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The Manga Murder (Dutch: Mangamoord) is a solved Belgian murder case possibly involving a serial killer, referred to as the Manga Killer. The name of the case was coined by the Belgian media and has to do with the notes that were found near the victim. The notes carried a sentence in capital letters and in different colours, originating from the manga series, Death Note: "Watashi wa Kira dess" [sic], a mis-transliteration of "I am Kira" (私はキラです Watashi wa Kira desu). Light Yagami, also known as Kira, is the main character and villain protagonist of the series. In Death Note, Kira goes on a killing spree assisted by his supernatural notebook, trying to cleanse the world of criminals.
On Friday, September 28, 2007, parts of a mutilated corpse, the torso and two thighs, were found in Parc Duden/Dudenpark in Forest, Brussels, by two pedestrians who happened to notice the smell of the rotting parts. A short while later the two notes referring to the Death Note series were found nearby.
- The body was only a day or two old when found, or had been stored in a freezer. Storage in a freezer is plausible because it can explain the surgical precision of the cut.
- The body was Caucasian, between 20 and 30 years old.
- The location of the victim was very close to the highest point of Brussels, possibly a symbolic location since Kira acts as a god of death in the manga.
- The scrotum and thighs of the body were shaved, also possibly pointing in the direction of a psychopathic act.
The detectives mentioned a practical joke by medicine students as one of the possibilities; the academic year had just started and the students have relatively easy access to dead bodies. Still, the police feared that they were dealing with a serial killer.
A public announcement asking for witnesses received a single reaction. A jogger had seen a blonde man lying down on the same spot where the victim was found two days later. The next day she saw the man again. The witness thought the man was sleeping and did not pay much attention to it. It is not certain that the man was indeed the victim.
The police established cooperation with the group Corpus, who are involved in the investigation of the Mons serial killer, because there was a similar modus operandi. The "clean", meaning straight, cut of the limbs was very similar to that of the so-called garbage bag killings in Mons.
A month after the event, a new article was published in a Belgian newspaper, stating that the detectives still had not achieved any progress in the case.
Conclusion to the case
In June 2013, two suspects (Sidi Mohamed Atir and Abdessamad Azmi) were convicted to prison sentences of 20 years. A third suspect (Zacharia Benaissa) was convicted for a prison term of 23 years. Benaissa went on the run after appearing in court for only one day. He was arrested in Gabon on May 15, 2016 and transferred to Belgium to serve his sentence in Forest prison.
- "'Mangadoder' lokt Japanese media naar Brussel", De Morgen, p. 13, 2007-10-05 (in Dutch)
- "4 Arrested for 2007 Belgian 'Manga Murder' Case". Anime News Network. 2010-09-20.
- Goeman, Thierry (2007-11-24), "Slachtoffer mangamoord kwam uit de diepvries", Gazet van Antwerpen, p. 6 (in Dutch)
- De Coninck, Douglas (2007-10-02), "Mangamoord plaatst politie voor raadsel", De Morgen, p. 13 (in Dutch)
- "Notes left near bodies in Belgium linked to Death Note", Anime News Network, 2007-09-28
- De Coninck, Douglas (2007-10-03), "Een psychopaat of een studentengrap?", De Morgen, p. 11 (in Dutch)
- "Mangamoord mogelijk werk van seriedoder", Het Belang van Limburg, p. 8, 2007-10-03 (in Dutch)
- De Coninck, Douglas (2007-10-04), "Mangamoord: geslachtsdelen slachtoffer waren geschoren", Het Belang van Limburg, p. 13 (in Dutch)
- Lagast, Cedric (2007-10-22), "Slechts één getuige bij 'mangamoord'", Het Laatste Nieuws, p. 4 (in Dutch)
- Brants, Günther (June 14, 2013). "Celstraffen van 20 en 23 jaar in zaak van manga-moord". Het Laatste Nieuws. Retrieved May 30, 2016. (in Dutch)
- FAST Europe’s most wanted Zakaria Benaissa behind bars.