At the beginning of the trial, Takahiro Shiraishi’s lawyers tried to seek a lighter penalty by trying to prove that the killings were “with consent.” But the defendant himself disrupted the version and could be sentenced to hang.
The man is known as the “Twitter killer,” accused of killing and dismembering nine people via social media in Japan, pleaded guilty in a Tokyo court on Wednesday, local media reported.
Takahiro Shiraishi, 29, accused of storing the dismembered bodies of his victims in refrigerators, did not refute the nine murder charges he faces, stating that they are “all correct,” the public broadcaster NHK said .
The defendant’s lawyers had asked that the charges be reduced to “murder with consent”, which carries only a penalty of between six months and seven years in prison, alleging that the victims consented to be killed, according to NHK.
However, Shiraishi himself denied this version. “ There were marks on the back of the victims’ heads. It means that there was no consent and I did it so that they do not resist, ”he stated in an interview with the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper.
On Halloween morning in 2017, police discovered in Takahiro Shiraishi’s home nine bodies dismembered into no less than 240 pieces of bone hidden in refrigerators and tool boxes, dusted with cat litter to try to hide them.
The man is suspected of having lured victims between 15 and 26 with suicidal tendencies through Twitter telling them that he could help them in their projects or even die at their side.
Police arrested Takahiro Shiraishi three years ago while investigating the disappearance of a 23-year-old woman who allegedly tweeted that she wanted to commit suicide.
After the disappearance of the young woman, her brother would have managed to connect to her Twitter account and detected a username with suspicious messages.
If convicted of murder, Takahiro Shiraishi faces the death penalty, which is executed by hanging in Japan.
When he was arrested, Shiraishi told the police: “I killed them and did some things to the bodies to hide evidence.” Jiji Press indicated that Shiraishi stated that he cut up the bodies in the bathroom. A saw was found in his room.
Takahiro Shiraishi Death Sentence
According to reports gathered from SCMP, Japan’s ‘Twitter killer’ Takahiro Shiraishi sentenced to death for nine murders.
He confessed to murdering, dismembering and storing the bodies of nine people who had posted suicidal thoughts on social media,
On Tuesday sentenced a man dubbed Japan’s “Twitter killer” to death for the 2017 serial murders of nine people who posted suicidal thoughts on social media.
Takahiro Shiraishi, 30, was found guilty in a high-profile case in the Tachikawa branch of the Tokyo District Court of murdering, dismembering and storing the bodies of the nine in his flat near Tokyo.
Presiding Judge Naokuni Yano ruled that the nine victims did not consent to be killed and that Shiraishi was mentally fit to be held responsible for the murders.
The judge described the crimes as extremely vicious, adding the case had given people a cause for concern regarding how deeply rooted social media has become in society.
Whether Shiraishi killed the victims with their consent was the major point of contention in the trial.
Prosecutors sought the death penalty for Shiraishi, who pleaded guilty to the crimes, but defence lawyers argued that he was guilty only of the lesser charge of homicide with consent as he had his victims’ tacit approval based on messages they sent to him.
While prosecutors pointed out that there was no way the victims consented to be killed based on Shiraishi’s testimony that they resisted when being strangled, the defence team argued that they only did so due to their “conditional reflexes”.
The defence also claimed that Shiraishi was possibly either mentally incompetent or was in a state of diminished capacity at the time of the murders.
But prosecutors concluded he could be held criminally liable after he was put through five months of psychiatric testing before his indictment in September 2018.
According to the indictment, Shiraishi strangled and dismembered eight women and one man aged 15 to 26 from Tokyo and four other prefectures from August to October 2017. He is also alleged to have sexually assaulted all his female victims.
He is believed to have promised to help his victims die by using a Twitter handle that loosely translates as “hangman”, inviting them to his flat in Zama, Kanagawa Prefecture, after they expressed suicidal thoughts.
Shiraishi said that even if given the death penalty, he would not appeal.
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