A man who admitted to killing, dismembering and storing the bodies of nine people who had expressed suicidal thoughts faces the death penalty.
Takahiro Shiraishi, 30, pleaded guilty to murdering eight women and one man in a 2017 two-month killing spree.
Shiraishi is understood to have discovered his victims using his Twitter handle which loosely translated to "Hangman".
His victims expressed suicidal thoughts on the platform and Shiraishi invited them to his apartment in Tokyo, Japan, offering to help them die.
The killer’s defence team argued Shiraishi had their approval as they met after sending direct messages to the defendant on Twitter such as "let's die together" and "please kill me by hanging".
Despite this, Shiraishi maintained "there was no consent" given by his victims and said on Wednesday, November 25: "I humbly admit my guilt and will accept the punishment."
The defence also argued Shiraishi was either mentally incompetent or was in a state of diminished capacity at the time and should not be held criminally liable.
In September 2018, Shiraishi was put through five months of psychiatric testing and prosecutors concluded he can be held criminally liable.
Prosecutors also pointed out there was no way the victims consented to be killed based on Shiraishi's testimony that they resisted when being strangled.
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Shiraishi now faces the death penalty for his crimes following at the Tachikawa branch of the Tokyo District Court.
A prosecutor said: "Nine young lives were taken in such a short period of two months."
They added that Shiraishi’s crimes "deserve death".
For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.
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