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LA police accuse Japanese man of killing 2nd woman

LA police accuse Japanese man of killing 2nd woman

A Japanese businessman who hanged himself in his jail cell while facing trial in his wife's death killed another woman 30 years ago before withdrawing thousands of dollars from her bank account, police said Tuesday.
Kazuyoshi Miura, 61, was being investigated for the second death when he committed suicide in October, the Los Angeles Times reported on its Web site.
Investigators said they have a strong circumstantial case against Miura in the murder of 34-year-old Chizuko Shiraishi, who traveled from Japan to Los Angeles in March 1979 without telling her friends or family and disappeared.
Detective Rick Jackson said Miura gradually withdrew money from a bank account belonging to Shiraishi, who received a $21,000 divorce settlement shortly before she checked into a Hollywood hotel with Miura.
Her body was found in a field in May 1979 but was unidentified for five years, until a Japanese reporter gave police her dental records.
The same detectives who investigated the death of Miura's wife, Kazumi, recently reclassified Shiraishi's death as a homicide. They also wrote a report that says Miura killed her and were working with prosecutors to bring charges.
"Not only did he have the opportunity and motive to kill but he had the mindset and capability," Jackson said. "He did the same thing to his wife for a similar motive, financial gain."
Miura kept changing his story about Shiraishi's whereabouts, saying she had gone to northern Japan to visit relatives or friends or was caring for her sick mother, detectives said.
Miura hanged himself less than 24 hours after being brought from the U.S. territory of Saipan to face a charge of conspiring to murder his wife during a 1981 trip. He was charged with arranging for someone to shoot his wife in downtown Los Angeles so he could collect a $650,000 life insurance policy.
Miura was convicted in 1994 in Japan of plotting his wife's death and was sentenced to life in prison, but that country's high court reversed the verdict and acquitted Miura in 2003.
Calls to Miura's defense attorney, Mark Geragos, were not returned Tuesday afternoon.


Updated : 2021-07-31 05:00 GMT+08:00