Japan’s macabre ‘Twitter killer’ indicted on 9 counts of murder, faces death by hanging

Japan’s macabre ‘Twitter killer’ indicted on 9 counts of murder, faces death by hanging
Zama, a sleepy suburb in southwestern Tokyo was plagued by a series of disappearances of women and girls as young as 16 in late summer 2017. Ultimately, it was the foul stench of human remains which led police to the victims.

While searching for missing 23-year-old Aiko Tamura, neighbors called the police after noticing a profound and acrid smell emanating from a nearby apartment; The tenant had only just moved there just two months previously, having left his family home within the same suburb.  

When police arrived on the scene and entered the apartment on Halloween morning 2017, they happened upon a gruesome scene worthy of the most sinister and macabre horror fiction ever conceived: Two severed heads, a dismembered pair of arms and legs and the bloodied saw used to wrest them from the remaining decaying corpses.

The apartment would soon be dubbed the ‘house of horrors’ in Japanese media, and for good reason: body parts were found stored in cooler and tool boxes strewn throughout the apartment and sprinkled with cat litter in a vain attempt to hide the putrid scent of decay.

Police began a short-lived manhunt for the tenant, Takahiro Shiraishi, 27, who immediately confessed to the murder of Tamura.

Shiraishi had previously worked as a ‘scout’ for a brothel in Tokyo’s Kabukicho red light district before moving out of his parents’ home. He lived a dual life: unremarkable in the day-to-day, but unbelievably sinister online.

He dubbed himself ‘The hanging pro’ on his Twitter handle, adding: “I want to help people who are really in pain. Please DM me anytime.” He reportedly contacted people online through suicide pact websites.

Shiraishi is suspected of preying on his victims’ vulnerable emotional states and suicidal thoughts and tendencies and luring them to his apartment under the pretence of helping them to, or even joining them in, committing suicide.

I had no intention of killing myself at all. None (of the victims) wanted to die actually,” Shiraishi told detectives, as cited by News.com.au.

He first plied his victims with alcohol or sleeping pills and then strangled them until they lost consciousness before hanging and subsequently dismembering them. Police also suspect him of sexually assaulting his victims.

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