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OSAKA — A man found guilty in five cases of robbery and murder in three prefectures was given a life sentence Oct. 2.Handing down the ruling, the Osaka District Court described the crimes committed by Keiji Ikuta, 45, as “extremely cunning and vicious.”According to prosecutors, Ikuta assaulted and murdered 46-year-old Kimiko Takeuchi in Daito, Osaka Prefecture, in March 1994 after entering her residence disguised as a gas inspector. After the attack, he also stole 5,000 yen worth of her possessions.Ikuta committed four similar assaults in Kyoto, Hirakata in Osaka Prefecture, and Amagasaki, in Hyogo Prefecture. All his victims were housewives or young women who happened to be at home.

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