Suicide Forest Scavengers

Aokigahara, a forest at the foot of Mount Fuji, is known as Japan’s hottest suicide spot… (and) scavengers are finding the forest to be a rich source of resalable items such as driver’s licenses, credit cards and even cold, hard cash, all of it taken from the bodies of those who’ve decided to end their lives there.

“I’ve heard rumors about the trade several times,” a reporter for a regional TV station located near Aokigahara (says). “I suppose if you gathered up everything to be found there, it’d probably end up being quite a tidy sum.”

Japan has witnessed more than 30,000 suicides a year for the past four years. Precisely how many people have taken their own lives in Aokigahara remains unknown, but the number is estimated to be fairly significant. A reporter claims to have perused Aokigahara and unearthed an unexpectedly bountiful booty including several credit cards, valid commuter rail passes and even commemorative coins. omoyuki Takimoto, director of “Ju no Umi (Sea of Trees),” a movie about Aokigahara and also a name popularly given to the forest, also found a wallet containing 370,000 yen in cash while scouting for shooting locations in the woods…

Porn Star Murder Case Reopened

On October 28, 1990, the head and feet of William Newton were found in a dumpster in an alley behind Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood, Calif. Newton, a gay man, was also known as porn star Billy London. His gruesome murder was never solved.

Detective Wendi Berndt, now supervisor of the LAPD Homicide Unit, Hollywood Division, told GAYVN today that after 15 years the case is being reinvestigated.

Berndt, the original detective on the case, had subsequently been assigned to different Divisions over the intervening years. Returning to Hollywood Division as supervisor, she has decided to reinvestigate the Newton murder…