenced to Death & more things the Cat dragged in Criminal Minds 8 September 2003 . ^..^
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 8, 2003
      Takuma Sentenced to Death & more things the Cat dragged

      Criminal Minds
      8 September 2003

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      Criminal Minds Crime and Court News Page

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      Investigation into Deaths of Four Children in One
      Family Over Five Years
      What Happens When a Child Dies
      The Asian Prostitution 'Recruitment' Problem
      Gunman Opens Fire at Chicago Warehouse; Seven Killed
      Takuma Sentenced to Death for Killing 8 Schoolchildren
      Genetic Changes Seen in Major Psychotic Disorders
      Teens, Parents to Pay for Beating Man Into Coma
      Japanese Woman Tourist Murdered in New Orleans
      Gallows Humor:
      - Six Flags Killer
      - Flash of Anger
      Judge Throws Out Obesity Suit Against McDonald's

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      Investigation into Deaths of Four Children in One
      Family Over Five Years

      August 29, 2003 Victoria, Australia -- At least three
      authorities were aware almost three years ago that
      multiple children had died in one family, but the
      Department of Human Services failed to respond.
      Documents show the coroner's office told the department
      about each death, asking if any of the children was
      known to protective services.

      "We have checked the coroner's records and found that
      the form for some reason is not filled in," a
      department spokeswoman said. "It must have been some
      administrative error." They claim that they weren't
      told that all the children were from the same family
      until the fourth child had died.

      The children died between December 1998 and April 2003,
      all before reaching the age of four. The homicide squad
      is investigating their deaths. Police said there was no
      "concrete evidence of criminal activity" surrounding
      the deaths, but stated "there is a need to ensure"
      there is no link between the latest death and the first
      three. The children and parents have not been named for
      legal reasons.

      The State Coroner found that the first two deaths were
      caused by Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS); the
      third by a rare medical condition; and the fourth,
      which is still being investigated. Coroners Court
      records show that after a second child from the family
      died in 2000, a doctor from Geelong Hospital, a
      pathologist, and police each noted it was the family's
      second loss from sudden infant death syndrome.

      After the second child's death at nine weeks in
      November 2000, a police report to the coroner said:
      "Both mother and father present and visibly upset.
      Second SIDS death to these parents. Baby taken by
      ambulance to Geelong Hospital and SIDS care workers

      The pathologist's report said the second SIDS death
      "raised the spectre of non-accidental" death, but said
      both could be the result of a cardiac abnormality.
      "This cannot be diagnosed at post-mortem but
      examination of the other siblings in this family,
      together with parents, would be justified to exclude
      the possibility."

      It is not known whether the examinations were carried

      After the third death in July last year, a police
      report to the coroner said: "(The family) has
      previously had two children who have died from
      SIDS-related illness." A pathologist's report also
      noted the family had suffered two SIDS deaths.

      After the third death in the family last year -- a
      three-month-old boy who died from Klebsiella
      septicaemia -- documents from police and the
      pathologist again show that authorities were aware of
      multiple deaths in the family. The third child died
      during a supermarket shopping trip. Police told the
      coroner that the mother had been shopping with her
      three children when the infant started to cry. As she
      returned to the car, the baby stopped breathing, and
      despite the mother using CPR, he died.

      The homicide squad is investigating links between the
      deaths. The coroner's office told the department about
      each death, asking if any of the children were known to
      protective services. But the department said it was not
      notified the children were from the same family until
      last April.

      That was when the fourth child was found dead in her
      bedroom. The ambulance was called to the house the
      night before after being told she had fallen off the
      table, but an autopsy was reportedly unable to
      establish the cause of her death.

      The department acted recently to remove the surviving
      eldest child, a seven-year-old boy, from the family
      home. A Childrens Court magistrate yesterday granted an
      interim accommodation order for the child to be
      extended to September 18.

      The family yesterday released a statement, saying its
      overriding concern was that their son be left alone
      during the investigations.

      Former Family Court judge John Fogarty yesterday said
      the Bracks Government had been repeatedly warned by
      welfare leaders and recent departmental reports that
      the system was failing to protect children.
      Premier Steve Bracks yesterday asked police Chief
      Commissioner Christine Nixon, the coroner, and the
      Department of Human Services to inquire into the
      adequacy of the system for reporting child deaths and
      make recommendations on improving the child protection
      system, including reporting of deaths between agencies,
      by September 25. The inquiry will also examine the
      department's failure to respond to the coroner's
      queries about whether one child was known to child
      protective services.

      -- Edited and excerpted from full articles by Padraic
      Murphy, Ewin Hannan, and Caroline Milburn at The Age

      -- The Herald Sun

      -- The Bendigo Advertiser

      -- The Age

      -- Herald Sun

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      What Happens When a Child Dies

      When a child dies unexpectedly, the first person of
      authority contacted by the family is usually a police
      officer or a doctor, who is obliged to report the death
      to the coroner. If the pathologist conducting the
      autopsy finds that the child has died of natural
      causes, a death certificate is completed and the matter
      But if the pathologist cannot find the cause of death
      or is suspicious about the circumstances of it, the
      coroner holds an inquiry.

      The coroner usually investigates cases of suspected
      sudden infant death syndrome. If the coroner finds no
      individual has caused the death, the matter may end,
      but if the findings imply culpability, the findings are
      sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions. The DPP
      then decides if criminal charges should be laid.

      If a child dies while involved with the state's child
      protection service, the Department of Human Services is
      obliged to investigate the service's handling of the
      case. The Victorian Child Death Review Committee in its
      annual report to Parliament then independently assesses
      each report. The committee recommends how to improve
      the child protection system.

      The Age revealed this week that the system's front
      line - the investigation of child abuse - was
      struggling to deal with a record 37,926 notifications
      of suspected abuse last year. Some of the 32 children
      who died last year after being referred to child
      protection, had their cases closed when they were first
      reported to authorities, without further inquiry.

      -- The Age

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      The Asian Prostitution 'Recruitment' Problem

      In Thailand, a Struggle to Halt Human Trafficking

      28 August, 2003 CHIANG MAI, THAILAND - When
      investigators raided one of this provincial capital's
      back-street brothels searching for women and children
      trafficked from neighboring Burma, weeks of
      surveillance and covert visits paid off. Six of the 29
      women rescued were minors, and more than half had been
      coerced into their work. But not everyone was relieved.

      Local migrant advocacy groups say the Chiang Mai raid,
      like other actions taken against human trafficking, had
      netted Burmese women voluntarily engaged in
      prostitution. Now, they say, those women may be worse
      off than before.

      These groups accuse the US-funded anti-trafficking task
      force that led the raid of steamrolling women's rights
      and treating all sex workers as victims. As concern
      mounts over the global scale of human trafficking,
      which the State Department has called "the emerging
      human rights issue of the 21st century," the US and
      other wealthy nations are lending more support to
      anti-trafficking initiatives in countries like
      Thailand. But the increasing friction between these US-
      sponsored task forces and the local groups they rely on
      for information could make it harder for them to root
      out abuses.

      The State Department defines human trafficking as
      modern-day slavery with victims who are forced,
      defrauded, or coerced into sexual or labor
      exploitation. According to their figures, the US has
      spent more than $100 million on overseas
      anti-trafficking aid since October 2000, when Congress
      first passed the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.
      They estimate that 800,000 to 900,000 people are
      trafficked annually across international borders -
      numbers disputed by outside researchers. The United
      Nation Children's Fund says one-third of global
      trafficking in women and children happens in Southeast

      But researchers and field workers who know Thailand's
      entrenched sex industry say that cases of outright
      slavery, where women are sold into bondage and forced
      to work, are dwarfed by desperate stories of poverty
      and exploitation. Many are more wary of the gung-ho
      brothel busts that land women in detention than of the
      traffickers who profit from the trade.

      Thailand's handling of migrant women caught in
      trafficking raids has improved in recent years. The
      women, typically from Burma, Laos, Cambodia, and
      southern China, are no longer treated as criminals or
      deported through normal channels. All 29 women rescued
      in Chiang Mai were transferred to a government-run
      shelter, and many have since been repatriated to Burma
      via a private network. That's little comfort, though,
      to those who never wanted to be rescued in the first

      -- Excerpted; see the full article by Simon Montlake in
      the Christian Science Monitor

      Papers on Dead Suspect Sent to Prosecutors

      September 6, 2003 TOKYO - Police turned over papers to
      prosecutors Friday on a 29-year-old man who committed
      suicide after allegedly luring and confining four girls
      in a Tokyo apartment, the police said.

      Investigators allege Kotaro Yoshisato recruited the
      girls, all 12, in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward on July 13,
      saying he needed them for part-time jobs to clean
      offices, and then confined them in a short-term lease
      apartment in Minato Ward.

      -- Kyodo News

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      Gunman Opens Fire at Chicago Warehouse; Seven Killed

      28 August, 2003 -- The final death count stood at seven
      from a shooting rampage through a maze of engine blocks
      and 55-gallon drums in a Chicago warehouse, police
      said, confirming that the gunman was among those
      killed. The shooting happened at Windy City Core
      Supply, an auto-parts supply store located in an
      industrial area of Chicago's South Side, shortly before
      9 AM local time.

      "This is clearly a case of a disgruntled employee
      taking out his frustrations on his co-workers,'' said
      David Bayless, a Chicago Police Department spokesman.

      Salvador Tapia, 36, was fired from his job at the
      auto-parts supplier about six months ago because of his
      poor work performance after he would either arrive late
      for work or not show up, said Philip Cline, acting
      superintendent of Chicago's police force in a news
      briefing. Tapia had since made threatening calls to the
      owners, acting police Superintendent Phil Cline said.

      After Tapia arrived at his former employer, he tied one
      worker up and began shooting the others. The person,
      whose hands Tapia had tied, managed to escape and ran
      to call the police, Cline said.

      Chicago police officers arrived at the scene shortly
      after 10 AM, sealed off the area, evacuated a number of
      buildings, and tried to negotiate with the gunman.

      "There were shots fired at and by the police,'' Bayless
      said. Tapia emerged from the warehouse and then ran
      back inside, waging a gun battle with police inside and
      outside of the building. He hid behind a container as
      he fired off rounds from a Walther PP .380
      semiautomatic pistol, authorities said. Police hostage
      barricade teams then charged the auto-parts salvage
      business. Police shot Tapia after he refused to drop
      the gun he was carrying. He was arrested and removed
      from the scene, but died soon after.

      "He got up, he had the gun, they ordered him to drop
      the gun, he refused to drop the gun. That's when the
      officer shot him," acting Police Superintendent Phil
      Cline said.

      Four of the victims died in the warehouse, three others
      were died at a hospital. Two brothers who owned the
      business and one of their sons were among the victims.
      Windy City Core Supply employed nine people, but only
      eight were at work that morning. One escaped the
      shootings because he was late for work because of
      traffic problems. The business' third owner, Robert
      Bruggeman, was not in the building at the time of the

      Authorities identified the dead as Alan Weiner, 50, of
      Wilmette, and his brother Howard Weiner, 59, of
      Northbrook. Howard's son Daniel Weiner, 30, also was
      killed. The other victims were Calvin Ramsey, 44,
      Robert Taylor, 53, and Juan Valles, 34, all of Chicago.

      Tapia had been arrested 12 times, Cline said. Previous
      charges include domestic battery, parking infractions,
      and carrying weapons. He was convicted in 1989 of
      illegal possession of a gun and received a year's

      "The problem here is easy access to a firearm," Cline
      said. "I mean here's someone who never should have had
      a gun, that had a gun, and it's tragic results from

      Chicago, which has one of the nation's highest murder
      rates, has been in the forefront of U.S. cities suing
      gun manufacturers, distributors, and retailers. Mayor
      Richard Daley frequently rails against the influx of
      weapons into the city that bans their sale inside its

      It was the nation's deadliest workplace shooting since
      July 8, when Doug Williams shot 14 co-workers, killing
      six, at a Lockheed Martin aircraft parts plant in
      Meridian, Miss., before taking his own life. In
      February 2001, William D. Baker, 66, killed four people
      and himself at Chicago's Navistar International engine
      plant in suburban Melrose Park. He was a former
      employee who was about to start a prison term. In July
      1999, nine people were killed at two Atlanta brokerage
      offices by a stock trader, who earlier killed his wife
      and two children. In December, a copier repairman shot
      to death seven people at a Xerox Corp. facility in

      -- Edited and excerpted from articles at the Christian
      Science Monitor

      -- Bloomberg.com

      -- AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution

      -- Reuters/abs-cbnNEWS.com

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      Takuma Sentenced to Death for Killing 8 Schoolchildren

      August 29, 2003 OSAKA - The Osaka District Court on
      Thursday sentenced Mamoru Takuma, 39, to death for
      murdering eight children and injuring 13 others and two
      teachers in a stabbing rampage with a butcher's knife
      at an Osaka elementary school in June 2001.

      Prior to handing down the ruling, Presiding judge
      Masayuki Kawaai ordered Takuma to be removed from the
      courtroom after he demanded to make a final statement.
      "Let me say something as I'll be sentenced to death
      anyway," Takuma said. The judge turned down his demand
      to speak and ordered him to leave, but Takuma made
      abusive remarks to bereaved families who witnessed the
      trial before being taken from the courtroom.

      On June 8, 2001, in Ikeda City, west of Tokyo, Takuma
      went out and purchased a long-bladed kitchen knife.
      Armed with the knife, he walked into an elementary
      school and proceeded to stab 23 people -- 21 of them
      children. He stabbed 8 children to death -- 7 girls and
      one boy -- and thirteen other children and two teachers
      were also wounded.

      Takuma pleaded guilty when his trial opened in December
      2001. He has showed no regret for his actions, saying:
      "I could have killed more if it had been at a

      The judge ruled Thursday that Takuma was mentally fit
      enough to face punishment although he had been a
      psychiatric patient formerly diagnosed with
      schizophrenia. In mental tests, experts concluded that
      Takuma suffers from a personality disorder, but not

      "He has a self-centered, very warped personality. But
      there is no influence of any mental illness and he had
      sufficient mental competency to be held responsible for
      the crime," the judge said. The judge said the two
      psychiatric evaluations that found Takuma to be
      mentally competent were "highly dependable."

      "The defendant was fully aware of the illegality and
      gravity of his conduct," the judge said, describing the
      crime as "one of the most heinous and grave cases in
      Japan's criminal history." The judge said that Takuma
      carried out the murders as a means to divert his
      economic and social frustration.

      Most of relatives of the killed children were in the
      court room for the sentencing. Two mothers, accompanied
      by a therapist, were allowed to watch the ruling
      through a television monitor in a separate room as they
      said they could not bear being in the room as the

      Takuma's lawyers said they would like to appeal against
      the death sentence after consulting with their client,
      but Takuma has reportedly told them that he would
      withdraw an appeal if they lodged one.

      The premeditated attack shocked Japan, triggering calls
      for tighter security in schools. The crime led to
      legislation authorizing the creation of panels of
      judges and doctors to deal with people with mental
      disorders who commit serious crimes.

      -- Compiled from wire reports in Japan Today

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      Genetic Changes Seen in Major Psychotic Disorders

      September 4, 2003 LONDON -- The two major psychotic
      illnesses -- schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, which
      is also known as manic depression -- are related
      disorders which may have similar genetic causes,
      scientists said on Friday. The new findings could lead
      to a better diagnostic test, early treatment, or new
      drugs for the illnesses.

      Researchers at the Babraham Institute in Cambridge,
      England have shown that sufferers of the two disorders
      have abnormalities in key genes responsible for
      proteins in the central nervous system related to a
      compound called myelin. Myelin insulates brain cells or
      neurons, like using plastic to protect an object from

      "We found abnormalities in the proteins which compact
      the myelin," Dr Sabine Bahn explained in an interview.
      She and her colleagues also confirmed earlier research
      which showed that patients with both disorders also had
      a reduction in cells in the brain called
      oligodendrocytes which make myelin.

      "We believe that our results provide strong evidence
      for oligodendrocyte and myelin dysfunction in
      schizophrenia and bipolar disorder," Bahn explained.

      Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, or manic
      depression, affect about two percent of the population
      worldwide. They are incurable, chronic, relapsing
      disorders. Diagnosing and differentiating between the
      two is based on interviews with patients and the type
      and duration of symptoms.

      "In manic depression patients get episodes of illness
      (highs and lows) and they recover when you treat them,
      whereas in schizophrenia you have a social decline in
      most cases and the cognitive impairment is more
      profound," Bahn added. She said the findings reported
      in The Lancet medical journal, if confirmed, could form
      the basis of a diagnostic test to identify people at
      risk of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

      "If you know people who are at risk of the diseases you
      can treat them before they get the illness because the
      evidence is that having the illness causes the damage,"
      said Bahn.

      The scientists discovered the abnormalities by
      comparing post-mortem brain samples from 15 people who
      had suffered from schizophrenia or manic depression and
      15 others who did not. They found clear changes in key
      genes in patients with the psychotic illnesses.

      -- Edited from the article posted by Reuters

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      Teens, Parents to Pay for Beating Man Into Coma

      August 29, 2003 YOKOHAMA - The Yokohama District Court
      on Thursday ordered four men who were found guilty of
      beating a senior official at Hitachi Ltd into a coma as
      juveniles in 1998 and their seven parents to pay 260
      million yen in compensation.

      According to the ruling, the four attacked the
      53-year-old official on his way home from work in
      Yokohama on the night of March 12, 1998 when they were
      16 years old. The man suffered a fractured skull, and
      is in a coma due mainly to head injuries.

      -- Kyodo News/Japan Today

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      Japanese Woman Tourist Murdered in New Orleans

      September 6, 2003 NEW ORLEANS --The body of a Japanese
      tourist missing since Aug 31 was found Thursday near
      the Mississippi River in New Orleans, police said

      The partially nude body of Kanako Oyama, 21, was found
      Thursday in a wooded area in Algiers at D'Armas and
      Brooklyn streets. She had been asphyxiated and had a
      belt around her neck, according to the Orleans Parish
      coroner's office.

      Police said they received an anonymous call reporting a
      body about 3:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon. They found a
      purse and other personal items belonging to Oyama not
      far from the body.

      Oyama, who was on a three-week trip, disappeared after
      checking into her room in New Orleans on Sunday
      afternoon, leaving her luggage behind. When she didn't
      check out on Wednesday, the manager of the hostel
      reported her missing.

      -- Edited excerpts from Wire reports as posted in Japan

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      Gallows Humor:

      'Six Flags Killer' Still At Large, Say
      Souvenir-Bedecked Police
      GURNEE, IL -- Local authorities continue to search
      Gurnee's Great America theme park for a criminal dubbed
      "The Six Flags Killer," souvenir-laden police reported
      Monday. -- The Onion

      Flash of Anger Lands Man in Taxi Trouble
      August 7, 2003 -- A South Korean businessman was nearly
      hit by a taxi while crossing the street in Manila.
      Outraged, he chose to vent his anger at the taxi driver
      by exposing his genitals. A drug squad officer was
      passing by and arrested the man, who had been in the
      Philippines for about two months. Police said the man
      was still shouting and cursing when he was brought to a
      station house. He faces exhibitionism charges, and we
      are left wondering what he was thinking when he flashed
      his genitals instead of flying the bird like a normal
      person. -- Source: Reuters

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      Judge Throws Out Obesity Suit Against McDonald's

      September 4, 2003 NEW YORK - A federal judge on
      Thursday threw out a revised lawsuit against McDonald's
      Corp. that accused the world's biggest fast-food
      company of using misleading advertising to lure
      children into eating unhealthy foods that make them
      -- Reuters

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      "I was gravely warned by some of my female
      acquaintances that no woman could expect to be regarded
      as a lady after she had written a book." ~ Lydia Maria

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