Japan Psychiatrist Osamu Tamura Arrested in Decapitation Murder

July 27, 2023

The severed head of a man found dead in a Sapporo “love hotel” was discovered Tuesday at the home of a doctor and his daughter, who were arrested Monday on suspicion of decapitating a body, police investigators said. The woman’s 60-year-old mother was also arrested Tuesday.

The police suspect that the 29-year-old daughter, Runa Tamura, carried out the murder and subsequent beheading of 62-year-old office worker Hiroshi Ura by herself at the short-stay hotel earlier this month.

Her 59-year-old father, Osamu Tamura, is suspected of helping Runa Tamura carry the severed head out of the hotel. Although he did not enter the hotel, he is thought to have dropped off and picked up his daughter at the hotel before and after the alleged crime.

The mother, Hiroko Tamura, was arrested on suspicion of conspiring to store the severed head in their home in Sapporo, where the three lived together.

The investigators said that there were no traces of a third person entering the room in the hotel, which is located in the Susukino district. Ura was found naked and headless in the bathroom on July 2, leading them to believe that the murder was carried out by Runa Tamura alone.

Ura’s corpse was found by a hotel employee who went to investigate why he had not checked out despite it having been past the checkout time. All of his belongings, including his ID, phone and clothes, were taken from the room and police are yet to find them. They suspect Runa Tamura took his belongings.

An autopsy of his body found that the cause of death was hemorrhagic shock. The police plan to conduct an autopsy of the head following its discovery.

Ura entered the hotel with another individual — believed by investigators to be Runa Tamura — at around 10:50 p.m. on July 1. An individual appearing to be Runa Tamura was seen leaving the hotel alone around 2 a.m. Before the individual left, the front desk was notified by a female-like voice that they were going to leave alone first.

The individual arrived at the hotel wearing a white outfit, but was wearing a black outfit when they left and was caught on camera carrying a big backpack and suitcase.

Footage from security cameras showed that no one else entered the room between the time when the individual left at 2 a.m. and when the corpse was found at 3 p.m.

Osamu Tamura is the head of the psychiatric department at a general hospital in the city. He was known for his sincere character and was active as a volunteer, advising people in heavy debt, according to people who knew him well. On Monday, the director of the hospital said in a statement that hospital staff have no information and are shocked by the incident, and that they are willing to work with the police.

The motives of Runa Tamura as well as her parents remain unknown. Investigators believe she was acquainted with Ura and are investigating the nature of their relationship.

Source Yukana Inoue, “Severed head in Hokkaido ‘love hotel’ murder case found in family home,” Japan Times, July 25, 2023, URL: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2023/07/25/national/crime-legal/hokkaido-love-hotel-murder-head-found/  


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