Tsutomu Miyazaki

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Tsutomu Miyazaki
Tsutomu Miyazaki.jpg
Born (1962-08-21)August 21, 1962
Itsukaichi, Tokyo, Japan[1]
Died June 17, 2008(2008-06-17) (aged 45)
Cause of death
Hanging
Other names The Otaku Murderer
The Little Girl Murderer
Dracula
Criminal penalty
Death
Killings
Victims 4
Span of killings
1988–1989
Country Japan
State(s) Saitama, Tokyo
Date apprehended
July 23, 1989

Tsutomu Miyazaki (宮﨑 勤 Miyazaki Tsutomu?, August 21, 1962 – June 17, 2008), also known as The Otaku Murderer or The Little Girl Murderer, was a Japanese serial killer, cannibal and necrophile who abducted and murdered four young girls in Saitama Prefecture from August 1988 to June 1989. His crimes were particularly gruesome and also included vampirism as a crime and preservation of body parts as trophies.[2][3]

Background[edit]

Tsutomu's premature birth left him with deformed hands, which were permanently gnarled and fused directly to the wrists, necessitating him to move his entire forearm in order to rotate the hand.[4] Due to his deformity, he was ostracized when he attended Itsukaichi Elementary School, and consequently kept to himself. Although he was originally a star student, his grades at Meidai Nakano High School dropped dramatically; he had a class rank of 40 out of 56 and did not receive the customary admission to Meiji University. Instead of studying English and becoming a teacher as he originally intended, he attended a local junior college, studying to become a photo technician.[4]

In the mid-1980's, Miyazaki moved back into his parents' house and shared a room with his elder sister, near his father's print shop. Miyazaki's family was highly influential in Itsukaichi, where his father owned a newspaper. This, however, did not influence Miyazaki to take over his father's job and he began to enter a downward spiral into his fantasies and thoughts. By the time, he was gifted a car by his parents, but after his arrest, Miyazaki would say that what he really craved was "being listened to about his problems" but saying at the same time, that his parents, more worried about the material than the sentimental—"would have not heard [him]; [he] would've been ignored". In the same confession, he said that by that time, he had begun to ponder suicide.

Miyazaki was rejected by his two younger sisters, and he only found support in his grandfather. Also, according to a High School classmate, Miyazaki suffered from an inferiority complex due to the size of his penis and would not interact with grown-up women. He would attend college tennis matches only to take pictures of the players and then use the pictures to masturbate. In 1984, at the age of 21, Miyazaki began to watch child pornography.

In May 1988, his grandfather died, only to deepen his depression and to isolate him even further. In a desperate attempt to "retain something from him", Miyazaki ate part of his grandfather ashes. A few weeks later, one of his sisters caught him peering on her while she was taking a shower; when she told him to leave, Miyazaki flew into a rage and attacked her. He also attacked his mother when she learned of the incident and demanded him to work more and spend less time with his videos.

Murders[edit]

Between August 1988 and June 1989, Miyazaki mutilated and killed four girls, aged between four and seven, and sexually molested their corpses. He drank the blood of one victim and ate a part of her hand.[5] These crimes—which, prior to Miyazaki's apprehension and trial were named "The Little Girl Murders", and later known as the Tokyo/Saitama Serial Kidnapping Murders of Little Girls (東京・埼玉連続幼女誘拐殺人事件 Tōkyō Saitama renzoku yōjo yūkai satsujin jiken?)—shocked Saitama Prefecture, which had few crimes against children.

During the day, Miyazaki was a mild-mannered employee. Outside of work, he randomly selected children to kill. He terrorized the families of his victims, sending them letters recalling in graphic detail what he had done to their children. To the family of victim Erika Nanba, Miyazaki sent a morbid postcard assembled using words cut out of magazines: "Erika. Cold. Cough. Throat. Rest. Death."

He allowed the corpse of his first victim, Mari Konno, to decompose in the hills near his home, then chopped off the hands and feet, which he kept in his closet. They were recovered upon his arrest. He charred her remaining bones in his furnace, ground them into powder, and sent them to her family in a box, along with several of her teeth, photos of her clothes, and a postcard reading: "Mari. Cremated. Bones. Investigate. Prove."

Police found that the families of the victims had something else in common: all were bothered by silent nuisance phone calls. If they did not pick up the phone, it would sometimes ring for 20 minutes.

On August 22, 1988, one day after Miyazaki's 26th birthday, Mari Konno, a four-year-old girl, vanished while playing at a friend's house. After fruitless attempts to find her, Mari's father contacted the police. Mari Konno had been lured by Miyazaki into his black Nissan Langley and abducted. Miyazaki drove westward of Tokyo and stopped the car under a bridge, in a wooded area. There he sat alongside the girl and both of them stayed there for half an hour until Miyazaki decided to murder her. He then sexually assaulted the corpse, chopped off the girl's hands and feet, took the girl's clothes with him and speeded off.

On October 3, 1988, Miyazaki was driving through rural roads when he spotted seven-year-old Masami Yoshizawa, he offered her a ride and lured her into his car. He drove to the same place he had killed Mari Konno and murdered Masami. Again, he sexually molested the corpse, took the girl's clothes with him and escaped.

On December 12, 1988, four-year-old Erika Namba was returning home from a friend's house when Miyazaki kidnapped her, forcing her into the car. He drove to a parking lot in Naguri, Saitama and forced the girl to sit in the backseat of the car. There, he forced her to take her clothes off and began to take pictures of her. He then murdered the girl, tied her hands and feet to the back, covered the corpse with a bedsheet and placed the body in his car's trunk. Afterward, he dropped the girl's clothes in a wooded area and dumped the body in a wooded area near the parking lot.

On June 6, 1989, Miyazaki committed his last murder, when he convinced five-year-old Ayako Nomoto to allow him to take pictures of her. He then lured her into his car and murdered her. He covered the corpse with a bedsheet and placed it in his car's trunk. This time, Miyazaki took the body to his apartment where he purchased a new camera to take pictures of the body in different positions. He spent the next two days sexually molesting the corpse, taking pictures and filming it.

When the body began to decompose, Miyazaki dismembered it, abandoning the torso in a cemetery and the head in a nearby hills while he kept the hands, from which he drank some blood and ate part of them. Fearing that police would find the corpse, he returned to the cemetery and the hills two weeks later and took the rest back to his apartment, hiding it all in his closet.

Arrest[edit]

On July 23, 1989, Miyazaki attempted to insert a zoom lens into the vagina of a grade school-aged girl in a park near her home and was apprehended by the girl's father. After fleeing naked on foot, Miyazaki eventually returned to the park to retrieve his Toyota car, whereupon he was arrested by police who had responded to a call by the grandfather. A search of Miyazaki's two-room bungalow turned up a collection of 5,763 videotapes, some containing anime and slasher films (later used as reasoning for his crimes). Interspersed among them was video footage and pictures of his victims. He was also reported to be a fan of horror films and had an extensive collection. Miyazaki, who retained a perpetually calm and collected demeanor during his trial, appeared indifferent to his capture.

The media soon called him "The Otaku Murderer". His killings fueled a moral panic against otaku, accusing anime and horror films of making him a murderer. However, these reports were disputed: in Eiji Otsuka's book on the crime, he argued that Miyazaki's collection of pornography was probably added or amended by a photographer in order to highlight his perversity.[6] Another critic, Fumiya Ichihashi, suspected the released information was playing up to public stereotypes and fears about otaku, as the police knew they would help cement a conviction.[7]

Miyazaki's father refused to pay for his son's legal defense, and eventually committed suicide in 1994.[8]

Trial and execution[edit]

The trial began on March 30, 1990. Often talking nonsensically, he blamed his atrocities on "Rat Man", an alter ego who Miyazaki claimed forced him to kill; he spent a great deal of the trial drawing "Rat Man" in cartoon form.[9] However, the Tokyo District Court judged him still aware of the gravity and consequences of his crimes and therefore accountable. He was sentenced to death on April 14, 1997. His death sentence was upheld by both the Tokyo High Court, on June 28, 2001, and the Supreme Court of Justice on January 17, 2006.[10]

He described his serial murders as an "act of benevolence" and never apologized.[11][12] Child killer Kaoru Kobayashi described himself as "the next Tsutomu Miyazaki or Mamoru Takuma."[13] However, Miyazaki claimed that "I won't allow him to call himself 'the second Tsutomu Miyazaki' when he hasn't even undergone a psychiatric examination."[14]

Kunio Hatoyama signed his death warrant and Miyazaki was hanged on June 17, 2008.[15][16] Although the unusual swiftness of his execution as well as its timing soon after the Akihabara massacre prompted questions regarding the two incidents,[17][18] the Ministry of Justice had no comment.[19] Ryuzo Saki said, "His trial was long" and that he was "not willing to criticize Hatoyama."[20]

Victims[edit]

Deceased

  1. Mari Konno (今野真理 Konno Mari?): Four years old
  2. Masami Yoshizawa (吉沢正美 Yoshizawa Masami?): Seven years old
  3. Erika Nanba (難波絵梨香 Nanba Erika?): Four years old
  4. Ayako Nomoto (野本綾子 Nomoto Ayako?): Five years old

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 一橋(2003)、pp.61-62
  2. ^ "Japan executes notorious cannibal killer". AFP. 2008-06-17. Retrieved 2008-06-17. 
  3. ^ "Miyazaki unrepentant to the last / Serial child killer goes to execution without apologizing or explaining his thinking". Yomiuri Shimbun (Tokyo). 2008-06-18. Archived from the original on 2008-06-21. Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  4. ^ a b Charles T. Whipple. "The Silencing of the Lambs". Archived from the original on 2007-08-18. Retrieved 2008-03-05.  Internet Archive copy.
  5. ^ "Serial child-killer hanged as Japan steps up death penalty". The Scotsman (Edinburgh). 2008-06-17. Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  6. ^ Kousetsu Kamiya. "大塚英志『「おたく」の精神史』" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2008-03-09. 
  7. ^ "Miyazaki Tsutomu Jiken". Japanese Literature Webring. Retrieved 2008-02-18. 
  8. ^ "Japan executes notorious cannibal killer". AFP. 2008-06-17. Retrieved 2008-06-17. 
  9. ^ Lewis, Leo (June 17, 2008). "Japanese 'cannibal killer' executed in Tokyo". The Times (London). Retrieved 2008-06-17. 
  10. ^ "Japan's Supreme Court upholds death penalty on child killer". People's Daily (Beijing). Xinhua. January 17, 2006. Retrieved 2008-02-15. 
  11. ^ "異常な犯罪、遺族への謝罪もなく…宮崎死刑囚". Yomiuri Shimbun (in Japanese) (Tokyo). 2008-06-17. Retrieved 2008-06-17. [dead link]
  12. ^ Ryall, Julian (2008-06-17). "Nerd cult murderer executed". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 2008-06-17. 
  13. ^ "Defendant admits abducting and killing schoolgirl in Nara". The Japan Times. Kyodo News. 2005-04-19. Retrieved 2008-06-17. 
  14. ^ "Miyazaki unrepentant to the last / Serial child killer goes to execution without apologizing or explaining his thinking". Yomiuri Shimbun (Tokyo). 2008-06-18. Archived from the original on 2008-06-21. Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  15. ^ "Japan executes 3, including serial killer who mutilated young girls". International Herald Tribune (Neuilly-sur-Seine, France). Associated Press. 2008-06-17. Archived from the original on 2008-08-04. Retrieved 2012-04-10. 
  16. ^ Harden, Blaine (2008-06-17). "Japan Hangs Three Killers As Pace of Executions Rises". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  17. ^ Foster, Martin (2008-06-18). "Japan Hangs Three Convicted Killers". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-06-17. 
  18. ^ "無差別殺人への抑止効果?宮崎勤死刑執行". Nikkan Sports (in Japanese) (Tokyo). 2008-06-18. Archived from the original on 2008-06-22. Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  19. ^ "宮崎死刑囚に「スピード」死刑執行 囁かれる「秋葉原事件」の影響?" (in Japanese). J-CAST. 2008-06-17. Retrieved 2008-06-17. 
  20. ^ "作家佐木隆三さん「長い裁判だった」". Nikkan Sports (in Japanese) (Tokyo). 2008-06-18. Archived from the original on 2008-06-19. Retrieved 2008-06-18.