TOKYO (TR) – A court here this week handed down the death penalty to a 30-year-old man over the murders of nine persons at his apartment in Zama City three years ago.
At the Tachikawa branch of the Tokyo District Court on Tuesday, presiding judge Naokuni Yano described the crimes of Takahiro Shiraishi as being “vicious and of a level rarely seen in Japan.”
According to the indictment, Shiraishi used Twitter to lure the eight women and one man to the apartment between August and October of 2017. He strangled each of them with a rope and carved up their bodies.
During the crimes, he also stole money from the victims and sexually assaulted all eight women.
“In a society where social media is deeply rooted, they have shaken people to the core,” judge Yano said, according to Kyodo News.
Consented to die
Shiraishi pleaded guilty to the crimes. However, the defense claimed the crimes were homicide with consent, which is a lesser charge to murder.
During the trial, whether the victims had actually consented to being killed was an issue. Shiraishi recruited the victims via Twitter after they expressed an interest in taking their lives.
Prosecutors argued that since all of the victims resisted when Shiraishi began to kill them meant that they did not give consent.
The defense said that all of the victims went to Shiraishi’s apartment on their own volition and had clearly expressed their wishes to die on social media.
Shiraishi’s state of mind was also an issue during the trial. However, the court ruled that he was mentally fit since he planned the crimes and went to great effort to conceal the bodies.
“I wanted to enjoy myself”
On October 30, 2017, police investigating the disappearance of Aiko Tamura, a 23-year-old woman from Tokyo’s Hachioji City, entered the residence and found body parts belonging to the eight women and one man inside seven ice coolers.
During the course of the investigation, police also discovered a number of items in the residence that were believed to have been used in the killings, including a saw and 10 nylon ropes.
Police also confirmed that one of the bodies was indeed that of Tamura.
In recruiting the victims, Shiraishi told them that he also was seeking to kill himself. However, he later told police, “I had no intention of committing suicide with them. It was a lie.”
Instead, Shiraishi’s motive was self-satisfaction. “My purpose was money, and I wanted to enjoy myself,” he was also quoted by police.