crime

Controversial autobiography of 1997 Kobe child killer released

46 Comments

A controversial autobiography written by the now 32-year-old man who killed two children in Kobe when he was 14 has been published, despite objections by the family of one of the victims.

The book, titled "Zekka" (絶歌), is published by Ohta Publishing Co and went on sale June 10.

The book provides vivid details about the two murders in 1997 by Seito Sakakibara, the pseudonym used by the killer, and his time in a medical juvenile reformatory from where he was released on a provisional basis in 2004, before being fully released in January 2005.

No information has been publicly released about where the man now lives or where he works. He is frequently referred to as Boy A by media and in legal documents.

In the book, he writes how he used to kill cats but got tired of that and started to fantasize what it would feel like to kill a human being, Sankei Shimbun reported. He writes that he now realizes the gravity of what he did.

Sakakibara attacked five young kids in all, injuring three, and killing two -- Ayaka Yamashita, 10, and 11-year-old Jun Hase -- between March and May 1997. Hase was beheaded with a knife, and his mutilated body was left at the front gate of a school with a note saying: "This is the beginning of the game... You police guys stop me if you can... I desperately want to see people die, it is a thrill for me to commit murder. A bloody judgment is needed for my years of great bitterness."

Satoshi Oka, president of Ohta Publishing, said in a statement regarding the book, that Sakakibara had wanted to publish the book himself, Sankei reported. In March of this year, Ohta Publishing was approached by Sakakibara via a third party, after which a face-to-face meeting was arranged during which Sakakibara's notes for his draft were passed over to the company.

"We have never had the opportunity to read the personal account of a juvenile criminal at this level. Although I understand this book will receive a great deal of criticism, I believe that the book details events that speak to issues of juvenile criminal accountability still relevant today," Oka said.

Sources say that Sakakibara sent a personal note of apology attached to a copy of the book, to be delivered to the bereaved families of his victims.

About 10,000 copies of the first edition were given the green light for publication without the bereaved families being notified beforehand, Sankei reported. Royalties for sales of the book will be paid to the author.

Mamoru Hase, Jun Hase's father, issued a statement to the media in which he said: "I don't know if the murderer of our child published this book to further extend our endless suffering. It shows he doesn't really feel bad about doing what he did. I wish this book would be pulled immediately and that no more copies be printed."

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46 Comments
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So, he is making money out his crimes. Disgraceful. Any royalties this so-called "human" receives should be forfeited to a Victims of Crime organisation. He wouldn't be able to do this in a normal country.

19 ( +21 / -2 )

I think he should be allowed to publish his book but he shouldn't be able to profit from his crimes. The UK has passed a law where royalties from criminals' memoirs must be paid into a criminal injuries compensation fund. Perhaps Japan should do the same?

19 ( +19 / -0 )

I'm disgusted by the publishing company. Why in the world would they take on such a horrific story? My goodness, why should the parents of the victims relive their loss???? The parents should sue the publishing company and the author too!

18 ( +18 / -0 )

And he doesn't have to disclose his identity? Sick.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

7 years for killing 2 children .... life is very cheap in Japan

10 ( +13 / -3 )

1.Who'd want to read the book of a sick,satanic murderer? Yeah he might have been under 20,but he knew right from wrong.And he knew what he was doing. 2.And by buying the book you'd be putting money in his pocket.Is that for kawaii sou?

He's getting a minimum of 15 mil for the book.The world is so wrong on so many different levels. Time to name and shame this sick bastard.Probably 2 channel outed the **** already.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

i hope that one day kid A meets the same fate; some random lunatic who wants to know what it feels like to kill people offs him. a fitting end to this psycho.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

In NO WAY should he receive the royalties, in NO WAY or form. Japan, revise your laws, look at the UK for example.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Don't buy the book. Complain to online vendors, protest at bookstores, etc...

7 ( +8 / -1 )

His identity has been published, his real name at the time of the murder, that is、as well as his yearbook photo. A photo of him as he appears now has been Tweeted.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Royalties for sales of the book will be paid to the author.

This should be another crime.

If Ohta Publishing had an ounce of integrity, they would've stipulated in the contract that the kiddy killer wouldn't get a dime.

If the killer refused, then the publisher should've told him to stuff it.

This publisher has no shame.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

He's not allowed to live in or visit Kobe City. Profits from the book sale, both from the author who shouldn't profit from his crimes but also the publisher should be paid to the families of the victims.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Profits to the author now THAT is also a crime. Shame on that publisher for not notifying the family and giving that piece of trash any money.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Stop giving these monsters impetus to kill. "Oh, he made a mint on this book", thinks the next cat killer and considers moving on to human victims.

Stop making these monsters minor celebrities (see Isse Sagawa who talked about his cannibal crime on cookery shows and in magazines) .

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Might illicit copy cat crimes....

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The UK has passed a law where royalties from criminals' memoirs must be paid into a criminal injuries compensation fund.

A TV program introduced some foreign laws like this. I agree to the laws.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo ... he is NO LONGER IN JAIL because ...?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Would it be wrong to have all proceeds from this book go to the bereaved who lost their children? (not that it would ever make up for their loss, though) Maybe this is why he wrote the book...I can hope anyway. (I still think the guy should be behind bars, though).

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This book will do nothing but inspire more insane wackos to commit the same or even more heinous crimes. Just wait...we will soon hear of a copycat killer in the news who specifically references this book. The publisher is a complete DISGRACE for spreading this sickness!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Shades of Mary Bell.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

bobohJun. 15, 2015 - 04:09PM JST

So, he is making money out his crimes

Victims' family can seize the loyalty payable to him until the compensation is fully paid.

cardsfan5Jun. 15, 2015 - 04:25PM JST

And he doesn't have to disclose his identity? Sick.

https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/United_Nations_Convention_on_the_Rights_of_the_Child

United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

Article 40

2-2.Every child alleged as or accused of having infringed the penal law has at least the following guarantees:

7 To have his or her privacy fully respected at all stages of the proceedings.

It is not sick. It is mandatory by a UN treaty.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Publish it, yes. Profit, no.

These stories by the killer, no matter how horrific and how hurtful it is to the victims who are still alive do have a value in the teaching and the understanding of the psychology of a killer. It is an important case study and may help in future crimes.

But if you're angered by it's mass publishing, don't buy it and tell everyone you know not to. If you have a morbid curiosity or are interested in true crime, go ahead. Of course copycat killing is always a worry, but that won't be prevented by not publishing the book.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Bragging about his experience? Reformed my a**!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Michael Grant, you took the words out of my mouth.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Stop giving these monsters impetus to kill. "Oh, he made a mint on this book", thinks the next cat killer and considers moving on to human victims.

Every psychopathic murderer in history has been an animal killer. This book might give them ideas on how, but they would eventually end up killing, or trying to kill, someone.

This should by rights make parents more aware of the symptoms of psychopathy in their children. But alas, this is japan, where mental health services are a joke and parental education on mental health issues in children is practically non existent.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Thr publisher and this guy should be charged for instigating public murders and anumal cruelty for 10,000 cases to put in jail so that Japan will prevent future copycatters.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Sounds like a Dexter type. I sincerely hope he's not living in my neighborhood because who can be really sure he won't feel the need once more to "desperately want to see people die", and crave again the "thrill" he had to commit brutal murders?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The community in which this beast lives absolutely have the right to know where he is living. It would mortify all the millions of us with kids to think he is living in our area. And the sentence seems outrageously lenient - he has the majority of his life to live as a free man which is disgusting. ALL proceeds of any of his books should be automatically surrendered to a victims of crimes fund, as happens in other places.

Rest in Peace to his poor, innocent victims - and strength to the countless more victims whose lives he has wrecked.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

No shame or remorse. He writes a book, practically boasting what he did and even making money off of it. Disgraceful! If there was real justice in this country, the parents of victims should be able to take immediate ownership of the rights to the book (like they did with OJ Simpson) so that the profits go to them and not to this scumbag.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

He killed cats?? Life sentence without parole, no matter he was still a juvenile or not!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

" About 10,000 copies of the first edition were given the green light for publication without the bereaved families being notified beforehand, Sankei reported. Royalties for sales of the book will be paid to the author. "

This is sick, and anybody who buys this book should be ashamed. Alas, there will be audience.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The worst kind of scum . The publishing co should be run out of business as well...ANYONE purchasing this atrocity should be deeply ashamed.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japan needs to rush through a law that bans people profiting from their crimes. The publishing company should also be boycotted. What is it with this country and giving traction to murders. Issei Sagawa anyone?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I actually agree that the proceeds should go partially if not entirely to the families of the victims and that the publishers should be put to blame as well, but at the same time, I do want to read this. Just to see what goes through the mind of someone who can kill children and still live with themselves, especially coming from that person. I don't know. This is probably going to get attacked for a million reasons, but I'm curious. It's not often we have the chance to see how someone like this really thinks and acts. And if we do have to opportunity, then kindly point me towards that instead.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I heard this news from one of my friends in my lecture class. When I heard this news, I could not get all the ideas. I got interested in this news, and I want to know more about this issue. After I read, I got the same idea as Mamoru Hase, one of the victims’ father, about this issue. I feel that he does not really introspect about his own delinquencies. I will state the reasons why I think he does not feel bad about doing what he did. This autobiography is published in spite of the objections of the families of a victim. He didn’t stop writing and publishing his autobiography. He probably still has a bad thought that he wants to kill something. He was one of the most unnatural persons, and I cannot help thinking that he did not reform. If he really regretted having murdered as many as two children who were before becoming junior high school students and weaker than him, he would not continue the project and the autobiography would not be published. I think he cannot understand moral and ethics. He just pursues the enjoyments of his life based on the thrills. In brief, most matters seem to me that he did not change his thought because of lack of understanding about ethics. Someone should have stopped him before the book hurts the bereaved families. The publisher immediately pulls this book not to hurt them more.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There are many juvenile crimes in Japan such as stealing, violence, and murder. For example, there was a terrible incident that a man killed two children and injured three children eighteen years ago. Then, he published the autobiography recently. What do you think about this news? When I watched this news, I was disappointed. There are two reasons why I was disappointed.

First, it is because the man and the publisher ignored the opinion of the bereaved family. The victim’s father opposed to publish the book. Moreover, the publisher did not notify it beforehand. Are these appropriate attitudes? I’m sure that this answer will be “No.” So, I really despaired of the news.

Second, this man will get money by selling this book. In New York, there is Son of Sam law, but there is no law like that in Japan. Thus, this man will get all money and his life will be richer than ever. However, the bereaved families continue to be suffered from this cruel affair. Their lives will not become affluent by writing this book. Therefore, I depressed when I knew about this news.

In conclusion, I was disgusted by the news because the man who killed the kids and the publisher who did not behave properly will earn money by publishing the autobiography. I think we should never forgive these actions and reject from buying this book even if it has social worth.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is truely insane. Japan needs to enact a law that says that if you kill someone, you can never, ever profit from it and any money you make must go directly to the victims family. The apple does not fall very far from the tree though. His mother, if you can call her that, profited off of this horrible crime by writing a book about it from the mother's standpoint. I doubt if she gave a yen to the families. I could be wrong. But this sicko obviously does not feel a shred of guilt if he can write a book and make money off of it. This is disgusting. Ohta publishing is also morally bankrupt. I just can not believe that I read this.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@zichi

Profits from the book sale, both from the author who shouldn't profit from his crimes but also the publisher should be paid to the families of the victims.

You took the words out of my... keyboard !

0 ( +0 / -0 )

CH3CHO

cardsfan5Jun. 15, 2015 - 04:25PM JST

And he doesn't have to disclose his identity? Sick.

https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/United_Nations_Convention_on_the_Rights_of_the_Child

United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

Article 40

2-2.Every child alleged as or accused of having infringed the penal law has at least the following guarantees:

7 To have his or her privacy fully respected at all stages of the proceedings.

It is not sick. It is mandatory by a UN treaty.

Now, now, let's not cherry pick bits and pieces to mislead.

Article 2: " Every child alleged as or accused of having infringed the penal law has at least the following guarantees:...."

There is no "alleged" anymore, the legal proceedings are long over-this portion of the bill is irrelevant here.

Yes, it is sick.

Victims' family can seize the loyalty payable to him until the compensation is fully paid.

What a relief! the only way the families will be compensated is if his book, detailing his crimes, sells well. And if it sells really well? Now he's rich. I see no justice in any of this.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Scary thing is how often on this board you see stories about cats found decapitated or mutilated.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Khulifi..... You took the words out of my mouth!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Knowing some murderers are living incognito among us just make me more extra careful with my co workers who seem to be out of the ordinary and more so now right after the incident I had when a man who is supposed to riding the elevator with me push the button with his index finger under his shirt. Such a nice country but with it's share of weird people. Maybe life has been too easy for them that a little hump of life made them pffft!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Now how Awesome is that. This Autobiography can be well a beginners guide for the juvenile psychopaths teaching step by step how to take an innocent life. Basic course will teach you how to kill Cats & Pets. Advance course will cover taking Human life. Incredible! Japan what's wrong with you?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The fact that a book like this will most likely be discontinued soon means it will become rare.. Not going to lie, I just bought this on Amazon because I do have a keen interest in true crime and hearing from their own minds where they are now and their views on what they did..

I personally do not agree that he is gaining profit from this, but then again Issei Sagawa made a nice living off his crime.. From porn to his well twisted manga he wrote (which is really really hard to find btw), so its not the first time a Japanese murderer has made money from their crimes..

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This evil depraved thing should still be in prison for the rests of its life with no possibility for parole or have been executed whether it was 5 years old or 100 years old along with being caned. It is disturbing that one could commit such heinous acts and still be walking the streets.

Shouldn’t the residents be safe from this kind of lunatic and be able to walk around whenever they want regardless of age or gender being that Japan is apparently one of the safest countries of the world especially with the koubans scattered across the country, strict gun laws and a culture that condemns crime. That being said there should be no violent crime especially on random individuals in Japan. It is an extreme shock that these kinds of crimes along with those random stabbings have occurred in Japan.

It appears no one is safe in any country except Singapore. Maybe Japan should start emulating Singapore in regards to punishment.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Issei Sagawa never committed a crime in Japan his evil deeds happened in Paris. He was guilty of nothing here.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

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