A woman came running toward me screaming, “Help! A woman came running toward him, screaming, “Help! The man chased after her from behind and stabbed her in the back with a large knife. The man stabbed the woman a third time in the chest, and then he left in a leisurely manner toward his house, not looking back. She did not even turn around. He was wearing camouflage clothes, a black mask, and sunglasses.
The tragic incident in Nakano City, Nagano Prefecture, occurred just after 4 p.m. on May 25. Aoki Masanori, 31, a resident of the city, was arrested for stabbing to death two women who were out for a walk and shooting two police officers who rushed to the scene with a hunting rifle. The suspect, Aoki, grew up with well-known local parents: a father who was a city council president (now resigned) and a mother who ran a gelato store and held flower art classes. Unlike his socially active parents, he was a very introverted person.
We will look into the true face of the suspect who committed this horrific crime, based on testimonies from neighbors and other sources.
I have never seen him hanging out with his friends. I never saw him hanging out with his friends. He didn’t seem to reject relationships, as has been reported, but rather seemed to prefer to be alone at all times.
After graduating from a prestigious public high school in the neighborhood, Aoki wasted one year to get into Tokai University and moved to Tokyo. However, as one of his classmates said, he probably did not feel at ease with his surroundings. He dropped out of college and returned to his hometown.
I worked in an orchard in a neighboring town, but I was just so quiet. Even if I greeted them once in a while, it was never a conversation. In some cases, farm work is done in groups, but even in those cases, they don’t work together, they just stand there by themselves. There were times when the people who did the work were taken aback.
Aoki had also joined a local festival preservation society through his father. A member of the association recalls.
A member of the association recalls, “He played the kagura, played the flute in the tatami room, and participated in drinking parties. However, he would drink if we poured him sake, but he would never talk to us himself. Even when I played the flute, I didn’t try to match the sound with the people around me. I knew that he would eventually quit because he didn’t fit in with the people around him.
The vacations continued, and when he quit, there was no greeting from him. His father came to him with a bottle of sake and apologized, saying, ‘I’m sorry,’ and he had to leave the group. It was like he gradually faded out and I lost contact with him.
It seems that Aoki’s dog was the one he allowed into his life.
“I often saw him riding his bicycle and walking his white medium-sized dog at a fairly high speed around 7 p.m. after he came home from his orchard job. I think he was giving his dog a lot of love because he didn’t socialize with other people. I once saw him riding his bike and letting his dog run around.
Aoki is believed to have had no particular troubles at home. He killed two women who were out for a walk because he “thought they were making fun of him, saying he was ‘all alone. He may have developed a sense of isolation and paranoia due to his tenuous relationship with his surroundings. The police are investigating Aoki’s daily activities in detail.
PHOTO： Junpei Kota