A Japanese man was sentenced to death by a Tokyo court for the killing and dismembering of nine people. Most of the victims had posted suicidal thoughts on social media before their death.
The Tachikawa branch of the Tokyo District Court found Takahiro Shiraishi, 30, guilty of killing, dismembering, and storing his victims’ bodies in his apartment in Zama.
Shiraishi, who is also known as the “Twitter killer” pleaded guilty. He said he would not appeal his death sentence.
Authorities found the bodies of eight women and one man in cold-storage cases in Shiraishi’s apartment in 2017.
According to police, Shiraishi reached out to his victims on Twitter and offered to help them carry out their suicidal wishes. He raped and killed the females, some of whom were teenagers. He also killed the boyfriend of one of his victims in order to silence him.
Shiraishi went by the name “Hangman” on Twitter, where he would invite his victims to his apartment and promise to help them die.
Part of Shiraishi’s defense attorneys’ argument is that he was actually helping his victims carry our their suicidal wishes. But Shiraishi admitted that he killed his victims without their consent.
Judge Naokuni Yano said that none of the victims agreed to be killed and that Shiraishi was fully responsible for their deaths. He also said that the crime was “extremely heinous and had caused fear and concern in a society where social media have become an indispensable part of everyday life.”
The suicide rate in Japan is one of the highest in the world. It had been declining in recent years, but the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic caused those numbers to shoot back up.
The crime rate in Japan is relatively low. However, it has been home to some very high-profile murders in recent years. In July 2016, a former employee of a home for the disabled allegedly killed 19 residents and injured more than 20 others.