Futoshi Matsunaga

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Futoshi Matsunaga
Born (1961-04-28) April 28, 1961 (age 53)
Kitakyushu, Fukuoka, Japan
Killings
Victims 7–9
Span of killings
1996–1998
Country Japan
State(s) Kitakyushu, Fukuoka
Date apprehended
2002

Futoshi Matsunaga (松永 太 Matsunaga Futoshi?, born April 28, 1961) is a Japanese serial killer who both defrauded and tortured his victims in what is publicly known as the Kitakyūshū Serial Murder Incident (北九州連続殺人事件). He was convicted of six counts of murder and one count of manslaughter between 1996 and 1998. He murdered his victims with an accomplice, Junko Ogata.

His crimes were so atrocious that most mass media were not willing to report the details.[1][2] The Japan Times reported that prosecutors said "[the case] is without comparison in the criminal history of our country".[3] Several writers, including Ryuzo Saki, published the details of the crimes.

Early life[edit]

Kokura Kita-ku

Matsunaga was born in Kokura Kita-ku, Kitakyūshū, Fukuoka Prefecture and grew up in Yanagawa. He received good grades in school and had a charming personality, but tended to exhibit disciplinary problems. Eventually he was transferred to another high school because of his relationship with a junior high school girl. He married at 19, and had a son.

In October 1982, during his marriage, he became involved with Junko Ogata, in addition to the ten or so mistresses with whom he was already involved. In 1984 he promised to marry Junko, but Junko's mother, Shizumi, did not approve of Matsunaga's abuse of her daughter. He then raped Shizumi as well.

Junko attempted suicide in February 1985. Matsunaga then convinced Junko that her family hated her because of this. He and Junko began living together in 1985.[4] Two years earlier, Matsunaga opened a futon company named the World, and in 1985 purchased a building in which to operate the company.

Around that time, he began to electrically shock his employees on the third floor of the building.[5] He would sometimes suddenly and vigorously start shouting towards other men, saying things like "there is a spirit behind you! It is sucking away your fortune!" occasionally mixing in religious words like saṃsāra and referring to kami.[6] His wife escaped with her son and accused him of domestic violence.[citation needed] He had stolen 180 million yen (approximately US$2.2 million) through fraud or blackmail.[6]

In 1992, he and Junko evaded police capture and were put on the nation's Most wanted list.

The first two victims[edit]

Matsunaga's first victim was a married woman with three children. In April 1993, he convinced her to leave her husband and run away with him, telling the woman that Junko was his sister. One of her children died under mysterious circumstances in September 1993. Her two other children went to live with their father and grandfather in October 1993.

During their relationship, Matsunaga defrauded the woman for 11.8 million yen (approximately US$145,510). The woman died mysteriously in March 1994, and the police were unable to prove that Matsunaga had killed the woman or her child.[7]

Captivity and murders[edit]

Matsunaga lived in a condominium in Kokura Kita-ku, Kitakyushu. In 1994, he began victimizing Kumio Toraya and his daughter.

Kumio confided to Matsunaga some information about his previous criminal history; Matsunaga then used this information to blackmail Kumio. Kumio even admitted to previous crimes which he had not committed.

Kumio and his daughter were held captive in Matsunaga's room. Matsunaga tortured Kumio with electric shocks, forced him to eat his own feces, and forced his daughter to bite her father.[7] Kumio was 34 when he died of the effects of this abuse on February 26, 1996.

The Kunisaki Peninsula (left) and its surroundings

Matsunaga convinced Kumio's daughter that she had murdered her father.[7] He told Junko and the girl to dispose of the remains. Kumio's remains were thrown into the sea near the Kunisaki Peninsula after being pulverized.

The same year, Matsunaga found another target; a woman who had been an acquaintance of Kumio. Matsunaga promised to marry her. He claimed he was a graduate of Kyoto University.

Matsunaga defrauded the woman of 5.6 million yen (approximately US$69,066). She and her daughter had gone to his room and they were then held captive there. The woman escaped by jumping from the second floor to the ground in March 1997. She was put into the care of a mental hospital and her daughter was released.

One day in April 1997, Junko left for work and did not return. Matsunaga called Junko's family, informing them of her absence. He continued to blackmail Shizumi. He made threats to Junko's family, and told them that Junko was a murderer.

Matsunaga then faked his own suicide. Believing him to be dead, Junko returned, only to find him alive. Matsunaga continued to treat Junko abusively. Matsunaga also raped Junko's married sister, Rieko.

Junko's family gave 63 million yen (approximately US$777,116) to Matsunaga, after which he held them captive. He abused the vaginas of Shizumi and Rieko with electric shocks.[citation needed] He controlled the family in ways similar to the methods that cult-leader Shoko Asahara had used.[8]

On December 21, 1997, he coerced Junko to torture her 61-year-old father, Takashige, to death by electrocution.

After suffering Matsunaga's continued abuse, Shizumi's mental state began to deteriorate. He commanded Rieko and her husband Kazuya to strangle Shizumi on January 20, 1998. She was 58.

Eventually, Rieko began to lose her hearing. On February 10, 1998 Matsunaga commanded Kazuya to strangle Rieko, while their 10-year-old daughter Aya held her down. Rieko was 33.

Matsunaga and Junko then confined Kazuya in a bathroom, where he starved to death on April 13, 1998. He was 38.

Matsunaga forced Junko, Aya, and Kumio's daughter to kill Rieko's 5-year-old son, Yuki. On May 17, 1998 Aya strangled Yuki while Junko and Kumio's daughter held him down.

During the trial, Kumio's daughter testified that Matsunaga and Junko had tortured Aya with electricity. Junko, however, denied Kumio's daughter's testimony about this, saying the girl's recollections might have been inaccurate because of guilt feelings about committing her first murder. Kumio's daughter strangled Aya on June 7, 1998.

Matsunaga and Junko dismembered and boiled their victims' remains in pots. The other residents of the condominium heard strange noises and smelled the stench. The victims' remains were finally disposed of in washrooms or put out to sea. The condominium was renovated after the murders. Matsunaga blamed the murders on Junko, who, with their two children, were the only survivors in her family.

Matsunaga's crimes continued. In July 2000, Matsunaga convinced another woman to go away with him, lured by the prospect of marriage. In August 2001, she gave her twin children to him and Junko. Matsunaga and Junko then convinced the woman to give them 20 million yen (approximately US$246,580), telling her that they would need the money to bring up her children.

Arrest and trial[edit]

Kumio's daughter, who was being held captive, escaped from Matsunaga on January 30, 2002, but Matsunaga found the girl on February 15, 2002 and took her back into captivity. He then tortured the girl with electric shocks.[3]

On March 6, 2002, the girl escaped from Matsunaga again, and reported the crimes to the police. She was 17 years old. The police arrested Matsunaga and Junko the next day when they tried to retrieve the girl. The twins and the couple's two children were taken into police protection.

The media initially reported only that Matsunaga and Junko had held their victims captive, similar to the case of Fusako Sano, but eventually the media revealed the details of the murders Matsunaga and Junko had committed.

The pair were charged with Aya's murder on September 18, 2002; Takashige's murder on October 12, 2002; Shizumi's murder on December 6, 2002; Yuki's murder on January 11, 2003; Kumio's murder on February 3, 2003; Rieko's murder on February 25, 2003; and Kazuya's murder on May 30, 2003.

No murder charges were brought against Kumio's daughter. Junko calmly confessed to her part in the murders, but Matsunaga professed his own innocence. He insisted that the women had fabricated their stories about him. The Japanese police never recovered any human remains and found no physical evidence, so they primarily relied upon the testimonies of Kumio's and Junko's daughters during the police investigation.

On September 28, 2005, a district court in Fukuoka sentenced Matsunaga and Junko to die by hanging.[4] The court tried six cases, but considered that Matsunaga and Junko had not killed Takashige directly, they had only injured him by electric shocks, which later resulted in his death.

The pair appealed the verdict. On September 26, 2007, a high court upheld Matsunaga's original sentence, but Junko's sentence was changed from death by hanging to life imprisonment because Matsunaga had exerted control over Junko to force her to kill the victims.[9][10]

Victims[edit]

  1. Kumio Toraya (虎谷 久美雄 Toraya Kumio?) – The girl's father[11]
  2. Takashige Ogata (緒方 誉 Ogata Takashige?) – Junko's father
  3. Shizumi Ogata (緒方 静美 Ogata Shizumi?) – Junko's mother
  4. Rieko Ogata (緒方 理恵子 Ogata Rieko?) – Junko's sister
  5. Kazuya Ogata (緒方 主也 Ogata Kazuya?) – Rieko's husband
  6. Yūki Ogata (緒方 優貴 Ogata Yūki?) – Junko's nephew
  7. Aya Ogata (緒方 彩 Ogata Aya?) – Junko's niece

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Ryuzo Saki (2005) なぜ家族は殺し合ったのか (Naze kazoku wa koroshiatta noka, translation; Why did the family kill each other?) ISBN 4-413-04120-8
  • Masayoshi Toyoda (2005) 消された一家 北九州・連続監禁殺人事件 (Kesareta ikka: kitakyūshū renzoku kankin satsujin jiken, translation; The Extinguished Family—Serial Captivity-Murders Case in Kitakyushu) ISBN 4-10-300511-4

References[edit]

  1. ^ 夏樹静子が見た北九州監禁殺人裁判 (in Japanese). RKB Mainichi Broadcasting. 2005-06-13. Retrieved 2008-06-26. [dead link]
  2. ^ 中国媒体未能报道的日本杀人案背后 (in Chinese). JNOC NEWS. 2005. Retrieved 2008-02-12. 
  3. ^ a b "Pair accused of slaying 7 face gallows". The Japan Times WEEKLY. 2005-03-12. Retrieved 2008-02-10. 
  4. ^ a b "Pair to hang for seven murders". The Japan Times. 2005-08-29. Retrieved 2008-02-10. 
  5. ^ 脅しの“原点”電気責め、松永被告20代から (in Japanese). Yomiuri Shimbun. 2002-09-19. Archived from the original on 2008-02-01. Retrieved 2008-03-17. 
  6. ^ a b 松永被告「奇妙な顔」、宗教的言動で支配 (in Japanese). Yomiuri Shimbun. 2002-09-25. Retrieved 2008-03-17. [dead link]
  7. ^ a b c 一家惨殺 (in Japanese). MONSTER. Retrieved 2007-11-29. 
  8. ^ なぜ家族は殺し合ったのか (in Japanese). Mitsuharu Matsumoto Laboratory. 2008-03-08. 
  9. ^ "Man's death sentence upheld, woman's reduced to life in murders". BREITBART COM. 2007-09-26. Retrieved 2008-02-10. 
  10. ^ "Serial killer's death sentence upheld". Asahi Shimbun. 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2008-03-15. [dead link]
  11. ^ 逼骨肉相残 行大逆不道 / 北九州连续杀人犯全盘供述 (in Chinese). Chubun Doho. April 2004. Retrieved 2010-09-03. 

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