Japanese man, Takahiro Shiraishi, dubbed the “Twitter killer” had admitted to murdering nine people in court on Wednesday. The “Twitter killer” was arrested in 2017 after body parts were found in his flat.
After confirming that the allegations against him “are all correct,” the 29-year-old’s lawyers argued that the charges against him should be reduced. This is because according to the lawyers the victims—who had expressed suicidal thoughts—gave their consent to be killed.
This would then reduce the charges against him to “murder with consent” which carries a prison statement between six months to seven years. This is however allegedly disagreed by Shiraishi as in an interview with a Japanese daily he said that the victims had sported bruises in the back of the heads which means that there was no consent involved. He went on to say that he did this so that the victims would not resist.
The accused also faces charges of dismembering his victims and even storing body parts in coolboxes and if convicted of murder, Shiraishi faces the death penalty which is carried out by hanging in Japan. He is also facing rape charges.
He is also accused of using Twitter to contact his victims, each aged between 15 and 26 who posted online about taking their own lives. He approaches them telling them that he would help them in their plans or even die alongside them.
Eight of his victims were women of which one even-aged just 15. The only male victim is that of a 20-year-old who confronted Shiraishi about the whereabouts of his girlfriend as stated by Japanese media.
The Twitter killer was detained three years ago by police while they were investigating the disappearance of a 23-year-old woman. She too had allegedly tweeted about killing herself. After she went missing, her brother unearthed the Twitter handle of his sister and found the suspicious handle. Shiraishi’s Twitter profile contained the words, “I want to help people who are really in pain. Please DM me anytime.”
Following this lead, police were then able to uncover his grisly house of horrors, on the morning of Halloween 2017. In a bid to hide evidence, nine dismembered bodies with as many as 240 bone parts were stashed in coolers and toolboxes. They had been sprinkled with cat litter as well.
According to Shiraishi, he had not planned of getting caught and even boasted of not being identified until his final killing. On Wednesday, more than 600 people lined up for 13 public gallery seats to observe the first hearing.
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