“MURDERED WITH CONSENT:” JAPAN’S TWITTER KILLER ADMITS CRIMES
October 13, 2020
WARNING: graphic brutality, sexual assault and mentions of suicide appear in this article
“I want to help people who are in pain. Please DM me anytime,” Tokyo’s 29-year-old Takahiro Shiraishi Tweeted, a seemingly encouraging thing to announce to those who struggled with a mental illness.
Sadly, this was an invitation for Shiraishi to murder those who were suicidal, resulting in the deaths of one man and eight women between the ages of 15 to 26. Three of those victims were still in high school.
His spree was between August of 2017 to October of 2017, luring those who wished for “help” into his apartment, promising to aid in their act of suicide and even killing himself if his victim wished. Instead, Shiraishi raped the women before strangling them to death. He then dismembered all nine of his victims and stored the body parts in coolers and storage containers.
“I killed them and did some work on the bodies in order to hide the evidence,” Shiraishi told the police, sounding seemingly nonchalant about his crimes.
He even searched his victims’ belongings and gained an estimated number of $3,410.
There were attempts to question Shiraishi before the police arrested him. A man went to Shiraishi’s apartment and questioned if he knew what happened to his girlfriend before Shiraishi killed him also.
The brother of one of the victims also became suspicious of Shiraishi when he found messages between Takahiro Shiraishi and his sister. Feeling that he couldn’t confront him head on, the brother persuaded a female friend–she was once a recruiting scout for women in the sex industry–to message Shiraishi to meet with her. He agreed, though instead of meeting her, he met with police and owned up to his crimes, telling them to look in the freezer for one of the women.
The week of October 4, 2020, Shiraishi admitted to the nine murders, however, his lawyers are arguing all nine victims were “murdered with consent.”
“There were bruises on the back of the victims’ heads,” Shiraishi publicly said to Mainichi Shimbun–a local media organization in Japan. “It means there was no consent, and I did it so that they wouldn’t resist.”
After this, Twitter has declared to enforce more rules about encouraging suicide or self-harm in order for another tragedy like this to occurr. Meanwhile, Japan is ensuring more support options for those who feel suicidal, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to increase feelings of depression and anxiety.
In December of this year, Shiraishi will have his trial held. If found guilty of “murder with consent,” he can face prison time between six months to seven years. If found guilty without consent, he will likely face the death penalty.