Cops: Serial Killer Met Teen Victims on Twitter
He allegedly targeted those looking to commit suicide
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 1, 2017 10:01 AM CDT
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People gather in front of the apartment where police found dismembered bodies in coolers in Zama, Japan, on Tuesday.   (Kyodo News via AP)

(Newser) – The 27-year-old Japanese man in whose apartment police found body parts belonging to nine people—including two severed heads and 240 bones—allegedly targeted teenage girls on Twitter. According to police, Takahiro Shiraishi used Twitter to connect with those wanting to commit suicide. He's suspected of killing four teens and five people in their 20s—described as eight females and one male, possibly the boyfriend of a victim—since moving into his apartment outside Tokyo in late August, per the BBC and Japan Times. Police were led to the apartment Tuesday after the brother of a 23-year-old missing woman found Twitter messages she exchanged with Shiraishi after posting that she was seeking someone to die with her, per the Japan Times.

Surveillance footage showed the woman walking with Shiraishi near his apartment on Oct. 23, police say. A subsequent search of Shiraishi's residence—which neighbors described as smelling of sewage—uncovered body parts believed to belong to the woman and eight others, likely killed on the day they met Shiraishi, police say. Though it isn't yet clear how the individuals died, police say Shiraishi confessed to cutting up the bodies in a bathtub, removing the flesh, hiding body parts in coolers filled with sand or cat litter, and putting other body parts in the trash, per the New York Times. Police say Shiraishi told them he intended to rape some of his victims but was motivated by money, per the Japan Times. He admitted taking $4,410 from at least one victim, police say.

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