Skip to comments.Former Marine Who Sparked Okinawa (Rape) Furor is Dead in Suspected Murder-Suicide (Georgia)
Posted on 08/25/2006 6:47:14 AM PDT by AmericanInTokyo
Former Marine who sparked Okinawa furor is dead in suspected murder-suicide Abduction and rape recharged opposition to U.S. bases in late 1990s
By David Allen, Stars and Stripes Pacific edition, Friday, August 25, 2006
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa Almost 11 years after the crime that recharged opposition to U.S. bases here, a former Marine convicted in the abduction and rape of an Okinawa schoolgirl is believed to have killed a Georgia woman before committing suicide in her apartment.
Kennesaw, Ga., police spokesman Mike Brock told Stars and Stripes on Wednesday that Kendrick Ledet, 31, of Smyrna, Ga., was discovered dead in the third-floor apartment of slain Kennesaw State University junior Lauren Cooper, 22, on Sunday.
Ledet is referred to as a suspect as long as there is an active investigation, Brock said. He said the medical examiner must file his report for the investigation to wrap up, expected to happen later this week.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution cited the Cobb County, Ga., coroner in reporting that Ledet was the victim of self-inflicted knife cuts to veins in his arms.
Coopers body was nearby. She apparently had been sexually assaulted, then killed by strangulation and a blow to the head, according to the Journal-Constitution.
Ledet and Cooper were former co-workers, according to the police report.
There were no signs of forced entry into Coopers off-campus apartment, which was in a gated, luxury community, Brock said.
The coroner said Ledet committed suicide, apparently several hours after Cooper was killed, according to the Journal-Constitution account.
The bodies were discovered Sunday when Coopers parents went to check on her after not hearing from the marketing major for several days.
Ledet was a 21-year-old private first class when sentenced in March 1996 with Pfc. Rodrico Harp, 22, and Navy Seaman Marcus Gill, 23, a medic, for raping a 12-year-old girl they abducted from a street corner in Kin village, just outside Camp Hansen where they were stationed.
The incident, which occurred on Labor Day 1995, outraged Okinawans, resulting in several large protest rallies. In 1996, the United States and Japan signed a bilateral agreement to reduce the amount of land on Okinawa covered by U.S. bases by 21 percent. At the time, the bases covered one-fifth of the island.
Harp and Gill were sentenced to seven years of hard labor in a Japanese prison. Ledet who claimed he changed his mind about the rape but faked having sex with the girl because he feared Gill was sentenced to 6½ years.
All three men were released from prison in 2003 and dishonorably discharged.
Also, here is the video for one of the Japanese national TV stations reporting this.
Back then, the story of the Okinawa little girl's rape by the three servicemen was heavily played in the press. It led to revisions of law on how military suspects are treated by the host nation. I'll never forget those days of turmoil, and when Clinton/Mondale (ambassador) finally turned the three over to Okinawa authorities.
Now one of them has apparantly raped and brutally killed a woman back in the USA before brutally taking his own life, there in Georgia.
--As if five years of a Japanese prison had not taught him a thing or two....
I had heard she can never marry now due to social ostracism--or otherwise will have to move far away and conceal her identity from her future husband..
This horrible crime happened within 2 miles of my house, so sad and tragic.
I wonder if these guys would still be in prison if prosecuted by the US military? Seems like they received short sentences through the Japanese system.
Sounds like an affair gone bad ...She wanted to end it , he didn't . He wanted more sex and she wouldn't give so he sexually assaulted her . Guess he figured he wasn't going to get away lightly this time and ended it all rather than go to prison .
Perp (Boyfriend/Convicted Rapist/Murderer):
Kendrick Ledet = 1 dead maggot
1) Was the perp a registered sex offender in the State of Georgia (the crime and sentence having been served overseas)?
2) Did the girlfriend know of the perp's past?
3) Did the parents of the murder victim know the past of the perp?
It would be instructive to know these. If in the case of #1, he was NOT on some kind of Georgia state sex offender list, then this calls up all kinds of questions, i.e. Americans overseas after horendous crimes are committed, but no communication from the foreign authorities or US military to the states.
I would guess that she wanted to break up with him and he wasn't taking the break-up real well. Probably either he was a bit over-controlling and she either wanted to break up for that reason, or she learned of this rape incident in his past.
It may well be that his girlfriend, whom he has since murdered, never knew about his past in Japan and what a horrendous uproar and international incident he and two others caused 10 years ago.
Sheesh, I know we don't track violent rapists and murderers coming into the USA from MEXICO (as Buchanan points out), but you would at least think that once the guy is kicked out of the US military, the US military would get him into the US statewide reporting system so he could be tracked.
This could turn out to be a major story prompting important legislation. I think FOX or CNN for example should pick this one up ASAP!
Well, it's not supposed to matter...
Having said that, it is funny about the difference in how the main stream media reports these things, isn't it?
I see nothing that would lead me to believe she was his girlfriend. They were ex-co-workers who knew each other. Am I missing something? Why would you think they were boyfriend and girlfriend? You could be doing a serious disservice to this girls memory by assuming she would go out with a rapist.
"Police say Ledet and Cooper were former co-workers and had a relationship of some kind but would not elaborate. They say Ledet was likely at Cooper's apartment since Friday or Saturday and that there was no sign of forced entry. "
I read that. It DOESN'T mean they were boyfriend and girlfriend. It doesn't even mean they were friends.
This is a tradegy...I just gotta think they would still be in prison if prosecuted by the US Military.
I wonder if the other perps are on watch lists?
I taught my kids about life using Proverbs (from the bible) as an adjunct. Rule number one is not to get involved in any way with someone who did years in prison for violent rape.
The other two rapists were kicked out of the military and then released into the general US population after they served their time in Japan. Who knows where they are? The question is, do they show up on a sex offender list in any of the 50 states for their sins in Japan? If not, that means BIG TROUBLE...like it did for the poor deceased in this case.
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