Sunday, June 10, 2012

Murder Victim Nicola Furlong’s Return Home to Ireland


"You didn't deserve this pet"

Pain for family and friends as they get set to bury tragic Tokyo murder victim Nicola

Sunday World


ANGUISH: Nicola's dad Andrew with the hearse that carried his daughter's remains from Dublin airport


THE heartbroken family of Nicola Furlong will know tomorrow whether her drink was spiked before she was murdered in a Tokyo hotel room. The toxicology tests from from [sic] the Wexford student's autopsy will be looking in particular for traces of flunitrazepam - the main component of Rohypnol - in her blood.


Beautiful and brilliant, Nicola will be laid to rest in Curracloe, Co Wexford, today after scenes of unbearable agony at her wake in the family home this weekend. The picturesque seaside village has been rocked by the horrific death of one of its brightest lights so far from home in a Tokyo hotel room in the early hours of Thursday morning.

A steady stream of mourners hugged the 21-year-old's parents, Andrew and Angie, in an outpouring of grief for the blonde-haired beauty who has a sister Andrea and step sister, Hannah.


PRINCESS: Nicola celebrated her 21st birthday only last December


"Nic was so special," said distraught friend Niamh English, who worked with the parttime waitress in The Stable Diet Cafe in Wexford town.


"She worked with us since September 22, 2007, and we're all heartbroken, absolutely sick. She had a great sense of humour, and was a rock, such a hard worker, and she had a different hair band for every single day," she said, breaking down as she added, "You didn't deserve this, pet."

Nicola was murdered after attending a Nicki Minaj rap concert where she'd been trying to get backstage with her friend, Sarah Maher, from neighbouring Crossabeg, Co Wexford. The pair, who'd also been in secondary school together, were on an exchange trip from Dublin City University (DCU) as part of their business studies degree, learning Japanese.

After missing the last train back to their dorm at Takasaki City University of Economics, about 95km north west of Tokyo, they went back to the $300-a-night Keio Plaza Hotel in Shinjuku with two African American men, aged 23 and 19, whom they met at the concert. The men are now being questioned by Japanese police. They could face the death penalty if charged and convicted of murder.


DANCER: James Blackston


`One has been named as 23-year-old James "King Tight" Blackston, a dancer from LA who appeared in music videos for Jennifer Lopez and the Black Eyed Peas. The 19-year old man is a minor under Japanese law and has not been named by cops. Both Americans have been charged with quasi-forcible indecency, following an incident in a taxi in which they were travelling with the girls.


A third man, believed to be a brother of the 19-year-old, was also booked into the hotel. In The Stable Diet Cafe, Nicola's friends confirmed they'd also seen a public Bebo picture of her with two African American men on her Facebook account, which is set to private, but could not say if it was the last picture of her ever taken.

Rap star Minaj denied the men were connected to her tour on Twitter after Celebrity gossip columnist, Perez Hilton, claimed Blackston was one of her back-up dancers.


GIG: Nicki Minaj


Minaj tweeted: "Saddened to learn one of my precious fans found tragically murdered in Japan. My love & prayers are with the family of Nicola Furlong. We do not know the men in custody. My dancers had nothing to do with this tragedy. No one in my entourage was questioned or arrested. They all flew home from Japan."


But in a freakish prophesy, Nicola had promised her family she'd get a photograph of herself backstage at the concert, joking it would end up "in the papers".


It's less than three years since her family was hit by another devastating tragedy. Nicola's uncle, James Doyle, died after going to the aid of his cousin, Neil Doyle, when a fight broke out with two Lithuanians and a Latvian in Gorey, Co Wexford on the way home from a nightclub. The 40-year-old father of three initially survived the assault, but Nicola's family gathered at his bedside in Beaumount Hospital to say goodbye within a week when his life support machine was switched off in November 2009.


Nobody was convicted in connection with the tragedy. "It was just one of those awful cases of bad luck when people are in the wrong
place at the wrong time," a source said, adding "nobody ever thought the family would have to go through something even worse."


HAPPY: Sarah (centre) and Nicola with a pal in Japan


Nicola's friend, Sarah Maher, who was taken to hospital in Tokyo for tests after being interviewed by police, cannot remember parts of the nightmare ordeal. It's understood that Sarah was physically unable to make a statement to police after the murder, leading further to suggestions that both girls may have been drugged. CCTV footage of the women being bundled into a taxi suggests they were either inebriated or drugged outside the Zepp Tokyo venue.


The Daily Yomiuri has reported that the two men "are suspected of touching the lower part of the drunken woman's body in a taxi headed for the hotel at around 1am on Thursday". Two-and-a-half hours later, Nicola was found dead by a hotel worker investigating a complaint by a guest about the noise levels in the room.

The 19-year-old man in custody was standing over her lifeless body and kept repeating: "She's not breathing, she's not breathing."

An autopsy has suggested she may have been strangled. Some reports have also stated she was sexually assaulted after she was murdered.

Heartbroken dad Andrew said "homebird" Nicola had been counting down the days till the end of the trip and getting back home to her family and boyfriend of two years, Danny Furlong from Rosslare Strand, who plays for Wexford Youths soccer team in the League of Ireland.

"She never wanted to be there," Andrew stated. "She and Sarah were inseparable though. She was coming home at the end of July. She was to go on to do her fourth year to get her degree."

Nicola celebrated her 21st birthday last December, and came home for Christmas, returning to Japan for only a fortnight before coming back to Ireland for seven weeks while the college was in recess. She kept in daily contact with her family on Skype, saying she'd climbed Mount Fuji and learned to make Spaghetti Bolognese, which she promised to cook when she got back.

Her devoted dad texted her he was trying to organise rooms on campus for her in her final year and Nicola had texted back, 'that's brilliant, thanks Daddy'.

"We were the best of friends," Andrew said. "She was always at my side. She would light up a room."

He last spoke to his daughter - who played football and camogie for Shelmaliers, and loved horse riding - the day before the concert.

"She said it was a small concert with only 2,000 people and that she was hoping to get into the after party to meet her."

When gardaí called to his home to break the nightmare news, Andrew Furlong dropped to the floor in shock.

"The gardaí arrived at the door. I thought it must have been about something to do with my car. When I heard the news I said 'Oh
Jesus' I never dreamt ... it never dawned on me ... it shook me to the floor."


Nicola's mother, Angie, said learning the way her daughter had died "was worse" than learning she'd died in the first place because
she'd hoped she'd passed away instantly in a crash after learning her daughter was dead.

"Nobody would hurt my baby," she stated. "She was my baby, she will always be my baby. She was beautiful inside and out."

Parish priest, Fr. James Fitzapatrick spoke of the dark cloud hanging over the community and said: "The whole community is in shock. She grew up in the village with her father and sister beside the national school."

DCU issued a statement saying: "We extend our deepest sympathies to the family, classmates and friends at this very distressing

The college, which paid the €12,000 cost of getting Nicola home, has sent two representatives to Japan to try and establish what happened.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh well, raise your children to not hang with animals and you won't have to bury them, pay for std treatment, or get involved with the ghetto drama these savages always bring.