The Demon Midwife

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One of the most notorious serial killers in Japan’s history is Miyuki Ishikawa, a midwife and director of a hospital maternity ward in the 1940’s. Miyuki’s official murder count is 103, though many believe it to be as high as 169.

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It was the end of WW2, and Japan’s economy was terrible at the time. There were so many babies being born, and many of the women Miyuki delivered were terribly poor. She believed that these children had little to no chance of ever living a decent life, and some had even been deserted by their parents. In Miyuki’s mind she was doing everyone a favor by ending these lives.

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These infants were murdered by neglect; some came down with illnesses such as pneumonia, or they were simply allowed to starve to death. Miyuki has quite a few accomplices; though many of the others who worked in the hospital could not stand what was being done to these babies and they quit their jobs, nothing was done to save these innocent lives.

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If murdering these babies doesn’t prove what an awful person Miyuki was, surely the blackmail did. She and her husband, Takeshi, went around telling the parents of her victims that a great favor had been done for them as the price of raising these babies would’ve been so steep. She forced payment from these parents who she believed to be too poor to raise a child. A doctor by the name of Shiro Nakayama was in on the plan, and he gave fake death certificates for dozens of these murdered infants.

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Miyuki was arrested after police found a handful of baby corpses in January of 1948; this sparked a search which lead to the discovery of another 70 between a local temple and a mortician’s home. Autopsy proved that these babies had not passed from natural causes. Finally the midwife and her husband were arrested and charged with murder.

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Unbelievably Miyuki was sentenced to a mere 4 years in prison, while Takeski was only sentenced to serve two! After just a couple of short years a woman who had killed at least 100 was free. It is said that this case had a large hand in Japan legalizing abortion.

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