Book with Ikeda elementary killer’s psych exam to challenge privacy law

Kyodo

A doctor who conducted a psychiatric evaluation of Mamoru Takuma, who was executed in 2004 for stabbing to death eight children at an Osaka school, will publish a book containing nearly the entire report, it has been learned.

The book — titled “Takuma Mamoru Seishin Kanteisho” (“Mamoru Takuma Psychiatric Evaluation Report”) — contains statements made by the convict, such as “My life is weightier than those of hundreds of thousands of people,” and “With only around eight (deaths), (the death penalty) doesn’t pay. I can’t accept it.”

Takuma barged into Ikeda Elementary School in the city of Ikeda, wielding a kitchen knife on June 8, 2001, and stabbed to death eight children and injured 13 others and two teachers.

The release of the comprehensive psychiatric evaluation could spark controversy because it will be done through the first book of its kind to be published since the Personal Information Protection Law took effect in 2003.

A similar book containing a psychiatric evaluation of another executed criminal, Tsutomu Miyazaki, convicted of killing four girls in the late 1980s, was published in 2001.

The book on Takuma is written by Akira Okae, 66, who formerly served as the director of Rakunan Hospital in Kyoto Prefecture.

“The incident gravely shocked society,” Okae said. “While I was concerned about issues over personal information and confidentiality obligation, I decided that a record should be left in an objective manner.”

In the report, Takuma calls the case the “busubusu incident,” using a Japanese onomatopoeia for the sound of stabbing. Looking back on his own life, he said it was “just a recurrence of feeling fatigued since being born.”

Just before the rampage, he said he lost the desire to live and unsuccessfully tried to kill himself.

He then came up with the idea of committing a crime. Describing his state of mind at the time, he said, “When I started thinking about killing people, I felt increasingly empowered. I thought I would go berserk, like I’d take them as my companions, just doing it in passing.”

Asked about what he was thinking during the stabbing, he said, “It was like I was waging a war on an order of the state. I was unperturbed. I felt vaguely like I was reaching an end.”

The report examined his upbringing and mental state based on statements from him and concerned people. It said his odd behavior was noted during childhood and he went through four marriages and divorces. He committed rapes and assaults while changing jobs and going through multiple hospitalizations.

Takuma looked back on things that delighted him as well. They included becoming a city bus driver and his third marriage. When prescription drugs worked, “I felt tremendously relieved,” he said.