Japanese ‘Twitter killer’ sentenced to death for murders of nine people


Takahiro Shiraishi, 30, was convicted of murdering, raping, dismembering, and storing the nine victims’ bodies in his apartment in Zama, Kanagawa prefecture, on the outskirts of Tokyo, the court said.

Shiraishi was arrested in October 2017 after police searched his home to investigate the disappearance of a 23-year-old woman who had posted suicidal notes on social media, including Twitter.
Policemen prepare for inspection in front of an apartment in Zama, Kanagawa prefecture, on November 2, 2017, where police found nine dismembered corpses.

Three cooler boxes and five containers were found in Shiraishi’s room, containing human heads and bones with the flesh scraped off, according to TV Asahi, citing police sources.

The nine victims — eight women and one man — were aged between 15 and 26, according to Japanese public broadcaster NHK and CNN affiliate TV Asahi, which both cited court proceedings.

The victims had posted online that they wanted to kill themselves, and were subsequently contacted by Shiraishi through social media platforms, NHK and TV Asahi reported.

This court sketch drawing created on September 30, 2020 shows Takahiro Shiraishi at the first trial at Tokyo District Court Tachikawa Branch in Tachikawa, Tokyo.

Using a handle which loosely translates as “hangman,” Shiraishi invited them to his apartment in Zama, promising to help them die, the Jiji news agency reported, citing the indictment.

Shiraishi pleaded guilty to murdering the victims, saying in court that he had killed them to satisfy his sexual desire, NHK and TV Asahi reported.

NHK added that Shiraishi does not intend to appeal the verdict and will be on death row until Japan’s justice minister signs the execution order.

In Japan the death penalty is executed by hanging, with execution dates not made public until after the penalty is carried out.

Additional reporting by Reuters.


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