Their Daughter’s Killer Placed Her Body in a Flower Bed; Then He Deformed His Own Face

The tragic case of Lindsay Hawker

Image from prostooleh — Freepik

Lindsay’s body lay buried in a detachable bathtub.

Her body was covered with a mixture of sand and compost soil.

A decomposing agent was placed in the soil to speed up the decomposition process. And flower seeds were placed on top.

Lindsay Was a Twenty-Two-Year-Old Woman

Lindsay Ann Hawker was born in Coventry, England, on December 30th, 1984.

She was happy, bright, nurturing, caring, successful, and popular.

Lindsay studied biology at university and graduated with a first-class honors degree. Then, she decided to teach English for a year in Japan.

After that, she wanted to pursue a Master’s degree.

In October 2006, Lindsay landed a teaching job at Nova’s Kiowa, Tokyo branch.

She touched down in Tokyo. And she settled in a place called Chiba, where she shared accommodation with two other foreign teachers.

Nonetheless, Lindsay missed home. She had left a loving family, a large group of friends, and a boyfriend back in England.

Lindsay Went Quiet

Lindsay Ann Hawker — Image from thetimes.co.uk

In March 2007, Lindsay’s parents were getting worried over her sudden silence.

She always kept in touch with them. Then, they were later contacted by the school where Lindsay worked. The school told them that Lindsay had missed two days in a row.

So Lindsay’s disappearance was reported to the police.

The search efforts for Lindsay started at her shared home. Lindsay’s housemates were interviewed, and all had a suspect in mind.

They knew Lindsay had gone to see a man at a coffee shop shortly before she disappeared.

The man had also left a sketch of Lindsay back in the apartment. The sketch contained the man’s phone number and name.

The police tracked down the man’s home address. They knocked on his door, but no one answered.

The police looked into the man’s apartment from his balcony.

The lights were off. But there appeared to be somebody lurking around inside. So, the police officers called for backup and prepared to raid the man’s home.

However, the man suddenly opened his front door and slid right past the police. No one could grab him.

The man managed to escape from the apartment and was out of sight.

The Police Found a Horrible Scene

The authorities went in for a gruesome scene inside the man’s apartment.

Weirdly, the man’s detachable bathtub was on his balcony. And inside was the naked body of Lindsay.

Lindsay was covered in a mixture of sand and compost soil. Only her right hand emerged from the surface. All of Lindsay’s hair was shaved off.

She had been bound and gagged with plastic ties.

Her upper body was all bruised.

The soil contained a decomposing agent. The man intentionally applied it to speed up the naked body’s decomposition. And flower seeds were placed on top to disguise the bathtub as a flowerbed. The seeds would eventually have fed off Lindsay’s body.

Lindsay’s possessions were scattered across the place.

The authorities then discovered several wigs in the man’s apartment. That made them believe that he was a cross-dresser.

By the following day, that man, Tatsuya Ichihashi, was officially a wanted man across Japan.

The police distributed wanted posters with his face across the city and multiple news sites. But Tatsuya was good at remaining unnoticed.

He evaded the police. And his disappearance turned from weeks to years.

“A Japanese man buried the naked body of twenty-two-year-old Lindsay Ann. He went to great lengths to avoid detection, including mutilating his nose to change his appearance.”— News reporter

Who Was Tatsuya?

Tatsuya Ichihashi — Image from theguardian.com

Tatsuya Ichihashi was a twenty-eight-year-old from Chiba.

He was born into a successful family. His father was a medical doctor at a local hospital, while his mother was a professional dentist.

Tatsuya graduated with a horticulture degree.

The man never bothered to look for a job. He lived off his parents.

Tatsuya had no previous convictions with the law prior to the Lindsay incident. But he was the subject of a prior allegation of theft and injury.

Tatsuya allegedly assaulted a woman on the street during a robbery. But the matter was settled out of court.

His father paid the woman off.

Tatsuya Had an Encounter With Lindsay

In March 2007, Lindsay had a weird encounter with Tatsuya.

Lindsay had finished work for the day and went to collect her bike. A man approached her from behind as she unlocked her bike.

The man greeted her and claimed he knew her from English class.

Lindsay was sure that man wasn’t one of her students. So she ignored him. But the man proceeded to follow Lindsay to her apartment.

Lindsay stopped her bike, and the man made a proposal.

He asked if she was interested in providing him with English lessons. Lindsay politely refused. Then the man asked Lindsay for a glass of water in her apartment because he was thirsty.

Lindsay was hesitant.

Nonetheless, she allowed the strange man into her apartment. She felt that was a good opportunity to show the man she didn’t live alone.

Meanwhile, her housemates could also see the man’s face, just in case.

In the apartment, the man offered to pay the Japanese Yen equivalent of thirty-two dollars an hour for the English lessons.

Lindsay finally agreed. Then the man thanked Lindsay. He grabbed a pen and paper, scribbled something, and handed the paper to Lindsay.

It was a sketch of Lindsay and the man’s name and phone number.

How Tatsuya Killed Lindsay

On March 24th, 2007, Lindsay contacted Tatsuya.

The two met at a local coffee shop for an English lesson.

Tatsuya then told Lindsay that he had forgotten his money at his apartment. The two left to go collect the money.

They hopped into a taxi. Then Lindsay told the taxi driver to wait for her. But Lindsay never came out.

The driver assumed that she had changed plans, and he drove away.

Tatsuya raped Lindsay before strangling her. He later shaved her head and placed her body in sand and compost soil.

Tatsuya Deformed His Face

Lindsay’s parents traveled to Japan to assist in raising awareness of their daughter’s murder.

Meanwhile, Tatsuya had already changed his appearance using self-mutilation.

He had removed his moles. And he used scissors to cut off part of his lower lip.

He also sewed a thread through his nose to alter its shape.

In June 2009, the police raised the cash reward for any information leading to his arrest from ¥1 million to ¥10 million.

In October 2009, a plastic surgeon from Nagoya informed the police that he believed that he had just worked on Tatsuya.

Tatsuya had foolishly accepted to take a before and after picture of his operation. And these photos were shared with the public.

The Aftermath

From the public pictures, a port worker recognized Tatsuya as he boarded a ferry to flee to Okinawa.

And the police arrested him.

In 2011, Tatsuya was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Lindsay.

“Ichihashi, you have taken away a precious life, destroyed a whole existence, and stolen countless memories from us.” — Lindsay’s parents

Sources: Wikipedia.org, Coffeehouse Crime, Thetimes.co.uk, Theguardian.com