Cops Say Japanese Serial Killer Used Twitter to Lure Suicidal Victims

Takahiro Shiraishi​ reportedly admitted to killing nine people since August after police found multiple severed heads and bodies in his apartment.

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Nov 2 2017, 10:25am

Suspect Takahiro Shiraishi covering his face. Photo by The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images.

On Tuesday, Japanese authorities arrested Takahiro Shiraishi, a 27-year-old serial killer who allegedly found his victims on Twitter, the New York Times reports. Shiraishi, who lives about 25 miles outside Tokyo, reportedly admitted to investigators that he's killed nine people since the tail end of August after police uncovered severed heads and the bodies of eight women and one man inside his apartment.

Police started looking into Shiraishi during their search for a missing 23-year-old woman who tweeted on September 20 that she was "looking for someone who will die with [her]." By getting onto her account, the missing woman's brother was able to see that Shiraishi had responded, according to Kyodo News. Cops then reportedly lured the suspect to a train station through another woman he was in contact with, and followed him back to his apartment. That's where they found the bodies of nine people—as well as severed heads hidden in coolers and covered by kitty litter—in what Japanese tabloids are referring to as the "killing room."

"I couldn't throw away [the bodies] out of fear for being caught," Shiraishi explained, according to Kyodo.

Japan has one of the highest suicide rates in the world, and local police believe that Shiraishi used Twitter to lure other suicidal women to his apartment. According to the Mainichi Shimbum, he allegedly used various accounts to communicate with victims that he would delete after committing murder. Shiraishi also reportedly said that the murders were committed so he could steal money, though he admitted to assaulting his female victims too.

Neighbors described the suspect to Kyodo News as alternatively "cheerful" and "creepy." The paper notes the fact that he once worked as a "recruiter for a sex-related business" in Japan as one of very few biographical details. His small apartment apparently reeked, but neighbors didn't complain about the "sewage-type smell" for months, according to the Times. Along with the severed heads and bodies, police also found about 240 bones in the apartment and a saw that is believed to have been used in the murders, the Asahi Shimbun reports.

The crime has rocked Japan, which has extremely stringent gun laws and one of the lowest murder rates in the world. Shiraishi has not been indicted yet, but is expected to face murder and dismemberment charges next week, according to the Independent.

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