On November 29, the Nagano District Court (Chief Judge Hiroshi Ohno) sentenced Natsumi Mizusawa, 28, who was accused of attempted murder for shooting a man, then 74, with a bogan in Nagano City, injuring him for 14 days.
“I don’t like the way he laughs and the way he apologizes.”
The Onimasato district of Nagano City is home to numerous legends, including the legend of the demon of Mt. The incident took place on August 31 last year in that village surrounded by mountains. The defendant, Mizusawa, who lived alone in a house in the district, fired a 77cm long borgun with a metal arrow in the tip at Mr. A, a member of the welfare committee, who had called him to his house.
Ms. A, as a member of the welfare committee, used to go to Mizusawa’s house once a month to deliver a newsletter. What was Mizusawa’s motive for pointing the bogun at Ms. A, with whom he had only a passing relationship?
What we learned at the first trial held on the 15th of the same month was the one-sided resentment of the defendant Mizusawa, which could only be described as an embarrassment to Ms. A.
According to the opening statement and the evidence, Mizusawa began living alone away from her parents when she entered high school, and after graduating from a vocational school, she moved from job to job before buying a second-hand house in the Onimusato district in May 2019, saying she wanted to live in a quiet place. In May 2019, she bought a second-hand house in the Onimusato area. After moving to the area, she was living quietly and alone while receiving welfare benefits.
However, one month before the incident. One month before the incident, however, the defendant Mizusawa had an incident that could be said to be a precursor to the current case. He called Ms. A and shot her in the back because he didn’t like the way she laughed.
When Ms. A returned home after distributing a PR magazine, the defendant called her and said, ‘I didn’t like the way you laughed, so please apologize. She didn’t understand what he meant, but he insisted, so she apologized. However, the defendant did not let his feelings subside and called Ms. A again, saying, “I have something to discuss with you. In response to this request, Ms. A went to the defendant’s house, where the defendant told her to turn around.
Ms. A, who was hit by an arrow in the back but was not seriously injured, thought that this was a prank by the defendant and did not report it to the police. Mr. A’s wife, who was in the blueberry field with him when she received the phone call from the defendant, said, “I was surprised when my husband suddenly apologized to the caller more than ten times, saying, ‘I’m sorry,’ ‘ I’m sorry. I could hear the other party’s voice, but he said something like, ‘I don’t like the way you apologize. At the end, my husband apologized in a slightly louder voice, saying, ‘I’m sorry! I don’t like the way you apologize,'” she said in the statement.
A month after the bizarre incident, the defendant was shot with a pistol crossbow after being persistently asked to apologize for “not liking the way he laughed and apologized. By then, the defendant had purchased a larger bogun and an arrowhead with a high killing power, and had hung a rolled-up futon on the outside wall of his house to try out shooting.
The day before the incident, Ms. A visited the defendant, who told her, “I have something to discuss with you, so I would like you to come when it is convenient for you. In the evening of the day of the incident, Ms. A visited the defendant.
On the evening of the day of the incident, Ms. A drove to the defendant’s house and rang the intercom, and the defendant said, “Please come this way,” and led her to the east side of the house. The defendant, however, told Mr. A, who was following behind him, “Please don’t come this way,” etc., and moved to the south side of the house. He picked up a borgun loaded with arrows, stood in front of Mr. A, held it up, pointed the tip at his body, and fired an arrow.
When the arrow pierced his right arm and lodged in his anterior chest, Mr. A asked the defendant to ‘call an ambulance,’ but the defendant left without saying a word.
Mr. A’s cell phone was broken and he could not call 911, so he drove back to his house on his own and asked his family to call 119.
At the trial, it was also revealed that the defendant up to the incident had been causing trouble not only with Ms. A but also with various people she came in contact with in her daily life. According to the record, the defendant had consulted with the police ten times after moving to the Onimusato area. On one of those occasions, he said.
One of them was, “I warned a man who was exterminating bees in the neighborhood, and he said I was too noisy, so I got into trouble.
When the police interviewed the person concerned at the scene, he testified that he was told by the defendant to stay away from the bees because they would attack him, and that he set off firecrackers. Just before the incident, he was also consulted about a problem over noise from construction work in the neighborhood, and when he interviewed the workers and the defendant at the site, he was told that the construction workers told the defendant that he was making too much noise cleaning up the scaffolding, and he apologized and said he would do it quietly, but the defendant later “fired tear gas at the workers.
In addition, a delivery person at a shipping company said in his statement, “The defendant called me almost every day to complain about my bad attitude, and was known as a troublemaker,” while a postal worker said, “I would file complaints and demand an apology. The post office worker also said in his statement, “He would file complaints and demand apologies. ‘There was a suspicious person who was scurrying around, so I want you to apologize,’ ‘The package is facing the wrong way,’ and other unusual complaints, and I apologized more than 20 times.
The defendant had been asking for apologies not only from Ms. A but also from many of the people she came in contact with, and there was no particular problem with Ms. A. In fact, anyone could have been a victim.
At the first trial, the defendant appeared in court wearing a black cardigan and a white shirt with her long hair tied back in a knot.
At his arraignment, his voice trembled as he claimed, “I did not intend to kill Mr. ……A. I don’t even remember rubbing her.
What is the “obsessive-compulsive disorder” that the defendant suffered from?
After the defendant, the defense attorney pleaded not guilty to the charges, saying that the defendant was insane at the time of the incident and was not capable of taking responsibility, as he was affected by obsessive-compulsive disorder. In the defense’s opening statement, the picture of the case differed slightly from that of the prosecution. “The bogan was not for shooting Mr. A, but for killing vermin,” he said.
Since moving to the area, the defendant has been raising crow chickens for a living. Last spring, they succeeded in hatching eggs. The next month, however, the chicks were attacked by weasels and wiped out. The grown-up chickens were also attacked, and despite efforts such as installing bear repellent and cages to catch the weasels, the damage did not stop.
To get rid of them, we bought a pistol crossbow and shot at the weasels, but to no avail, so we bought a large bogan and arrowheads, which were the murder weapons this time. I set the arrows in preparation for the weasel and kept them in the storeroom. ……” (Defense Opening Statement)
During the questioning of the defendant, he similarly testified in a quavering little voice that the purchase of the murder weapon was to exterminate the weasels that had killed his beloved raven chicks.
I bought it to kill the weasels in the cage, not the ones moving around outside. At the time, all I could think of was exterminating them, so I bought a large …… borgun.”
On the day of the incident, however, she said, “I don’t remember what I was doing that morning. I was worried about whether I could talk to Mr. A, but he was very polite and I felt relieved and my anxiety disappeared. I don’t remember what happened after that. I lost my mind , and then I became dazed and confused, and even when I tried to think, I couldn’t understand anything,” she said, repeating that she had no memory of the important part.
Prior to the trial, two doctors conducted a psychiatric evaluation of the defendant and each gave a different opinion. In his ruling, Judge Hiroshi Ohno said, “I can’t adopt either of them, but they both agree that the defendant suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder,” and while acknowledging the influence of the disorder, he said, “I don’t remember the points that are disadvantageous to me, and I remember the points that are not disadvantageous to me. The defendant’s statement is difficult to believe,” he said, rejecting the defense’s argument and admitting that he was capable of responsibility.
The defendant’s attacks, including persistent demands for an apology, tear gas spraying, use of firecrackers, and attacks with a bogan, originally stemmed from his obsession with and frustration with the actions of others. What is the nature of the “obsessive-compulsive disorder” that is said to have influenced these attacks? A psychiatrist, speaking anonymously, explains.
A typical symptom is the need to wash one’s hands several times, or returning to one’s house several times because one is worried that one forgot to turn off the key or the gas. Even though you think it’s ridiculous and impossible, you can’t help but repeat it.
Some people can’t do anything else until they have washed their hands ten times. If the act is interrupted by another person talking to them in the middle of the act, they have to start over from the beginning, which may lead to aggression toward others.
It is tempting to speculate on various causes, such as one’s upbringing history or environmental factors, but “it is said that there are biological factors, and everyone has the potential to become like this,” so it is best not to think of it as someone else’s problem. Treatment with medication and cognitive-behavioral therapy is possible, so please consult the clinic if you have any problems.
The presiding judge, Mr. Ohno, who sentenced the defendant to three years in prison, said at the sentencing, “I would like to make him understand the seriousness of his responsibility and greatly hope that he will recover with treatment. The defendant kept prostrating himself on the desk and crying.
Interview and text by： Yuki Takahashi
Observer. Freelance writer. She is a freelance writer and has written many books, including "Tsukebi no mura: rumor killed five people? (Shobunsha), "Runaway Old Man, Crime Theater" (Yosenya Shinsho), "Kanae Kijima: The Secret of Dangerous Love" (Tokuma Shoten), "Kanae Kijima Gekijo" (Takarajimasya), "Kasumikko Club: Daughters' Court Hearings" (Shinchosha), and many other writings based on interviews on murder cases and court hearings.
Photo： Kyodo News