People in Japan are concerned for the nurse who’s become the object of a killer’s affections. 

It’s been almost six months since 41-year-old Shinji Aoba pushed a handcart with canisters of gasoline into the Kyoto, Fushimi Ward anime studio of Kyoto Animation, dousing the foyer and employees in the area with petrol before igniting it, setting off a blaze that destroyed the three-storey building, killing 36 people and injuring an additional 33.

One of the people who survived the incident was Aoba himself, who, after setting himself on fire while igniting the blaze, attempted to flee the scene but was apprehended by police approximately 100 metres (328 feet) away from the building after being pursued by staff.

However, Aoba is still yet to be formally arrested as police officers are unable to execute the warrant for his arrest until doctors deem him physically fit to withstand incarceration while he awaits trial.

While his survival seems bitterly unfair in light of the many lives taken by him following his heinous crime, Aoba’s recovery is vital to his arrest and prosecution, which will help to deliver justice for the victims and their families. Medical staff say it’s surprising he’s still alive at all, given that the third-degree burns covering 90-percent of his body required a number of self-cultured skin grafts so unprecedented that the procedures used will be presented at a medical conference later this year.

While Aoba is still unable to stand, he is able to sit in a wheelchair and eat and speak with assistance following initial treatment at Kindai University Hospital in Osaka. The extent of his recovery may be due in part to a nurse at the hospital, as a report from weekly magazine Shukan Bunshun reveals that the killer developed a soft spot for one of the nurses tending to him during his physical rehabilitation.

According to the report, Aoba was always in good spirits and displayed a positive attitude towards physical rehabilitation when the nurse was on duty. However, now that Aoba has been moved to an undisclosed hospital in Kyoto, the nurse is no longer tending to him and his demeanour is said to have changed noticeably.

Now he’s said to be grumpy and selfish, reluctant to do any rehabilitation work, saying there’s no need for him to regain his speech as he will be given the death penalty in the end anyway.

People in Japan were quick to express their concern for the nurse who became the object of the killer’s affections, but now that she is no longer in his presence the arsonist’s physical rehabilitation is said to have taken a turn for the worse. This is said to be a blow to the medical team charged with the task of getting him well enough to stand on his own, which will ultimately lead to his arrest and sentencing.

Doctors now fear the arrest may be years away, which would mean a long and tortuous wait for the victims and their families to receive any sense of justice and closure following the heartless attack.

Source: Shukan Bunshun via Jin
Top image: Wikipedia/L26
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