Japan's Twitter Killer To Die: A Shocking True Crime Story
Takahiro Shiraishi’s contention that he only killed people who were suicidal will not save him from death by capital punishment.
The thirty-year-old, convicted of murdering, dismembering, and then storing the body parts of nine people in his apartment, was sentenced to death on Dec. 15, 2020.
Shiraishi said he selected all nine because they tweeted suicidal messages. Using a screen name that loosely translates to “hangman” in English, Shiraishi invited all nine to his apartment, one after another, where he promised to help them die.
Police found the victims all sliced, diced, and stuffed in several coolers in Shiraishi’s apartment while investigating the disappearance of a 23-year-old woman who turned out to be one of the victims.
The idea of murder with the victims’ consent was a central point of contention in his trial.
Shiraishi pleaded guilty to the lesser crime of homicide with consent. His attorney said Shiraishi only killed those who wanted to die.
But Shiraishi also admitted the eight women and one man he strangled and then chopped into pieces all fought back when he choked the life out of them. Defense attorneys said that was nothing but a “conditional reflex” on the part of the victims.
However, Shiraishi also sexually assault all of the women he killed.
The defense argued that Shiraishi has mental health issues, and at the very least, was in a state of diminished capacity from August to October 2017 when he killed the nine.
However, prosecutors said Shiraishi should still be held criminally liable after undergoing five months of psychiatric testing before his indictment in September 2018.
Presiding Judge Naokuni Yano called the crimes “extremely vicious in crime history” and said he was concerned over how deeply rooted social media has become in Japan.
The Japan Times reported the case had “stunned many in Japan” and prompted government officials and those in the social media business to boost support for young people troubled with suicidal thoughts.
Scandalous. Violent. Psychological.
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