A man nicknamed the “Twitter killer” in Japan, was sentenced to death for murdering and dismembering nine individuals he met via the social media site.
In 2017, after body parts were found in his flat in the city of Zama, near Tokyo, Takahiro Shiraishi was arrested.
During the course of three months, he admitted strangling and dismembering his victims, eight of whom were women. The youngest was fifteen and the oldest was 26.
It is also alleged that the 30-year-old had stolen cash from them and sexually harassed all of his female victims.
As they had expressed suicidal thoughts on the site, Shiraishi, who set up his Twitter profile in March 2017, targeted his victims.
The Japan Times recorded that he used a handle that translates to ‘hangman,’ and sent them messages promising to help them die.
His Twitter profile included the words: “I want to help people who are really in pain. Please DM me anytime.”
Authorities became interested after one of the female victims was reported missing, a 23-year-old. On Halloween that year, they searched Shiraishi’s flat and discovered portions of the nine bodies stuffed in coolers.
The only male survivor, aged 20, was killed after questioning Shiraishi about his girlfriend’s whereabouts, according to the Japanese media.
According to public broadcaster NHK, the father of one of the victims, a 25-year-old woman, told the court he would never forgive Shiraishi.
“Even now, when I see a woman of my daughter’s age, I mistake her for my daughter. This pain will never go away. Give her back to me!” a dad said.
Shiraishi’s attorneys argued that with an agreement, his charges could be changed to the lesser crime of homicide.
According to the messages that were sent, they said his victims apparently gave consent to be killed.
Judge Naokuni Yano, however, ruled this was not the case.
He told the court, according to NHK: “None of the nine victims agreed to be killed, including by silent consent.”
It is very serious that they have taken away the lives of nine young people. They trampled on the dignity of the victims.
Based on five months of psychological tests before his arrest, he said Shiraishi had committed “extremely vicious crimes” but was psychologically fit to be held liable.
The Tachikawa division of the Tokyo District Court found Shiraishi, who spent five months undergoing psychological examinations before being arrested in 2018, guilty and sentenced to death for his crimes.