The case of

Lindsay Hawker


Lindsay Hawker

Victim Race

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Victim Date of Birth

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Victim Age
Date Reported

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Date of Death

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Case Status

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Incident Location

Ichikawa City, Japan

Body Location

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Date of Conviction

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Body Discovered Date

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Tatsuya Ichihashi – Lidnsay Hawker

Lindsay Ann Hawker was born on December 30, 1984 in Coventry, England, daughter to Bill and Julia Hawker. She had two sisters Louis and Lissa, the three of them we very close.

Lindsay was always described as a quite girl, she got along with everybody, she was very kind and very easy to talk to.

Lindsay attended King Henry the 8th school. Later pursued a biology major in Leeds University. She graduated with honors in 2006. Lindsay was planning on getting a master’s degree but wanted to take a little break from studying for a year and do something different. She then applied to teach English in the Nova School from Japan, she thought it would be a great idea to teach English and have the chance to travel. Nova School was the biggest bilingual private school in Japan. The moment she got accepted, Lindsay felt so fortunate. Many people from all over the world applied for that position.

So on October 2006, Lindsay made it to Koywa, Tokio. It wouldn’t be long until she decided to move to a different city, a more affordable one.

The british teacher moved to Chiba, where she rented an apartment together with two other teachers from the same school, just like her they were from different countries. Things seemed to be going on really well for Lindsay, she had a job, a home, some friends, she was happy.  She also had love back home, her boyfriend  Ryan Garside from England kept regular communication through emails and sometimes phone calls. Lindsay had it all.

Six months after Lindsay arrived in Japan and four days before the fatidic events, Lindsay told her boyfriend something strange was happening to her. She had met a weird man named Tatsuya Ichihashi. Lindsay told her boyfriend she had been getting back home from work on the metro and a guy had approached her. The man then introduced himself and told her she was his English teacher from Nowa. She told him she wasn’t and got off the train. Lindsay started driving her bike when she noticed the guy running after her, he kept asking her questions. She tried to avoid him but he continued following her. When she was out of her apartment building, the man asked her for a glass of water. He seemed to be very tired due to running after her all the way. Lindsay felt sorry for him and knowing that her roommates were in the apartment, he asked the man to come in with her.

Once in the apartment, Lindsay introduced Tatsuya Ichihashi to her friends. Not so much because she was ultra happy about him being there but as a way of letting him know she wasn’t alone.

Together with drinking water, Tatsuya kept insisting to become Lindsay’s English student. He said he could pay her more if she wanted to. She said no several times but accepted in the end. When they were saying good bye, Tatsuya handed Lindsay a drawing he made of her. He gave it to her as a gift and next to it he wrote his name, phone number and email address so she could tell him when to meet for the English class.

Victim Was Found Dead/Start of The Crime

On March, 24, 2007, as agreed four days before, Lindsay and Tatsuya met for the English class at a coffee shop. The Nova organization allowed for their teachers to give private lessons outside the school but they always advised for the lessons to be in public places and to leave a note of where they would be giving said lesson. It wasn’t the first time Lindsay gave a private lesson.

22-year-old English teacher Lindsay Hawker spent an hour teaching him some conversation English and when they were finished Tatsuya told her they needed to go to his apartment because he didn’t have the cash to pay her. Since the class had been pretty normal, Lindsay didn’t make much of it and they went to his place. They took a taxi. Once at Tatsuya’s place, Lindsay asked the taxi driver to please wait for her but apparently he left after a few minutes.

Lindsay asked the taxi driver to please wait for her because it wouldn’t take her long to go up and down again. But after waiting for seven minutes without news of Lindsay, the taxi driver just left. Lindsay never answered any other email, phonecall or message again from family, friends or work.

On March 26, the Nova School reported Lindsay Hawker missing after being absent for two days. When police talked to Lindsay’s friends, her two roommates told investigators that Lindsay was with Tatsuya Ichihashi the last time they knew of her. They had his address so police went to his apartment immediately around 5:00pm.

Once there, police could tell someone was inside the apartment but the lights were off. The building manager told police they needed an actual cause or warrant to enter the place. …

When police officers got inside of Tatsuya’s apartment, they found Lindsay’s naked body covered in sand, inside of a bathtub. He had moved the bathtub to the balcony. He had tight her up and gagged her with scarfs and tights.

She had bruises all over her face and upper body. Tatsuya had choked Lindsay so bad he broke one of her neck’s cartilage. She then died. Her head had been shaved and her belongings were spread all over the room.

The Crime Description

Lidsay Hawker was raped, beaten all over her body, she had bruises from head to toes, she was finally suffocated and choked to death by Tatsuya Ichihashi. The reason for having so many bruises is probably because Lindsay was familiarized with martial arts and had tried to defend herself but Tatsuya had a black belt in karate.

Who is Tatsuya Ichihashi?

He was born on the Hifu Prefecture on January 5, 1979. He grew up in between Hifu and Chiba Prefecture. His mother was a dentist and his father was a doctor.

After graduating from Department of Horticulture at Chiba University in 2005, Ichihashi decided to not work; his parents understood so they were giving him 100000 yens allowance. By the time of the events, Tatsuya was 28 years old and had no previous convictions. But he had been accused of ¨theft and injury¨ six years prior to meeting Lindsay. Apparently Tatsuya had assaulted a woman to rob her but the case didn’t make it to court. Ichihashi had a Japanese partner and they had been together for a year.

Police described him as a loner with an obsession for fitness. He used to go to the gym and run 25km every day. He also had a particular interest for violent mangas or comics.

Investigation Details

When running an analysis of the sand mix in the bathtub, investigators realized it was indeed a mix of sand and compost soil. Tatsuya had also added a liquid to decompose the body and compact it. He got all the materials in six different visit to his local hardware store.

On the night of March 25, Tatsuya’s neighbors heard some metal banging noises and the sound of something big being dragged coming from his apartment, so he probably was moving the bathtub then.

There was no doubt that Tatsuya Ichihashi had killed Lindsay Hawker, so police got an arrest warrant and notified the whole country that he was ¨Wanted¨ for this heinous crime.

Police also published a “wanted” poster with a picture of Tatsuya and how he would look as a woman if he tried to hide by wearing wigs. This started a manhunt that would last for two and a half years.

In April 2007 Hundreds of mourners, including Japanese Ambassador Yoshiji Nogami, gathered to pay their last respects at a funeral service for Lindsay Hawker at Coventry Cathedral.

On May 23, 2007, Margaret Beckett, then Foreign Secretary for Britain, travelled to Japan and appealed to the Japanese media to devote more coverage to the murder.  She wanted to make sure everybody was looking for Tatsuya.

In June 2007, Lindsay’s parents, Bill and Julia, make an appearance on Japanese TV asking for help in finding their daughter’s killer. They expressed their frustration with the little advances of the case.

In attempts to catch him, Japanese police raised the money reward from 1 million yen to 10 million yen. After that they would start getting a lot of tips of possible sightings of the suspect. They received more than 8000 tips related to Tatsuya.

At some point, the Hawkers launched an e-mail campaign, circulating a letter titled Don’t Forget Lindsay Hawker. They appeal for the readers’ help and ask them to forward it to as many people as possible.

In March 2008, after a year without real leads, Lindsay’s family fly back to Japan to ask an update to Japanese police.

On November 4, 2009, over two years after the murder, it was reported that Tatsuya Ichihashi had been seen in a plastic surgery clinic in Nagoya. The staff at the clinic noticed weird marking on his left cheek. Said marks were due to Tatsuya trying to dig out two moles from his cheek. He had been so desperate for possibly being recognized because of the moles that he had grabbed a knife and carved them out himself!

Tatsuya Ichihashi had also tried to change the shape of his nose. He had tightened a string around it to make it narrower and maybe cut little pieces of it. He also tried to cut off his lips twice. The first time he started trying to cut his upper lip but stopped because it was too painful. But the second time he just went for it and cut them both, Got his lips thinners.

Tatsuya had been working on a construction site in Osaka while he was on the run, and he had saved some money he was planning to use in actual plastic surgery.  The pictures the medical staff took of him ended up in the news, and after that, it became very hard for Tatsuya to hide.

On 10 November 2009, Ichihashi was captured in Osaka while attempting to board a ferry to Okinawa. He was wearing a hat, sunglasses, and a surgical mask. Bill Hawker celebrated his arrest and said he wanted to travel to Japan just to be able to look at Tatsuya in the eyes.

Tatsuya Ichihashi did not confess upon being arrested, and when his 23-day detention period without charge expired on December 2, he was initially charged with abandoning a body, and served two more warrants for rape and murder. It has been alleged by Ichihashi’s lawyers that during this period, he was threatened with the death penalty if he did not speak, and his reticence was attributed to fatigue and stress.

On 23 December, one of his lawyers announced that he had acknowledged that he was involved in her death, but that he had not intended to kill her, and had attempted artificial resuscitation.

In September 2010, Tatsuya Ichihashi apologised to Lindsay Hawker’s family in a letter published in some newspapers. In January 2011, He published a book confessing to the killing and describing how he spent two-and-a-half years on the run and how he underwent plastic surgery. The book tittle was ¨Until I was arrested.¨

In July 2011, Julia and Bill Hawker arrived in Japan, ahead of Ichihashi’s trial at a court in Chiba.


During his trial, Tatsuya Ichihashi admitted raping and straggling Lindsay Hawker but said he did not intend to kill her. He even said that only he and Lindsay knew what happened that night but sadly, she couldn’t speak for herself because she wasn’t there anymore.

Tatsuya also asked Lindsay parent’s to accept the royalties of his book, he wanted that money to go to them but they said no.

Stephen Green, writing for the Japan Times, commented that the case, which had been extensively covered by the media, was likely to test the fairness of the judicial system in Japan, which operates a lay judge system and has the option of the death penalty in certain cases. However, it is extremely rare in Japan to be sentenced to death for killing only one victim. As of 2010, fewer than 10 of the 111 inmates on Japan’s death row have killed only one person, including previous convictions.


On 21 July 2011, the Chiba District Court sentenced Ichihashi to life imprisonment for the murder of Lindsay Hawker with eligibility for parole after 10 years. The Hawker family had requested the death penalty, but the court felt the death penalty was inappropriate because Ichihashi had no previous convictions and because at the age of 32 there was still a chance he could be rehabilitated.