A Japanese court on Tuesday sentenced to death a serial killer, Takahiro Shiraishi, also known as the “Twitter killer” for murdering eight women and a man he met on social media.
Delivering judgment, the Judge, Yano Naokuni, said the death sentence against Shiraishi was prompted by the “extreme seriousness” of his crimes, the New York Times quoted the Tokyo court as saying.
”Shiraishi did not just murder his victims but had trampled on the dignity of the dead,” Naokuni held.
The convicted murderer had testified that he had at first considered denying his involvement but later changed his mind in the face of the overwhelming evidence against him.
Shiraishi, nicknamed “the Twitter Killer” had confessed to meeting with eight women and a man at different times on social media and luring them to an apartment, where he killed them all.
Shiraishi was arraigned before the Tachikawa branch of the Tokyo District Court in September.
He was charged with sexual assault, murder and theft of the victims’ belongings, as well as abandoning the victims’ remains in coolers.
The remains of the victims, aged between 15 and 26, were found at an apartment in the city of Zama in Kanagawa Prefecture, near Tokyo, in October 2017.
The victims’ families and prosecution counsel had during the trial demanded a death sentence for Shiraishi.
His lawyers (defence counsel) had argued that the victims wanted to die and went to see Shiraishi on their own will.
Shiraishi had, however, rejected their submission before the court and made it clear that the victims did not give their consent to be killed by him.
Shiraishi confessed outright before the court that his aim was to rape the victims and take their money.
“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,” he was quoted as saying in court.
He had also told the court that ”after the first murder, the rest was easy.”
Delivering judgment, the Judge held that none of the victims wanted to be murdered, and that the defendant was found to be fully responsible for the crime.
The Judge upheld the prosecution’s demand and sentenced Shiraishi to death accordingly.