Police nab ‘haiku killer’
Police yesterday arrested a man who left a haiku poem when he disappeared after five people were murdered in a tiny mountain village. Investigators found Kosei Homi, 63, dressed only in his underwear early yesterday in mountains near the hamlet in western Yamaguchi Prefecture, police and reports said. The manhunt began on Sunday after officers found three corpses inside two burned-out houses. They subsequently uncovered two more bodies in separate homes. The five victims, who all appeared to have been battered to death, were in their 70s or 80s and represented a third of the population of the hamlet, local reports said. Police had found a “haiku” poem stuck to the window of Homi’s house, which read: “Setting a fire — smoke gives delight — to a country fellow.” Investigators had found a cellphone registered to Homi and a shirt and a pair of pants, believed to be his, in mountains nearby on Thursday, as they homed in on the fugitive, Jiji press said.
Landslides bury people
At least nine people were buried and four missing after landslides hit a province where at least 95 were killed this week by earthquakes, state media reported yesterday. Two separate landslides hit Gansu following heavy rains, Xinhua news agency said. The northwestern province was hit by twin earthquakes on Monday that Xinhua reported left at least 95 people dead and another 1,461 injured. The recent landslides came as the northwest continued to be battered by heavy rains and flooding. Floods in Shaanxi Province have killed 14 people since July 18, Xinhua said. Since rainstorms began last Thursday 189,000 people have been relocated, the agency cited local officials as saying.
Man stabs five to death
Police say a lone knifeman stabbed five people to death and wounded three others in the latest in a string of rampage attacks. Henan provincial police said yesterday that Ding Jinhua killed three people in the village of Dazhuzhuang. The 38-year-old furniture salesman then drove to a nearby furniture market where he killed a shop owner and taxi driver, and drove off in the cab.
Two arrested for ‘ice’
Two Indian men have been arrested and charged with trafficking crystal methamphetamine worth an estimated US$1.4 million, a customs official said yesterday. The suspects were detained on Thursday on the holiday island of Samui after flying in from Chennai in southern India via Singapore. Custom authorities said they had found 12.3kg of methamphetamine hydrochloride, known as “ice,” in their luggage.
A University of Pittsburgh medical researcher accused of poisoning his neurologist wife with a supplement she apparently thought would help them have a baby has been arrested. Police say Robert Ferrante, 64, laced an energy supplement with cyanide and gave it to Autumn Klein hours after they exchanged text messages about how the supplement could help them conceive. Klein, chief of women’s neurology at the university’s medical center, died on April 20 after suddenly falling ill at home on April 17. Blood drawn from Klein had high levels of acid so doctors had it tested for cyanide as a precaution. Those tests revealed a lethal level of cyanide, but only after Klein had been cremated at her husband’s insistence, police said. Defense attorney William Difenderfer has said Ferrante denies involvement in his wife’s death. Two days before his wife became ill he purchased more than 227g of cyanide.