The hunt is on for a man who allegedly killed five people in a remote village near Shunan, Japan. In a sequence of events that sounds like it's been ripped from the pages of a crime novel, the man supposedly left a haiku on the window of his home, near the scene of the crimes.
According to local reports, police are searching for the alleged Haiku-writing killer, who they suspect is a 63-year-old resident with a reputation as a troublemaker. The haiku -- a traditional form of Japanese verse -- was attached to a window on the suspect's home, which is located next to the home of one of the victims.
The poem read (as translated by The Japan Times): "Setting on fire, smoke gives delight, to a country fellow.”
The accused, which some reports have labeled a "serial killer," is believed to have set fire to two homes in the village and to be responsible for the deaths of five people.
The bodies of 71-year-old Makoto Sadamori and his wife Kiyoko, 72, were discovered Sunday night among the remains of their burning home. Another victim, 79-year-old Miyako Yamamoto, was also found that evening in her blazing home. The next night, 73-year-old Satoko Kawamura and 80-year-old Fumito Ishimura were found dead in their homes.
Local authorities said autopsies performed on the deceased confirmed all five were killed by strikes to the head with a blunt object, and it appears the two homes went up in flames after the deaths.
"All of the victims must have been asleep when they were fatally attacked,” criminologist Jinsuke Kageyama told The Japan Times. "Even elderly people resist. It would have been difficult to strike them repeatedly only on the head."
As CNN reports, hundreds of police officers have been enlisted to search for the accused, combing the woods for a sign of the suspect. The remote village is home to only a handful of people; the killer may have slain up to a third of the town's population.