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After Obara's arrest in connection with Lucie's disappearance, a sharper image of his personal life emerged. In contrast to his occluded public persona, Obara's private obsessions are delineated in excruciating detail. He wrote journals and dictated audio diaries on cassette tapes starting in the early 1970s. Police have leaked some of Obara's most incriminating entries to Japanese reporters like Mamoru Kadowaki of the Weekly Shincho magazine. According to Kadowaki one of Obara's most troubling entries, presented in vaguely poetic form, includes the lines, "Women are only good for sex. I will lie to them. I will seek revenge. Revenge on the world."
In 1983 his journals make their first references to "conquer play," a euphemism, prosecutors say, Obara used to describe his assaults on women. Journals between 1983 and 1995 include the names of more than 200 women, beside which Obara wrote code words, 29 of which, investigators believe, refer to drugs. Police recovered more than a dozen different varieties of drugs from Obara's homes from sleeping pills to chloroform to human growth hormone. In his diaries, he mentions drugs frequently, at one point declaring, "I am so bored with pot, hash and LSD." But if there were any doubts about his main interest, these were dispelled by an entry in which he stated, "I can not do women who are conscious."
When police arrested Obara in early October, he initially denied knowing who Lucie Blackman was. Police found blond hairs that matched Lucie's in one of Obara's seacoast condominiums, then a roll of film that contained pictures of her taken near the same dwelling. But without a body, they were unable to bring charges against him. Police culled Obara's videos and journals for other victims. The three foreign hostesses agreed to cooperate with the prosecution, and Obara was charged with several counts of rape.
In a rambling November letter to the media, Obara countered: "These ladies who are supposed to be victims are all foreign hostesses or sex club girls. Many took cocaine or other drugs in front of me, and all of them agreed to have sex for money." The women told a different story. He met them in hostess clubs, invited them on dohans, drove them to the sea and lured them into his condominium using a variety of methods. He invited one woman over, offering to cook her dinner. He asked another to accompany him to a party later in the evening. In the meantime they could watch a Mariah Carey concert on TV at his condo. Another, he simply drove to his building and asked to help him carry up some boxes from his car.
Once he got them inside, he would keep the conversation light. Inevitably he would urge them to try a rare wine which he would tell them came from India or the Philippines. To account for the funny taste of this drug-laced beverage, Obara told his victims it contained special herbs. There was one victim he coaxed into making a "good luck" toast that required her to down the entire glass in a single gulp. If she didn't drink it all, he warned her, she wouldn't have good luck.
Videotapes then tell the rest of the story. According to court documents filed by the prosecution, the tapes show Obara lugging unconscious women onto his bed. He must have struggled with some. Lucie was a good 5 cm taller than he was. Police have leaked details of his having tied some of the women down, penetrating them with foreign objects and sodomizing many of them. He would assault most victims for 12 hours or more. To insure they remained unconscious, he would place a cloth soaked in a drug, known to be chloroform in at least one case, over their mouths. He captured his assaults on tape using professional video equipment and lights. One of his victims sustained burns when he left a hot light too close to her body.
Obara's women would awaken 24 or even 48 hours later, sick and disoriented from the drugs. Chloroform is toxic to the liver and can be fatal. Each of the women recounted waking up vomiting, being unable to stand, crawling on her hands and knees to the bathroom. Few had any idea what had happened. Obara would sometimes dress them back in their own clothes before they regained consciousness. Then, he would always have a story. He told one woman: "You are such a fun girl. You drank an entire bottle of vodka." He told another there had been a gas leak. The woman with the burned skin, who had been unconscious on and off for more than 36 hours, was told she had become drunk and fallen over.
In addition to the witnesses against Obara, police discovered hospital receipts linking him to a former Roppongi hostess, an Australian named Carita Ridgeway. In 1992 he took a gravely ill Ridgeway to Hideshima hospital, telling nurses she had eaten bad shellfish. Ridgeway was erroneously diagnosed as suffering from liver failure as a result of eating seafood tainted with the virus that causes hepatitis. After she died a few days later, Obara even comforted her parents when they came to take her body home. Due to an administrative fluke, Ridgeway's liver had been preserved at Tokyo Women's Hospital, where the autopsy had originally been performed. Last autumn, after Obara came under investigation for Lucie's disappearance and his other assaults, medical examiners tested Ridgeway's liver for chloroform, which proved to be present in toxic levels. Obara was charged in connection with her death.