Juan Ignacio Blanco  


  MALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

  FEMALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z




Murderpedia has thousands of hours of work behind it. To keep creating new content, we kindly appreciate any donation you can give to help the Murderpedia project stay alive. We have many
plans and enthusiasm to keep expanding and making Murderpedia a better site, but we really
need your help for this. Thank you very much in advance.









Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Zheng said the investigators that her daughter had been bullied by the victims
Number of victims: 2
Date of murders: February 17, 2006
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: 1972
Victims profile: Wakana Taketomo and Jin Sano, both age 5
Method of murder: Stabbing with a sashimi knife
Location: Nagahama, Shiga Prefecture, Japan
Status: Sentenced to life imprisonment  on October 16, 2007, after she was diagnosed with schizophrenia
photo gallery

Zheng Yongshan (鄭 永善, born 1972) is a Chinese immigrant who also goes by the name of Mie Taniguchi(谷口 充恵) and lived near Tokyo, Japan. She moved to Japan in 2004 and married a Japanese man.


On February 17, 2006, Zheng was supposed to drive her child and two of the child's classmates to school as part of a carpool arrangement. She stabbed the two classmates in the stomach and back with a 20-centimeter thin fish-cutting blade. Of the classmates, a girl, Wakana Taketomo, was stabbed 19 times; a boy, Jin Sano, 13 times. Both children were five years old. Zheng then dumped the bodies in Nagahama, Shiga Prefecture, a small town 300 kilometers southwest of Tokyo.

Recovery of evidence, and sentencing

A passer-by discovered the body of Taketomo on a rural road; Sano's body was recovered in an irrigation stream. After dumping the bodies, Zheng parked the car 56 kilometers away from the crime scene. She still had the knife used in the killings in her possession. Taketomo was declared dead at 9:45am shortly after she was taken to the hospital. Sano died around noon at the same hospital. Prosecutors demanded death, but Zheng was sentenced to life imprisonment after she was diagnosed with schizophrenia.


Zheng Yongshan

Saturday 21st February 2009


The Osaka High Court upheld on Friday a life prison sentence given to a woman convicted of stabbing two children to death while driving them to kindergarten with her own daughter in the lakeside city of Nagahama, Shiga Prefecture, in 2006. Judge Yasuhiro Morioka turned down appeals both from defendant Zheng Yongshan, 37, a Chinese national, and prosecutors against a lower court decision that rejected prosecutors’ demand for the death penalty and instead sentenced her to life in prison.

In October 2007, the Otsu District Court found Zheng was in a state of diminished capacity at the time of the crime and gave her the lighter punishment. Court findings showed Zheng fatally stabbed a 5-year-old girl Wakana Taketomo and 5-year-old boy Jin Sano on the morning of Feb 17, 2006, in her car while on the way to a kindergarten. Zheng and the children’s parents had made carpool arrangements.


Car pool mom who killed two kids gets life

Shiga woman not of sound mind but had intent to murder: court

October 17, 2007

OTSU, Shiga Pref. (Kyodo) A 35-year-old woman was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison for killing two children last year in Nagahama, Shiga Prefecture.

Zheng Yongshan, a Chinese national, was convicted of fatally stabbing Wakana Taketomo and Jin Sano, both age 5, on the morning of Feb. 17, 2006, while driving them to kindergarten with her daughter. She and the victims' parents had made car-pool arrangements.

Prosecutors had demanded the death sentence, but presiding Judge Hidenori Nagai of the Otsu District court said Zheng was "in a state of diminished responsibility" at the time of the crime.

Zheng, who came to Japan in 1999 to marry a Japanese man, did not provide the court with any motive for the murders.

Chiefly at issue during the trial was her mental state.

Prosecutors had argued that the crimes were deliberate and she was of sound mind, considering that she chose a sharp kitchen knife for the stabbings and drove the children to a rarely used agricultural path.

Her counsel had called for acquittal or punishment lighter than the death penalty, arguing she was either mentally incompetent or only partly competent at the time of the crimes.

But Nagai determined that Zheng had "a strong intent to kill" the two children as she stabbed deep into their backs and chests numerous times. Zheng reportedly said during the investigation that her daughter had been bullied by the victims, but the judge dismissed that claim as groundless.

"One can only shudder at how the defendant treated people's lives so lightly," Nagai said.

Zheng's lawyers appealed to a higher court, saying the punishment is too severe.

A mental exam had been conducted at the request of her lawyers. The results, adopted by the court as evidence at the end of August, found Zheng suffered from schizophrenia and was "in a state of diminished responsibility."

Prosecutors appealed the results and asked the court to conduct another exam, but the demand was rejected.

Zheng pleaded not guilty when her trial opened Feb. 2.

"I stabbed sand dolls, not humans," she said.

But on Sept. 11 she offered an apology, saying during questioning in court: "I regret (what happened). I'm sorry."


Mothers' group outsider snapped and killed children

Pressure on parents to fit in with the in crowd can be overbearing, Deborah Cameron writes in Tokyo

April 15, 2005

IT'S ALL in this picture. They are part of a little gang. Ruled by colours, united under a code of conduct and governed by initiation rites, it is a clique as rigid as the American criminal gangs the Bloods and the Crips.

Japan has a mother's gang. Be accepted and a woman is included in the lunch parties, text messaging circles, children's play dates and park rendezvous. Be excluded and it means isolation, loneliness and hell.

Mie Taniguchi, 34, stabbed to death two five-year-old children who were playmates of her daughter last month after being ostracised by the other mothers at her local school. She had not fitted in and nor had her daughter, she told police.

Judging from her family's accounts of strange behaviour before the murders, Taniguchi was probably schizophrenic. But reports have pointed to a motive tangled up with the way other mothers treated her.

"The mummy clique is unique [to Japan]," the manager of an internet discussion board for young mothers told the newspaper Asahi Shimbun. "You suffer if they don't let you in; you suffer if you join."

The mothers' groups are mysterious, controlling and mean. Young mothers talk of the importance of the "park debut", in which a mother and child go to the playground and wait for an invitation to play from other assembled mothers.

At the school gate the signals are very clear. To be accepted into a superior mothers' gang, the clothes have to be right.

A navy dress, with short sleeves under a jacket that is buttoned from throat to hip, is worn like a uniform. No one escapes the tradition, and the higher up the scale the kindergarten is, the more essential the clothes.

The department store Takashimaya has reduced the stress by marketing a fashion package aimed at mothers and their kindergarten-age children.

It offers seven variations on the navy dress and jacket theme, including a Pierre Cardin design that retails at 102,900 yen ($1200). The look, last year's Takashimaya brochure said, emphasised "intelligence, gentleness and authenticity".

The pressure to fit in and to conform starts early in Japan due to its brutally competitive cradle-to-career school system.

For example, securing a place at Gakuishin kindergarten, alma mater of the Emperor, means preferential treatment at its university. Even with fees of more than 1.5 million yen there is a waiting list. Money and blue blood are essential, as is exactly the right look.

Other schools in the top rank such as Keio University also prefer to enrol children who have come up from its feeder primary and high schools. Needless to say, an education at Keio sets a child up with a life-long social network, good job prospects and often a classy marriage.

There is just as much pressure on mothers in lesser schools. A report published in Asahi Shimbun described a suffocating system in public schools that divided children into groups of six so as they could be escorted to and from school by mothers on a roster system. The six mothers were expected to stick together, put the group first, not criticise each other, and take turns organising after-school events.

Taniguchi stabbed the children as she was taking them to school as part of a car pool. She threw their bodies into a ditch and drove off.

Taniguchi was originally from China, which immediately put a wall between her and the other mothers, reports said. They ordered their lives via the mobile phone, and she was not part of the circle. As they text messaged each other with exclusives about the lunch menu and play dates she went disastrously off the rails.


Mother kills daughter's classmates with sashimi knife

Instead of driving two teens to school, a Chinese woman in Japan slashed them repeatedly and left them to die in remote ricefields

February 18, 2006

A woman repeatedly stabbed two of her daughter's kindergarten classmates with a sashimi knife yesterday, leaving them to die on a remote country road in the ricefields of western Japan, police said.

The 34-year-old Chinese woman, who was supposed to drive the two five-year-olds to school with her own child, slashed the classmates around a dozen times each with the 20cm thin fish-cutting blade.

"I took a sashimi knife and stabbed them in the car," Zheng Yongshan, who also goes by the Japanese name Mie Taniguchi, was quoted as saying by police.

She slashed the boy and girl in the stomach and back and tossed them out near ricefields in the town of Nagahama in Shiga Prefecture, 300km southwest of Tokyo, police said.

"She has not yet talked about what motivated her to kill the children," a police officer said.

But a neighbor recalled that Taniguchi, who came to Japan five years ago and moved to the area in 2004, would complain she could not get along with the mothers of her daughter's classmates, Jiji Press reported.

A passer-by discovered the bloodied body of the girl, Wakana Taketomo, on a small road running through the farmland.

The boy, Jin Sano, was recovered lying in a small irrigation stream, police said.

Taniguchi, who is married to a Japanese, would take turns with other parents driving the children to school and it was her turn yesterday morning, police said.

After the killing, police found Taniguchi and her own child in a parked car 56km away from the crime site. She had a knife with blood on it, police said.

Taketomo was declared dead at 9:45 am, shortly after she was taken to hospital, and Sano died there at around noon.

The girl was stabbed 19 times and the boy 13 times, Kyodo News reported.

The children's red and pink schoolbags were dumped away from their bodies in the town of Nagahama, TV footage showed.

Japan has one of the world's lowest crime rates but has recently witnessed a series of grisly attacks on children.

In one of the most gruesome cases, former psychiatric patient Mamoru Takuma killed eight students with a butcher knife at a school in Osaka in 2001.

Takuma was executed in September 2004.

According to the National Police Agency, 94 children up to age 12 were murdered or threatened with murder from January to November last year.

In December the stabbed and naked body of a seven-year-old girl was found in Ibaraki Prefecture east of Tokyo, just 10 days after a girl the same age was strangled in the western city of Hiroshima.



home last updates contact