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The Lucie Blackman Case: Who was Carita Ridgway and what happened to her?

Her father said there is ‘never a day’ he doesn’t think about her


Netflix’s Missing: The Lucie Blackman Case follows the story of a British woman’s disappearance in Japan and her family’s and authorities’ efforts in trying to find her. In 2001, Lucie’s body was discovered in a cave near her killer’s, Joji Obara’s, home and he was soon brought to justice.

As police were investigating Lucie Blackman’s disappearance, they discovered Joji Obara’s involvement in the death of Australian tourist Carita Ridgway in 1992. Carita’s death is spoken about briefly in the Netflix documentary – here’s everything you need to know about what happened to Carita Ridgway and who she was.

Content warning: Distressing content, mention of rape, drugs and murder.

Who was Carita Ridgway?

via netflix

Carita Ridgway was from Perth, Australia and at 21 years old she began to pursue a career in modelling, while trying to save money to become an actress. Amid Australia’s economic recession, Carita and her sister moved to Tokyo to make some money.

Carita decided to teach English as a foreign language before she began working at Club Ayakoji, a hostess bar in Ginza. A hostess bar is a type of nightclub that primarily employs female staff who “typically acts as a modern geisha performer who entertains the men by engaging them in conversation, lighting their cigarettes, singing karaoke or dancing”.

What happened to Carita Ridgway?

While working as a hostess, Carita Ridgway met Joji Obara. Obara offered Carita a lift home and once they were alone, he dosed her with chloroform to rape her. The dosage was too much and led to her being dropped off by a man called Nishita (Obara) at a Tokyo hospital in need of urgent medical attention. Doctors were told Carita had suffered a bad reaction to shellfish before leaving.

“I asked her who this Nishita guy was and I asked her what had happened. She couldn’t answer anything,” said her sister Samantha. “All she did was put her hand out. She just wanted her hand held.”

Carita’s condition worsened and she was transferred to a second medical facility. Carita suffered from liver failure and was later declared brain dead.

“We decided, you know, we can’t keep her like that, so just turn it off and let her, you know, die peacefully,” said Samantha. “Which it was. Very peaceful.”

via Netflix

Her death was initially listed as Hepatitis E and no further investigation took place. It was only until Obara was arrested that her death was ruled a homicide.

Items were recovered from Obara’s home which included a videotape of him raping an unconscious Carita and a journal entry that read: “Carita Ridgway, too much chloroform.”

Joji Obara was later convicted of the rape and manslaughter of Carita Ridgway and received a sentence of life in prison.

“When you lose a child, there is no closure. It’s just a buzz word, I suppose perhaps to make people feel more comfortable — there’s never a day that goes by that I don’t think about Carita,” said her father Nigel Ridgway.

Missing: The Lucie Blackman Case is available to watch on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook.

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