The trial of a 29-year-old man indicted for murdering, dismembering and storing the bodies of nine people in his apartment in Zama, Kanagawa Prefecture, will begin on Sept 30 at the Tachikawa branch of the Tokyo District Court. A verdict is expected to be handed down on Dec 15.
The defendant, Takahiro Shiraishi, was indicted in 2018 after five months of psychiatric tests, Sankei Shimbun reported. According to the indictment, he approached people who expressed suicidal thoughts online and lured them to his apartment. He killed and dismembered eight women and one man from Tokyo and four prefectures, ranging in age from 15 to 26, over a four-month period in 2017. Their bodies were discovered inside cooling boxes in his apartment.
Shiraishi sexually assaulted all eight women and strangled them. He also stole cash from them. He was arrested in October 2017 when police visited his apartment and found the boxes containing body parts. Police had been searching for a missing woman from Tokyo, who turned out to be one of the victims. The sole man killed was the brother of one of the victims, who had come to Shiraishi’s apartment looking for his sister.
Shiraishi has told investigators that he got in touch with the victims via Twitter and invited them to his apartment, saying he would help them to die. He said he searched online for how to dismember bodies and purchased tools such as a chopper and a saw, while practicing how to tie rope knots.
During his psychiatric evaluation, Shiraishi said he had used certain techniques also employed in the field of counseling to gain the trust of his victims, according to an analysis of the report. Furthermore, he once worked as a recruiter in the sex industry, scouting women on the streets, and is believed to have become skillful at gaining the trust of women.© Japan Today/Kyodo