When Lindsay vanished, Ichihashi's name was the first to surface. Nine officers were sent to his apartment where Lindsay's body was discovered bruised, head shaved, immersed in a bathtub covered with sand, placed on his balcony.
"My world stopped when I found that she died," said her sister Louise. "And then the world stopped twice when I found out that she'd been murdered and that she had suffered pain."
Bill Hawker flew to Japan where he held a press conference. "Lindsay did not come here to be murdered," he said. "She came here to help people. She came here to teach."
"I have to look back, and look at 22 years of a beautiful daughter," he told ABC News. "I try to blank out probably the last 12 hours of her life. She just met evil. She just met the most evil thing in the world."
The Hawkers were caught in a delicate balance of trying to make sure the investigation moved forward, while trying not to offend the only people likely to catch their daughter's killer. In contrast to American and British authorities, Japanese police share very little information with a victim's family.
"It's heartbreaking, because you're dealing with the loss of one of the most important people in your life, and you feel very isolated and very afraid," said Julie Hawker. "We're just very ordinary, normal people with a wonderful daughter who went over there to teach, and we feel as if we're being treated as if we don't have any rights or any entitlement to any information."
The hunt for Lindsay Hawker's suspected killer began in Tokyo, but he escaped capture. Police have issued an arrest warrant in his case, for abandoning a body. Authorities say they've received 3,000 tips as to where the suspect may be. Some unsubstantiated reports believe Ichihashi fled to Canada or the United States.
It took much longer for the Blackman family to learn about the circumstances surrounding their daughter's death. Eight months after she disappeared, Lucie's dismembered body was found in a cave, some 30 miles from Tokyo, near the sea.
Lucie had worked in one of Tokyo's numerous hostess clubs, a uniquely Japanese setting that became central to the mystery around her disappearance. When she vanished, police theorized that a hostess club client may have wanted more from her than he got in the club.
The investigation led authorities to a seaside condominium and its owner, real estate millionaire Joji Obara — a bachelor who had a taste for expensive boats, flashy cars and Western women.
Obara had been arrested in a separate rape case, and eight women eventually came forward to say he'd drugged them, raped them and videotaped himself doing so.
"He videotaped at least 50 of these occasions," said Jonathan Watts, a reporter for The Guardian newspaper. "The women recall waking up the next day and being told by Joji Obara, 'you drank too much last night. I put you to bed. I hope you don't mind. Here's some money 'cause you missed a whole day's work.'"
Obara maintained the sex was always consensual. But once he was in custody on the rape charges, police began to connect him to Lucie Blackman.
As police investigating Blackman's disappearance searched Obara's numerous properties, there were leaks about developing evidence — sources said telephone records showed Blackman made a call from one of his mobile phones. And Obara's seaside apartment was located less than 300 yards from where Lucie's body was eventually found.