Yakuza don’t dump bodies, they burn them

Spa! Feb. 18
Spa! Feb. 18
The investigation late last year into a string of mysterious deaths in Hyogo Prefecture captivated the nation, with probably the most intriguing (and grim) aspect of the case involving the continued discovery of multiple corpses.

Some of the bodies had been stuffed in drums, while others were found buried under the floorboards of a home in Amagasaki City.

Such a means of disposal might lead many to suspect the involvement of organized crime. In fact, the lead suspect, Miyoko Sumida, 64, was a mere novice who allegedly enlisted the help of multiple members of her family and acquaintances in the killings. She eventually committed suicide in her detention cell in December.

Spa! says that such tactics for getting rid of corpses are indeed the hallmarks of non-professionals at work as today’s yakuza groups utilize different means.

The magazine enlists the expert testimony of an upper member of a gang affiliated with a major criminal syndicate.

“We don’t pack bodies in drums and dump them at sea,” says the yakuza member. “That’s the work of amateurs.”

One reason is that the flesh decays and releases gas. “The gas is a powerful enough to crack concrete,” says the gangster. “So a medical coroner can determine that a body is inside the concrete.”

As to burying bodies under a home, the yakuza says that will create the same problem. “Digging a hole and covering a body with concrete is amateur stuff,” the gangster says. “Gas from the decomposing body will crack the concrete and it’ll be obvious what’s underneath.”

Diagram showing asphalt disposal (Spa!)
Diagram showing asphalt disposal (Spa!)
Today’s gangsters toss bodies into a mix of coal tar and gravel heated to 3,000 degrees centigrade. The gangster says that once the asphalt is spread out, for use in road pavement work, any sign of human life, including DNA, disappears entirely: “The high temperature incinerates the bones and flesh entirely.”

There are costs involved. It is necessary to develop a relationship with personnel at the asphalt plant, which will charge one million yen for the operation. As well, a contract will need to be taken out with a middleman — for a Chinese national the going rate is 200,000 yen.

“To kill someone is simple,” the gangster says. “But the sign of a real pro is in the disposal process.”

The purchase of a car used for pet cremations is also an option, says the gangster. The current market price is 1.5 million yen. “The maximum length of the material to be inserted is 40 centimeters so the body will need to be cut up,” he says. “All it takes is 90 minutes.” (A.T.)

Source: “Geneki yakuza ga kaisetsu ‘itai shori, dorumukan tsume ha shiro to no shigoto,'” Nikkan Spa! (Web)

Note: Brief extracts from Japanese vernacular media in the public domain that appear here were translated and summarized under the principle of “fair use.” Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy of the translations. However, we are not responsible for the veracity of their contents. The activities of individuals described herein should not be construed as “typical” behavior of Japanese people nor reflect the intention to portray the country in a negative manner. Our sole aim is to provide examples of various types of reading matter enjoyed by Japanese.

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  1. Funny article. Complete BS, of course, for a whole lot of reasons centered on how exactly you are going to heat a petroleum product to 3000 degrees without 1. melting the container you are mixing it in (even Titanium melts at 2/3 of that temperature) and 2. causing the coal tar to completely gas out and spontaneously explode into a huge ball o’ fire that incinerates the entire facility, not just the body. Still, this will make a lovely urban legend installment for the next episode of “Yarisugi Kouji”.

      • Perhaps you would not be surprised if it happened, but I would be. Very. It is physically impossible to cremate a body with asphalt – asphalt is “cooked” at about 170 degrees. Medium-high oven temperature – but who wants to make a pot roast out of a stiff? Well, aside from Jeffrey Dahmer? Also, folks who work in the industry tell me there is no trap door in the cauldron though which a body could be dumped. Chutes for the aggregate, yes, but you would have to pre-mince the body to get it through those.

        In any event, you need a 900 degree centigrade flame, held for an hour per 45kg of body weight, to cremate a body. Not 170 degree asphalt mix – if one could cremate a body with asphalt there would be a lot of dead road construction workers blended into roads and highways around the planet.

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