Shocking true story behind Netflix's new documentary on missing woman Lucie Blackman
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True crime fans may already have Netflix’s latest release Missing: The Lucie Blackman Case on their watchlist, with the doc depicting a horrifying case from the Noughties.
Lucie Blackman, from Kent in the UK, moved to Tokyo Japan in 2000 and had planned a year of exploration, submerged in a new culture - but just three weeks after she moved out there, she was reported missing after friends struggled to get in touch with her.
She was last seen leaving a bar she worked as a hostess - a job that sees women chat and socialise with clientele.
Her concerned friends got in touch with her dad Tim, who recalls the moment he found out his daughter was missing in the new documentary.
He says: “I was sitting in the garden at home, and I got a telephone call to say that my daughter, Lucie, had gone missing. She was out working in Japan.
“I was immediately thinking, ‘Well, there must be some rational explanation.’”
But Tim soon realised that something was very wrong and says he was hit with a sudden feeling of ‘blind panic’.
What followed was a months-long investigation as Lucie’s loved ones fought desperately for answers.
Just days after she disappeared, Tim flew out to Tokyo to meet with police and would later take part in a press conference, appealing for information.
The search continued for seven months, before body parts that were found to belong to Lucie were found buried in a cave near to a property owned by businessman Joji Obara.
Other women began to come forward sharing horrific stories about Obara, claiming he had lured them to his seaside property - often from hostess clubs, like the one Lucie worked at - where he would then drug and sexually assault them.
Police investigating the case found around 400 self-shot video tapes at Obara’s home, showing him sexually assaulting drugged women.
Sergeant Mitsuko Yamaguchi of the Tokyo Met Police tells the documentary about the horrific discovery.
“The victims in the videos would change, but the footage showed the same horrible crimes over and over again,” she said.
Obara was arrested in 2001 and went on trial the following year, where he was accused of abducting, sexually assaulting and disposing of Lucie’s body.
He was also charged with the 1992 murder of Australian national Carita Ridgway as well as the rapes of eight other women.
In 2007, he was sentenced to life in prison after being guilty on eight counts of rape and the rape and death of Carita - but he was cleared of all charges relating to Lucie’s death.
This left the family devastated and with Tim believing Lucie had been ‘robbed of justice’.
Determined not to give up, prosecutors launched an appeal in 2008 and Obara was finally convicted of abducting, dismembering and disposing of Lucie’s body - but the high court said there wasn’t enough evidence to prove he had murdered her.
Missing: The Lucie Blackman Case is available to stream on Netflix now.