Dec. 15—TOKYO — A 30-year-old man was sentenced to death in Japan on Tuesday for the murder of nine people whom he met on Twitter.
Takahiro Shiraishi contacted his mostly female victims after they expressed suicidal thoughts on the platform and lured them to his flat, where he sexually assaulted and strangled them.
The court found that the victims did not consent to being killed, which was one of the central questions of the trial of the so-called “Twitter killer.”
The judge at a Tokyo court called the acts of the defendant, who confessed, “extremely evil.”
The murders of the eight women and one man, aged between 15 and 26, happened over the span of two months, according to the indictment.
Shiraishi went on to dismember the bodies, hiding parts in cool crates or tool boxes, or throwing them away.
The victims included the partner of one of his previous victims who came to enquire about her.
Authorities had searched the defendant’s flat in Zama in Kanagawa province as part of an investigation into the disappearance of a 23-year-old.
Japan has had a high suicide rate for decades compared to other countries, although numbers have declined in recent years. Japanese users sometimes use social media to ask for help on ways to commit suicide.
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