Ishikawa’s so-called ‘confession,’ extracted while he was in unmonitored police custody, was the primary evidence used by the public prosecutor to demonstrate his guilt. It contains inconsistencies and discrepancies sufficient to raise legal reasonable doubt, and yet was still used to sentence Ishikawa to death.

This map traces the route of the crime as indicated by Ishikawa’s confession, as if it were true. It describes the physical setting of the route, what Ishikawa was supposed to have done along that path, and what Ishikawa really did on that day.

Outline of confession: Sometime after 2pm on May 1, 1963, Kazuo Ishikawa exited the Sayama train station. He slowly made his way to a location approximately one kilometer away, where he encountered N, a high school student on her way home from school. He stopped her on her bicycle and convinced her to walk with him for 700 meters through the fields, towards a small grouping of trees. He tied her to a tree and blindfolded her. Eventually, he untied her from the tree, at which point she screamed for the first time. In order to stop her cries for help, Ishikawa started to choke her with his right hand; before he knew it, he had killed her. He then carried her dead body 200 meters back toward the town, where he hid it in a pit on the side of the road while he delivered a ransom note to the N’s parents. He returned to the body, moved it to a nearby location, and buried it. The body was found three days later by the police.

In contrast to this forced confession, Ishikawa maintains that he actually spent the day in a very different manner. He left the train station around 2pm, but spent his afternoon wandering around and playing slot machines at a nearby gambling parlor. Unfortunately, he has no witnesses able to testify on his behalf.

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