Looks like it still works.
...As long as it's recording, I suppose I may as well say something...
How long has it been since I last used this thing?
It's been at least two decades...almost three?
Those were better times. I was so young back then. My future seemed...so bright.
I remember following my dreams. I remember a promising career. I remember...being happy.
If I could turn back time...what would I do differently?
I know. I know exactly what I should have done.
I shouldn't have gotten involved in that case...with that girl.
Pursuing her was the right thing to do...but if I hadn't involved myself with her, I'd still have a career.
When did it begin? I think it was...April of 1989.
The peak of my career as an investigative journalist.
That's when I heard about a murder at the local high school. The police had no leads.
I decided to investigate it myself. I tried to be a hero...
...and that was the worst mistake of my life.
The school's faculty didn't let me conduct an investigation on school grounds.
They were highly concerned with maintaining their prestigious reputation.
They didn't want any police or journalists snooping around and ruining the school's image any more than the murder already had.
Or maybe they just had something to hide, and didn't want the authorities to find out.
To this day I still don't know how the school managed to convince the police that any crime that happens on school grounds can only be investigated for 6 hours maximum.
I heard a rumor that the school's headmaster bribes the police department to expedite their investigations as much as possible.
There are a lot of unsavory rumors about the school's headmaster, but...none have been proven to be true.
Because I couldn't walk around the school, I tried to gather information by interviewing students outside the school gate when they entered or left the school.
It was at this point in time that I noticed a peculiar girl who was quite obviously stalking one of her seniors.
I decided to keep my eye on her, and before long, I began to observe some disturbing behavior from her.
From the school gate, I witnessed the girl do more than just stalk an upperclassman...
...she stalked any girl that spoke to him.
Through student interviews, I kept tabs on what happened to those girls...
...They became victims of bullying, were expelled, and in some cases, stopped coming to school.
I frequently saw the girl running with a mop and a bucket, as though she always had some sort of mess to clean up.
That girl was using manipulation, intimidation, and sometimes even violence to sabotage the boy's love life.
If she wasn't above that kind of behavior, the possibility of murder didn't seem too far off.
I didn't want to believe that a schoolgirl would actually commit murder just to keep a boy single, but the evidence was staring me straight in the face.
That's when I learned a crucial piece of information...
...The girl who was murdered at the beginning of the school year had a crush on the same boy that was being stalked.
The final piece of the puzzle had fallen into place.
I knew that I had found the culprit...and I went to the police with my findings.
It took a lot of talking, but I was eventually able to convince them to take the girl into custody.
The idea of a murderous schoolgirl was enough to attract lots of attention.
Word of her arrest quickly spread throughout the entire nation.
The trial turned into a media circus. I became a celebrity practically overnight.
I didn't want to be a public figure, but I did want my investigative skill to be recognized.
I hoped that all the attention would boost my career.
As it turns out, I was dead wrong.
That manipulative little schoolgirl put on the best act I've ever seen.
She cried non-stop, feigned ignorance at every opportunity, and had an excuse for every accusation leveled at her.
The court fell in love with her. The media fell in love with her. The entire damn nation fell in love with her.
She called me a dirty pervert who enjoyed leering at schoolgirls.
She called me a fame-seeking yellow journalist.
She claimed that I only accused her of murder for sensational headlines.
And the court bought every word of it.
The day the judge declared her innocent, the entire country celebrated like it was a damn holiday.
From that day forward, I was a national disgrace.
I was known across the nation as a lecherous journalist who stalked schoolgirls and tried to throw a girl in prison to boost his own career.
I saw disgust in the eyes of every person who looked at me.
My house and my car were vandalized every day for weeks.
Needless to say, I was never able to work as a journalist again.
The police department that arrested the girl was also the subject of national criticism.
They were accused of being incompetent fools who would arrest anybody without sufficient evidence.
Ever since then, the police in that town have been extremely lenient in an attempt to repair their reputation...
...and don't want to go anywhere near the local high school except for extremely brief periods of time.
But the worst part of the entire experience didn't come from the media or the public.
Immediately after the trial, I tried to escape the press by hiding in an alley behind the courthouse.
Only one person found me there. It wasn't a journalist or a reporter.
It was the girl who had just been declared innocent.
I'll never forget her face that day. She was smiling, but her eyes were blank.
Empty. Soulless. Like a doll's eyes.
She looked like she didn't have a single ounce of humanity in her entire body.
With that smiling face, she said to me...
"It would be very easy to make your death look like a suicide. Don't ever cross me again."
She turned around and left without another word.
My life was a living hell for about a year, while the trial was still fresh in people's minds.
Eventually, the hatred subsided, but it never truly died.
There was always someone who recognized me, no matter how much I tried to change my appearance.
Finding employment was nearly impossible.
I drifted between part-time jobs, and spent my free time drinking to ease the pain of becoming the national punching bag.
It was around this point in time that I met my future wife.
I still don't understand what she saw in me.
I was an absolute wreck, not to mention the laughingstock of the entire country.
But as soon as we met, she wanted to spend every waking moment with me.
She wouldn't let me out of her sight, and got possessive if another woman so much as looked at me.
I quickly began to depend on her for everything.
It wasn't long before I couldn't live without her.
I certainly wasn't in any state to take care of myself...
I was like an adult-sized baby. Helpless and vulnerable.
Who knows...maybe that's what she was attracted to.
Maybe she just wanted to experience the sensation of owning a person.
Maybe she wanted to keep a human pet.
Maybe all she wanted was someone who she could emotionally depend on.
Even after all these years, I don't understand why anyone would waste their time with a man like me...but none of that mattered.
Despite all my flaws, she accepted me. And that's all that I needed.
We got married about six months after meeting each other.
My wife died while giving birth to our only child.
I still don't know how I possibly found the strength to keep going after I lost her.
I could barely take care of myself, much less a baby.
Somehow, I managed to make it through those years...
...But even after all this time, I'm still a deadbeat drunk who can't hold down a job.
It was very difficult to love my own infant daughter, knowing that my wife was dead because of her.
I'm pretty sure I was a horrible father.
She practically had to raise herself.
I never tried to spend much time with her, or learn about her interests.
Even now, I don't think I know much about her.
I don't even know what kind of person she's turned into.
I don't even know what her everyday life is like.
I know that she spends all of her time on her computer.
She bought it herself. She seems to have a lot of money for someone her age.
I'm afraid to ask where it comes from.
Sometimes she comes home with blood on her clothing.
I can't tell if it's her blood or someone else's blood, I...try to stay out of her business.
It's partially out of respect for her privacy...
...but it's mostly out of fear.
I've never told anyone about any of this.
Never saw a shrink, never had any friends to confide in.
I thought it would be therapeutic to record my feelings, even if I'm only talking to an obsolete machine...
...but this hasn't calmed me down at all.
The only thing to come out of this experience is that all the anger and the hate I've kept buried for the past two decades has risen back to the surface.
I don't think I can go back to the way things were before.
I don't think I can go back to wasting my time with crappy part-time jobs, drinking, and sitting on a couch feeling miserable.
I don't want this to be my life!
...but I can't let myself die just yet, either.
Not until I see justice served.
That girl, from 1989...she's a grown woman by now, but she's never been punished for the sins of her youth.
I can't go on living in a world where a monster like her walks around in public.
I'm the only one who knows the truth about her, so I'm the only one who can bring her to justice.
I still know how to track a person down. I still know how to learn a person's secrets. I still know how to dig up the truth.
For the first time in decades, I feel like I have a purpose.
I feel like I know what to do with my life.
I'm going to deliver justice to that murderer, or I'm going to die trying.
...this old antique was good for something, after all.
I found her. It wasn't hard. She never even moved out of her hometown.
I've been following her around town for the last week.
It's not that hard to follow someone around without being spotted if you know the right tricks.
The only difficult part is looking at her without being consumed in disgust.
Thinking about what she got away with...thinking about what she's responsible for...it almost makes me go blind with rage.
This whole week, I've felt like something was wrong.
Yesterday, I realized what it was.
I'm surprised it took me so long to figure it out.
She'd suddenly change direction when walking, or linger in one place for seemingly no reason.
I recognize that behavior. It's my own behavior.
I know what she's doing. She's stalking someone.
It didn't take me long to figure out who her prey was.
A young woman, just out of high school.
I don't know what she's done wrong, but she's clearly marked for death.
She'll be dead within the week if I don't do something.
I want to warn her that a killer is stalking her, but...
...I can't repeat the mistakes of the past.
In order to convict this monster and send her to prison, I need firm evidence that she's a murderer.
If I save this young woman's life, I won't have any evidence.
I have to let her die.
And I have to be there when it happens, filming her murder.
It's the only way to get the evidence I need.
The only to make sure that justice is served.
But...is this really justice? Letting a woman die?
If I don't get this monster arrested, then there will only be more victims in the future.
So, letting her commit murder one last time is...the right thing to do...
I'm a fool! I'm a god damned fool!
I got sloppy. She caught me.
I followed her into an alley. Lost her in the shadows.
Then I heard her voice from behind me...
"Long time no see, Mr. Journalist."
I turned around and saw her just inches away from me.
She was smiling. I recognized that smile.
It was the exact same smile she wore when she threatened my life in 1989.
I didn't know what to do. I just turned and ran.
I've broken a truce that has lasted almost three decades.
She knows I was after her!
There's no way she'll let me live; I'm doomed!
I can't go to the police; I'll sound like a babbling lunatic without any evidence, and right now, I don't have any.
Even if they do listen to me, and investigate her, they won't find anything.
My only option is to leave town - no...no, no, it's worse than that.
I have to leave Japan altogether.
I searched for you. But I couldn't find you.
I can't wait for you to come home. I have to leave immediately.
I'm going to gather all of the recordings I've made so far and put them where I know you'll find them.
That way, at least you'll know why your father disappeared so suddenly.
I only hope that she won't try to get revenge on me by harming you.
I don't know when I'll be back.
I don't know if I'll be back.
I don't know if she's willing to cross oceans to hunt her prey.
If she is, I'll try to lure her into a trap, try to expose her true nature in front of the police. It's my only hope.
I know you can take care of yourself.
If I had more time, there are so many things I'd say to you, but I can't - not now.
...I love you...