Japan’s “Twitter Killer” pleads guilty to a series of murder in the country.
In a case that dates back to 2017, a Japanese man murdered, dismembered, and stored his victims’ bodies in his apartment, according to The Japan Times.
The 29-year-old defendant, Takahiro Shiraishi, admitted to all nine murders in court, Wednesday.
His Twitter name loosely translates to “Hangman.”
He told the Tachikawa branch of the Tokyo District Court that the accusations were indeed “correct.”
Shiraishi handpicked individuals aged between 15 and 26, who initially conveyed suicidal thoughts on Twitter, Channel News Asia(CNA) reported.
Shiraishi: I Want to Help Miserable People
The media tagged him as the “Twitter killer” for his MO of approaching his victims on the said online platform, per The Japan Times.
His Twitter profile declares he wants to assist individuals who are going through “pain,” BBC reported in 2017.
He also encouraged people to “please DM [direct message]” him anytime.
Shiraishi would then invite them to his home to help them die, sources told The Japan Times.
The sources said that Shirahshi searched the web for methods of mutilation, even purchased tools, and also trained in knot tying.
Furthermore, Shiraishi allegedly stole cash from his victims and s**ually molested all the female victims.
We Beg to Differ
Despite his confession, Shiraishi’s lawyers argued that the charges should be scaled down, per CNA.
The suicidal victims, after all, gave their so-called thumbs up via Twitter, to be killed.
His lawyers, thus, want the charges to be reduced to “murder with consent.”
Meaning, he could receive a prison sentence of between six months and seven years for consensual homicide.
However, if convicted of murder, Shiraishi would face the death penalty through hanging.
How it All Came to Light
A 23-year-old woman vanished in 2017 after tweeting that she wanted to end her own life, per CNA.
Her brother then hacked into her Twitter after she went missing, and a suspicious handle caught his attention.
Police subsequently uncovered the mutilated bodies behind the killer’s front door in the morning of Halloween in 2017.
Shiraishi stashed the nine dismembered bodies in coolers and toolboxes.
He then sprinkled cat litter to conceal the evidence.
Twitter Executive’s Reaction
Jack Dorsey of Twitter said that it’s unrealistic to expect the service to auto-delete suicidal tweets, according to a 2017 BBC report.
However, Twitter will “make sure” that it is being used “in positive and healthy ways,” he said.
Moreover, Dorsey added that just “deleting suicidal comments” would not “prevent” individuals from taking their own lives.
Dorsey stressed that linking users to an organization on suicide prevention could help.