He couldn’t figure out how to dispose of the bodies without getting caught, so police say suspected serial killer, 27-year-old Takahiro Shiraishi, stored his victims in cooler boxes around his apartment.
Police began investigating Shiraishi when a missing 23-year-old woman posted various statements on an online suicide website indicating that she was looking for someone to enter into a suicide pact with her. Investigators believe that the woman had met up with Shiraishi after penning the posts, never to be seen again.
The victim’s brother reported the woman missing on October 24, 2017. After logging into the victim’s computer, her brother reported that he believed she had been in contact with Shiraishi. Surveillance footage police were able to obtain showed both the woman and Shiraishi walking together on October 23rd, the day before she had been reported missing.
Shiraishi admitted to investigators that he had killed the missing woman shortly after they connected through Twitter. He claimed he had been killing and dismembering his victims since he moved into his apartment in Zama, Kanagawa Prefecture last August. Inside of Shiraishi’s apartment, detectives found parts and pieces of his nine alleged victims stored in coolers and covered in cat litter in order to mask the putrid scent. A saw was also found in the apartment that Shiraishi said he used to dismember his victims in his bathtub after killing them and taking their money.
Neighbors were flabbergasted upon learning that the “cheerful, kind and polite man” had been a cold-blooded killer, but at least one neighbor told the Japan Times that they had noticed an “odd smell” emanating from Shirashi’s apartment. Those who did notice the pungent odor claimed they thought it was sewage.
As a country who proudly boasts some of the lowest murder rates in the world, there is little doubt that the news of a serial killer in their midst came as a shock to all of Japan.