'Twitter Killer' Hears His Fate

Takahiro Shiraishi gets death after pleading guilty to murdering, dismembering 9 in Japan
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 15, 2020 6:40 AM CST
'Twitter Killer' Hears His Fate
Takahiro Shiraishi leaves a police station in Hachioji, Japan, on the outskirts of Tokyo, in November, 2017.   (Takuya Inaba/Kyodo News via AP)

The "Twitter Killer" of Japan has heard his fate, and he didn't react. Takahiro Shiraishi received the death penalty Tuesday after pleading guilty in September for the murder and dismemberment of nine people, and the judge who handed down the sentence had to ask if the "stone-faced" 30-year-old was even listening, per the Straits Times. "Yes, I understand," Shiraishi replied to Judge Naokuni Yano, who called what Shiraishi had done "one of the most malicious murders ever in the history of crime." In October 2017, police had found body parts of Shiraishi's victims—eight young women between the ages of 15 and 26, and one man—covered in cat litter and stored in coolers in his apartment in Zama, outside of Tokyo. Shiraishi lured his suicidal female victims to his apartment by targeting them on social media (he used a handle that meant "hangman," per CNN) and promising to help them kill themselves, along with himself.

Before the killings, which occurred between August and October 2017, Shiraishi drugged, robbed, and raped his female victims. The male victim was a friend of Shiraishi's first female victim—whom Shiraishi admitted he strangled so he wouldn't have to pay back a loan—and was murdered when he asked Shiraishi why she'd vanished, per the Washington Post. Shiraishi was busted when one of the victim's brothers found Shiraishi's messages to her on Twitter. Shiraishi's defense team had argued the killings were "consensual," which the judge (and Shiraishi himself) disagreed with. "The defendant was found to be fully responsible," Yano said during the sentencing. "All the murders were well-planned." Shiraishi, who isn't expected to appeal, offered apologies during the trial to the families of "some of the victims," though not to others, for whom he noted, "I don't really feel a deep sense of regret." (More serial killers stories.)

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