A 30-year-old Japanese man was sentenced to death after being found guilty of nine murders in 2017 when police discovered the dismembered corpses of Takahiro Shiraishi’s victims in various containers and locations around his Tokyo apartment, according to the New York Times.
Dubbed the “Twitter Killer,” Shiraishi admitted to the murders and told the court that he would find and lure young women who expressed suicidal thoughts on the social media platform, then either offer to kill himself with them or to help them take their own lives.
National Public Radio reported that during the trial, Shiraishi said, “It was easier for me to convince people with worries and other issues and manipulate them to my way of thinking.”
Shiraishi’s defense tried to prove the eight young women and one man that Shiraishi was convicted of killing, who ranged in ages from 15 to 26, according to the Japan Times, wanted their client to kill them. But when it came down to it, Shiraishi told the judge, “Not a single one of my victims consented,” the New York Times Reported.
“I humbly admit my guilt and will accept the punishment,” Shiraishi told the Tokyo District Court, according to the Japan Times.
Shiraishi Drugged, Raped, Strangled & Dismembered His Victims But Said ‘If They Hadn’t Caught Me I Would Regret Nothing.”
The New York Times reported that Shiraishi learned how to lure women when he worked as a recruiter for an escort service in one of Tokyo’s red-light districts, a hustle he learned after a falling out with his father and was in need of money.
In the case of the Twitter victims, the initial goal was to get money from the young women he lured, who he would meet up with and heavily complement in an effort to play on their insecurities.
According to the New York Times, “Shiraishi turned to murder after he began to fear that one of the women he met would demand that he repay money she had lent him.”
“I had a hard time making up my mind to do it, but I had done illegal things on a daily basis as part of my work as a scout and had internalized the idea that ‘It’s only a problem if you get caught,’” he told the court, the New York Times reported. “If they hadn’t caught me. I would regret nothing,” he said.
According to the BBC, “The Japanese media called Shiraishi’s apartment the ‘house of horrors’ after investigators discovered nine heads along with a large number of arm and leg bones stashed in coolers and toolboxes.”
Shiraishi’s Death Sentence Brings Little Solace to the Victims’ Families
The BBC reported that the families of the victims are shattered by what happened to their daughters and son, who was only killed when he confronted Shiraishi while looking for one of the young women Shiraishi killed. The names of the victims were not released publicly.
The father of a 25-year-old victim told the court prior to Shiraishi’s sentencing that he will “never forgive Shiraishi even if he dies,” according to Japanese broadcaster NHK.
“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!,” according to the BBC.
The father of a 17-year-old Shiraishi was convicted of killing, told NHK the death sentence was “appropriate,” saying, “I feel like I want to get revenge, but bereaved families can’t do anything. I don’t know how to vent my anger,” per the BBC.
According to the Death Penalty Database, there are 114 inmates on death row in Japan. Their deaths by hanging are kept secret from the inmate, their families, and the public until the morning the execution will happen.