Police suspect alleged serial rapist Joji Obara destroyed a videotape depicting his rape of Briton Lucie Blackman as well as a shovel and the electric saw used to dismember her body, investigative sources said Saturday.
Obara was served an arrest warrant Friday on suspicion of fatally assaulting Blackman and dumping her body. He has already been indicted on charges of drugging and raping six women.
The Metropolitan Police Department believes that Obara, 48, drugged Blackman, 21, in early July and raped her in his condominium in Zushi, Kanagawa Prefecture. They believe she later died from the drugs.
Police suspect Obara dismembered her corpse shortly afterward and buried it in a beach cave near another condominium he owns in Miura in the prefecture.
Police sources said Obara drugged and raped hundreds of women over the past 18 years at his condominium in Zushi and videotaped his acts.
Police suspect he wanted to record his rapes, the sources said, adding it is highly likely he also taped his rape of Blackman.
They said that searches of Obara’s properties conducted since October secured about 5,000 videotapes, several hundred of which depict him having sex with or raping women, including the six cases he has been indicted in.
But they could not find any footage showing Blackman, the sources said, adding that investigators think it “unusual” considering Obara’s behavior.
Investigators believe he destroyed the Blackman tape as well as a shovel and electric saw he is believed to have bought on July 3, two days after her disappearance.
Police have discovered that Obara rented a car, despite the fact he owned one, in mid-July when media started reporting Blackman’s disappearance. They also think he bought a motorboat in early October, immediately before his first arrest on a rape charge.
They believe the purchases were related to the destruction of evidence in the Blackman case, the sources said.
Her hair and a photo of her he is thought to have taken were found at the Zushi condo, the sources said, adding mobile phone records indicate he was in Zushi with her when she went missing.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.