Police capture suspected 'haiku' killer in Japan

-- A 63-year-old man wanted in
connection with the murder of five people in
a remote Japanese hamlet has been captured
after a manhunt involving more than 400
Three bodies were found on Sunday after two
houses in Mitake, a tiny community in
western Japan's Yamaguchi prefecture, were
gutted by a "suspicious" fire, Yamaguchi
police spokesman Katsumi Harada told CNN
on Wednesday.
The following morning, two more corpses
were found a few hundred meters away in
the same neighborhood in the victims'
respective homes.
An autopsy revealed that all five victims were
killed by injuries to the head, prompting
police to set up a task force to investigate a
possible serial killer, Harada said.
The wanted man -- who lived next to the
burned out houses -- disappeared, prompting
a huge manhunt.
Police found the man in the mountains barely
1 km from the village. He was barefoot,
wearing only his underwear when he was
discovered, police spokesman Kazutaka
Umemoto told CNN.The man was then taken to the nearest
police station at Shunan for questioning.
The case attracted significant media
attention after a note, apparently written in
the form of a "haiku" poem -- a short form
of Japanese verse -- was left hanging in the
window of the fugitive man's home.
According to the authorities, the poem
translated as: "Setting on fire, smoke gives
delight, to country fellows." They have
refused to draw a link between the poem and
the killings.
Mitake is a remote, mountainous community
with less than 20 inhabitants. According to
local media, the arrested man lived alone,
and moved into the neighborhood about 20
years ago to take care of his elderly parents.
Reports suggested the man grew increasingly
alienated in the small community after his
parents died about 7-8 years ago. One of the
victims frequently quarreled with him over his
dog, according to Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan's
largest newspaper.