‘Twitter killer’: Japanese man who butchered 9 victims, kept their body parts in cool boxes at home gets death
30-year-old Takahiro Shiraishi pleaded guilty to killing eight women and one man after authorities recovered bones and butchered body parts at his residence
Japan's notorious "Twitter killer" has been sentenced to death after having butchered nine victims whom he lured into his home between August and October 2017. 30-year-old Takahiro Shiraishi pleaded guilty to killing eight women and one man after authorities recovered bones and butchered body parts stashed in cooler boxes at his residence, The Sun reported. The serial killer was sentenced to death by the Tokyo District Court on Tuesday, with presiding Judge Naokuni Yano describing the murders as “extremely vicious in crime history." As reported by the Japan Times, Yano deemed Shiraishi mentally fit to be held responsible for the murders and ruled that the nine victims did not consent to being murdered.
According to the report, authorities found the corpses stuffed into cool boxes inside his apartment after neighbors complained of a "nasty smell like sewage." Authorities were investigating the disappearance of a 23-year-old woman in October 2017 when they made the grisly discovery. The victim was last seen walking with Shiraishi. “I thought it smelled like sewage. It was something I never smelled before," one neighbor told the Japan Times at the time, while another neighbor complained of a "nasty smell" emanating from the apartment as early as August that year.
Investigators later found that the killer had searched the internet to learn how to mutilate bodies, purchasing a saw and a meat cleaver in the process. Authorities said that a bunch of plastic hand ties recovered from the home indicated he may have kept some of his victims alive before eventually killing them. According to the report, all of Shiraishi's victims were women aged between 15 and 26, with one exception.
In graphic detail, authorities revealed how severed flesh was found covered with cat litter in an effort to conceal evidence. Horrified police officers noted that they included heads and 240 bone parts stored in separate containers. Forensic experts later conducted DNA testing in a bid to identify the victims.
According to The Sun, the "Twitter killer" targeted and lured people with suicidal tendencies on social media -- often convincing them that he could die alongside them or assist them in their plans.
One of Shiraishi's social media accounts portrayed him as desperate. "I want to forget everything," he reportedly wrote in an August 25, 2017 post. "I want to disappear." While in another post, he wrote: "If you are at a dead-end, please consult me."
Shiraishi grew up with his parents and younger sister in the city of Zama in central Japan. Following his graduation from senior high, he did a number of odd jobs, including working at a supermarket, and later became a scout for a prostitution ring. Using at least two accounts on Twitter, the sociopath built up a small following online, per the report.
Shiraishi's lawyers have argued that their client should receive a prison sentence considering his victims had expressed suicidal thoughts on social media and, by extension, had consented to death. However, the judge ruled that "none of the nine victims consented to be killed, including silent consent."
"It is extremely grave that the lives of nine young people were taken away," Judge Yano added. "The dignity of the victims was trampled upon."
At least 435 people turned up to watch the verdict, while the court only had 16 seats available for the public, per the report. Last month, the father of one 25-year-old victim said in court that he "will never forgive Shiraishi even if he dies."