While on the lam for 2½ years, a Japanese man wanted for the murder of a British woman says he scissored off his lower lip, dug two moles out of his cheek with a box cutter and gave himself a nose job in an attempt to obscure his identity.
The disclosures come in a book released Wednesday and written from jail by Tatsuya Ichihashi, who will stand trial later this year in the murder and rape of his English teacher, Lindsay Ann Hawker.
Hawker, 22, was found dead in a sand-filled bathtub on the balcony of Ichihashi's apartment in Chiba, east of Tokyo, in March 2007.
Ichihashi, arrested in 2009 after a lengthy nationwide manhunt, admits to taking Hawker's life in the book, "Until the Arrest." But he doesn't describe the crime or his motives, instead detailing his life at large, during which he traveled up and down the country, in constant fear of arrest and obsessed with cosmetic surgery.
While police say Ichihashi has confessed to assaulting Hawker and that she died from her injuries, he won't enter a plea until the trial begins. The details in the book do not take responsibility for anything beyond what Ichihashi has already told investigators. If convicted of murder, he could face the death penalty.
After escaping the police who came to his apartment to question him, he bound up his nose with a thread and needle — like a cook trussing a piece of meat — to make it narrower.
At first, Ichihashi, 32, wandered around Tokyo and then drifted north to Aomori prefecture, where he twice tried to cut off part of his lower lip to make it thinner. The first time, he couldn't follow through because of the excruciating pain, he wrote. He finished it up a few days later in a public bathroom.
He wore several layers of surgical masks to hide the scars, but apparently didn't stand out in the spring when many Japanese do the same to escape pollen. ...
"Having saved nearly 1 million yen ($12,100) from a string of construction jobs, he spent most of it on two plastic surgery operations, once to acquire a longer and narrower nose, and the second to raise the bridge of his nose."
via Accused killer: I performed surgery on myself - World news - Asia-Pacific - msnbc.com.
The title and first part of the article are a bit misleading. If you read far enough you see that he had the nose job done at a clinic and this got him reported to the police. Police eventually stopped him on Nov. 10, 2009 at the ferry terminal in Osaka. When asked his name, he "gave his real name for the first time in 2½ years and was arrested." For a while I was trying to figure out how he could do that by himself to nose ...