Japan’s ‘Twitter Killer’ sentenced to death for murdering 9 people

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Tokyo [Japan], December 15  Takahiro Shiraishi, also known as the “Twitter killer” was sentenced to death by a Tokyo court for murdering nine people whom he met on social media.
A Japanese court on Thursday sentenced him to death. Trial of the case began in September at the Tachikawa branch of the Tokyo District Court.
The remains of the victims including eight women and one man, aged 15 to 26, who were found at an apartment in the city of Zama in Kanagawa Prefecture, near Tokyo, in October 2017, NHK World reported.
Shiraishi, nicknamed as “the Twitter Killer” had confessed meeting with eight women over social media. He has been charged with sexually assaulting, murdering and theft of the victims’ belongings and abandoning the victims’ remains in coolers.
The death sentence against Shiraishi was prompted by the “extreme seriousness” of his crimes. A judge said Shiraishi had not just murdered his victims but had “trampled on the dignity of the dead,” New York Times quoted the Tokyo court as saying.
Shiraishi later testified that he had at first considered denying his involvement but changed his mind in the face of the overwhelming evidence against him, The New York Times reported.
Victims’ families have demanded death sentence for Shiraishi.
Shiraishi’s defense lawyers have argued that the victims wanted to die and went to see Shiraishi on their own will, but Shiraishi rejected and made it clear that the victims did not give their consent to be killed.
Shiraishi told the court that his aim was to rape the victims and take their money.
On Tuesday, Presiding Judge Yano Naokuni pointed out that none of the victims wanted to be murdered, and that the defendant was found to be fully responsible. He upheld the prosecution’s demand and sentenced Shiraishi to death, NHK World reported.
“I had a hard time making up my mind to do it, but I had done illegal things on a daily basis as part of my work as a scout and had internalised the idea that ‘It’s only a problem if you get caught,” The New York Times quoted the ‘Twitter Killer’ as saying in the court, adding that after the first murder, the rest was easy.

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