Unfortunately, child abduction is nothing rare in many societies. Especially three decades ago, before the dawn of the 24-hour news cycle and Internet, a story involving a missing child would only rarely make it to the evening news. However, the story of Junko Furuta is quite different.
The 17-year old senior was walking home from Yashio-Minami High School on the afternoon of November 22, 1988 when she was approached by 7 boys roughly her age. The ringleader of this clan was thought to be Hiroshi Yokoyama (referred to as “Boy A” in the court documents). Yokoyama led a troubled life and even at the age of 17 he had already served time in a juvenile detention center. Fresh out of jail and allegedly having ties to the Yakuza, Yokoyama had more than just a chip on his shoulder. Some accounts have stated that the boys may have coerced Junko to come with them, leading her to believe that she was in danger and that they would help her. Other accounts relay that the boys surrounded her and forced her to come back to a house where two of the boy’s family lived in Ayase, Adachi, in north-central Tokyo. What is certain is that there she endured 44 days of horror.
One of the first things they did was to make her call her parents and say that she was safe and staying with a friend. This would prolong the time they had to carry on their game of torture and abuse. Then the beatings and rape began. They forced her to masturbate while the boys watched. At least four of the boys took turns raping her, and she was raped repeatedly, day after day. This went on for weeks.
The boys didn’t know Junko. They had no grudge against her. They did it simply because they wanted to and because they could. To them, this poor girl was nothing more than a toy for their sadistic psychopathy.
The atrocities they committed to this poor girl are difficult to image. They starved her – forcing her to eat cockroaches and drink her own urine. They poured hot wax on her face. The dropped heavy weights on her stomach and burned her with cigarettes. They stabbed her chest with sewing needles and stuck lit firecrackers inside her mouth, ears and anus to watch them explode. They burned her eyelids and face with a cigarette lighter. They shoved scalding light bulbs in her vagina and tore off one of her nipples with a pair of pliers.