Japanese Police Arrested A Suspected Serial Killer After Discovering Severed Heads In An Apartment

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The mysterious disappearance of a Japanese woman who tweeted that she was looking for someone to commit suicide with her led investigators to a grisly discovery — two severed heads and a cooler full of assorted body parts. Nine total victims were found in the apartment of Takahiro Shiraishi. Detectives haven’t definitively stated yet whether the woman they were initially investigating is among the eight women found in Mr. Shiraishi’s townhouse, along with one man, but Mr. Shiraishi has admitted to one of the murders and dismembering that individual’s body.

Neighbors indicate that the suspect hasn’t been in the neighborhood long. He moved in only two months ago, after which nearby residents noted a strange odor coming from his home, according to the paper Yomiuri Shimbun. Detectives found the bodies in a cooler packed with cat litter. One neighbor expressed surprise to another local paper, the Maninichi Shimbum: “It’s a quiet residential area here, with a day care centre nearby. I can’t believe the bodies were discovered in an area like this.” Mr. Shiraishi lives in Zama, in the Kanagawa area just southwest of Tokyo.

Such crimes are unusual in Japan, which is noted for its lack of violence compared to other developed countries. The murder rate is a tiny fraction of that in the United States, making this development all the more surprising. Also surprising is how candid Shiraishi has been with the police. A saw was found in his possession, and he told police he used it to dismember the bodies in his bathroom. According to Japanese news sources, he said, “I killed them and did some work on the bodies in order to hide the evidence.”

(Via New York Times)