Mummified flatmate unwrapped
ReligionNewsBlog.com • Friday November 8, 2002
AFP, Nov. 9, 2002
Japanese police have arrested two cultists who kept the mummified and needle-punctured body of their flatmate in a back room under a pile of nappies, police and reports said yesterday.
The three had been living together since October last year, and although Yoshikai died in May of apparently natural causes, the two failed to inform authorities, police said.
“The suspects thought that if people who dropped by discovered the body, it would interfere with their religious activities, so they hid it in a tatami mat-size (6.75sqm) room,” said Fukuoka police spokesman Shuichi Shingai.
The corpse was covered with disposable nappies and punctured with needles, apparently to discharge body fluids and reduce the smell, the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper said.
“I thought we could bring her back to life,” the paper quoted Ms Ueno as telling police.
In an interview apparently conducted before her arrest and in front of her home, broadcast late yesterday, Ms Ueno said: “There is nothing that I am afraid of. It is me who moves the world.
“I am Buddha,” she said.
Ms Ueno’s son, who had been living upstairs from the trio with Mr Ueno’s husband, notified police of an odd smell coming from below in late October.
In March, two Japanese members of an unrelated faith-healing cult were each sentenced to seven years in prison for causing the death through neglect of two people, whose corpses were allowed to mummify in the hope they would come back to life.
In February the leader of yet another cult was sentenced to 15 years jail for the murder of a stroke victim whose mummified body was found in a hotel in Chiba in 1999.
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