Twitter Serial Killer Receives Death Sentence For Murdering Nine People
Takahiro Shiraishi, known as the ‘Twitter Killer’, has been sentenced to death for the murders of nine people.
Shiraishi was found guilty of killing, dismembering and storing the bodies of nine victims in his apartment in Zama, near Tokyo.
The 30-year-old serial killer, from Japan, pleaded guilty to his crimes while appearing at the Tachikawa branch of the Tokyo District Court, and also said he wouldn’t appeal his death sentence.
Shiraishi was arrested back in 2017, after local police discovered the body parts of eight females and one male, all aged 15-26, in his flat. The identities of the victims have been withheld to protect their privacy.
Officers had been searching for a missing 23-year-old woman, who ended up being one of the victims. After her brother accessed her Twitter account, he made police aware of a user she’d been in contact with, leading them to Shiraishi.
It’s believed they were all murdered between August and October 2017, as per BBC News. He’s been dubbed the ‘Twitter Killer’, due to having used the social media platform to meet and lure women who’d allegedly expressed suicidal thoughts to his home, where he’d strangle and dismember them. Local media described the scene as a ‘house of horrors’.
While his lawyers originally argued his victims had been ‘killed with consent’, Shiraishi later confirmed he killed without their consent.
Judge Naokuni Yano described the killer’s crimes as ‘cunning and cruel’, saying, ‘None of the nine victims consented to be killed, including silent consent. It is extremely grave that the lives of nine young people were taken away. The dignity of the victims was trampled upon.’
According to local media, more than 400 people turned up to watch the verdict today, December 15, despite only 16 seats being available to the public at the court.
The father of one victim earlier said he’d ‘never forgive Shiraishi even if he dies’, adding, ‘Even now, when I see a woman of my daughter’s age, I mistake her for my daughter. This pain will never go away. Give her back to me.’
Another father said, ‘I feel like I want to get revenge, but bereaved families can’t do anything. I don’t know how to vent my anger.’
The brother of a victim said of Shiraishi’s testimony, ‘It didn’t sound at all like he regretted it… it felt like I was being hurt with a sharp knife over and over again.’
The case sparked Twitter to change its rules, adding a requirement that users should not promote or encourage suicide or self-harm. The judge also said it had ‘provoked great anxiety in society, because social networks are so commonly used’.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
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