Murder of Junko Furuta

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Junko Furuta
古田 順子
Junkofurutaportrait.jpg
Born(1971-01-18)18 January 1971[1][2][3]
Died4 January 1989(1989-01-04) (aged 17)
Cause of deathTraumatic shock[4]
Body discoveredKōtō City, Tokyo, Japan
OccupationHigh school student
Known forMurder and torture victim

Junko Furuta (古田 順子, Furuta Junko) was a Japanese high school student who was abducted, raped, tortured and murdered in the late 1980s. Her murder case was called the "concrete-encased high school girl murder case" (女子高生コンクリート詰め殺人事件), due to her body being discovered in a concrete drum. The abuse was mainly perpetrated by four teenage boys, Hiroshi Miyano, Jō Ogura, Shinji Minato, and Yasushi Watanabe, over a period of 40 days from November 1988 to January 1989.

The crime was believed to be the "worst case of juvenile delinquency" in post-war Japan.[5]

Background[edit]

Furuta was born in Misato, Saitama Prefecture. She lived with her parents, her elder brother, and her younger brother.[6] As a teenager, she attended Yashio-Minami High School and worked part-time at a plastic molding factory during after school hours since October 1988. She did this to save up money for a graduation plan she had arranged.[7] Furuta also accepted a job at an electronics retailer, where she planned on working after graduation.[5] At high school, Furuta was well-liked by her classmates, with high grades and very infrequent absences.

The perpetrators were four teenage boys: Hiroshi Miyano (宮野裕史, Miyano Hiroshi, 18 years old), Jō Ogura (小倉譲, Ogura Jō, 17), Shinji Minato (湊伸治, Minato Shinji, 16), and Yasushi Watanabe (渡邊恭史, Watanabe Yatsushi, 17), who were respectively referred to as "A", "B", "C", and "D" in court documents. At the time of the crime, they used the second floor of Minato's house as a hangout, and had previously engaged in crimes including purse snatching, extortion, and rape.[8][9]

Crime[edit]

On 25 November 1988, Miyano and Minato wandered around Misato with the intention of robbing and raping local women.[8] At 8:30 p.m., they spotted Furuta riding her bike home after she had finished a shift at her job. Under Miyano's orders, Minato kicked Furuta off her bike and fled the scene.[8] Miyano, under the pretense of witnessing the attack by coincidence, approached Furuta and offered to walk her home safely.[8] Furuta, accepting this offer, was unaware that Miyano was leading her to a nearby warehouse, where he revealed his yakuza connections. He raped her in the warehouse and again in a nearby hotel, threatening to kill her. From the hotel, Miyano called Minato and his other friends, Jō Ogura and Yasushi Watanabe, and bragged to them about the rape. Ogura reportedly asked Miyano to keep her in captivity in order to allow numerous people to sexually assault her. The group had a history of gang rape and had recently kidnapped and raped another girl, whom they released afterward.[8]

Around 3:00 a.m., Miyano took Furuta to a nearby park, where Minato, Ogura, and Watanabe were waiting.[8] They had learned her home address from a notebook in her backpack and told her that they knew where she lived, and that yakuza members would kill her family if she attempted to escape. The four boys overpowered her, took her to a house in the Ayase district of Adachi, and gang-raped her.[8] The house, which was owned by Minato's parents, soon became their regular gang hangout.[10]

On 27 November, Furuta's parents contacted the police about her disappearance. To discourage further investigation, the kidnappers forced her to call her mother and say she had run away, but was safe and staying with some friends.[11] They also forced Furuta to stop the police investigation. When Minato's parents were present, Furuta was forced to act as his girlfriend.[11] They dropped this pretense when it became clear that Minato's parents would not report them to the police.[10] The Minatos stated that they did not intervene because they were aware of Miyano's yakuza connections and feared retaliation, and because their own son was increasingly violent toward them.[10] Minato's brother was also aware of the situation, but did nothing to prevent it.[citation needed]

The group held Furuta captive in the Minato residence for 40 days, where they repeatedly beat, raped, and tortured her.[8] According to their statements, the four shaved her pubic hair, forced her to dance to music while naked and masturbate in front of them, and left her on the balcony in the middle of the night with little clothing. They inserted objects into her vagina and anus, including a lit match, a metal rod, and a bottle, and forced her to smoke multiple cigarettes at once, inhale paint thinner, and drink large amounts of alcohol, milk, and water. In one incident, Miyano repeatedly burned Furuta's legs and arms with lighter fluid. By the end of December, Furuta was severely malnourished after being fed only small amounts of food and eventually only milk.[8] Due to her severe injuries and infected burns, she became unable to go to the downstairs toilet, and became confined to the floor of Minato's room in a state of extreme weakness.[8]

On 4 January 1989, after losing a game of mahjong, Miyano decided to vent his anger on Furuta. The group kicked and punched her, ignited a candle and dripped hot wax on her face, placed two short candles on her eyelids, and forced her to drink her own urine. After kicking her, she fell onto a stereo unit and collapsed into a fit of convulsions.[8] Since she was bleeding profusely, and pus was emerging from her infected burns, the four boys covered their hands in plastic bags, so that her pus wouldn't get on their hands.[8] They continued to beat her and dropped an iron exercise ball onto her stomach several times. They poured lighter fluid onto her thighs, arms, face, and stomach and set her on fire once again.[8] Furuta allegedly made attempts to put out the fire, but gradually became unresponsive.[8] The attack reportedly lasted two hours. Furuta eventually succumbed to her wounds and died.[8]

Less than 24 hours after her death, Minato's brother called to tell him that Furuta appeared to be dead. Afraid of being penalized for murder, the group wrapped her body in blankets and shoved her into a travel bag. They then put her body in a 55-gallon (208 liter) drum and filled it with wet concrete. Around 8:00 p.m., they loaded it and eventually disposed the drum into a cement truck in Kōtō, Tokyo.[12]

On 23 January 1989, Miyano and Ogura were arrested for the gang-rape of the 19-year-old girl whom they had kidnapped in December. On 29 March, two police officers came to interrogate them, as women's underwear had been found at their addresses. During the interrogation, Miyano believed that one of the officers were aware of his culpability in Furuta's murder. Thinking that Jō Ogura had confessed to the crimes against Furuta, Miyano told the police where to find Furuta's body. The police were initially puzzled by the confession, as they had been referring to the murder of a different woman and her seven-year-old son that had occurred nine days prior to Furuta's abduction. That case remains unsolved to this day.

The police found the drum containing Furuta's body the following day. She was identified via fingerprints. On 1 April 1989, Jō Ogura was arrested for a separate sexual assault, and subsequently re-arrested for Furuta's murder. The arrest of Watanabe, Minato, and Minato's brother followed. Several other accomplices who participated in Furuta's abuse were officially identified, including Tetsuo Nakamura and Koichi Ihara, who were charged with rape after their DNA was found on and inside the victim's body.[8]

Prosecution[edit]

Miyano in a school portrait

Despite the brutality of their crime, the identities of the boys were sealed by the court as they were all considered to be juveniles at the time of the crime. Journalists from the Shūkan Bunshun (週刊文春) magazine discovered their identities, however, and published them.[11] They stated that, given the severity of the crime, the accused did not deserve to have their right to anonymity upheld. All four boys pled guilty to "committing bodily injury that resulted in death", rather than murder.

In July 1990, a lower court sentenced Hiroshi Miyano, the alleged leader of the crime, to 17 years in prison.[12][8] He appealed his sentence, but Tokyo High Court judge Ryūji Yanase sentenced him to an additional three years in prison. The 20-year sentence is the second-highest sentence given in Japan before life imprisonment.[12][8] He was 18 at the time of the murder. Miyano's mother reportedly paid 50 million yen (US$425,000) in compensation, ordered by the civil court, after selling their family home.[13]

Miyano was denied parole in 2004. In January 2013, Miyano was re-arrested for fraud. Due to insufficient evidence, he was released without charge later that month.[citation needed]

Nobuharu Minato, who originally received a four-to-six-year sentence, was re-sentenced to five-to-nine years by Judge Ryūji Yanase upon appeal.[12][8] He was 16 at the time of the murder. Minato's parents and brother were not charged. Furuta's parents were dismayed by the sentences received by their daughter's killers and won a civil suit against the parents of Nobuharu Minato, in whose home the crimes were committed.[14] After his release, Minato moved in with his mother. He has not worked since.[citation needed] In 2018, Minato was arrested again for attempted murder after beating a 32-year-old man with a metal rod and slashing his throat with a knife.[15][16]

Yasushi Watanabe, who was originally sentenced to three-to-four years in prison, received an upgraded sentence of five-to-seven years.[12][8] He was 17 at the time of the murder.

For his role in the crime, Jō Ogura served eight years in a juvenile prison before he was released in August 1999. He was 17 at the time of the murder. After his release, he is said to have boasted about his role in the kidnapping, rape and torture of Furuta.[10] In July 2004, he was arrested for assaulting Takatoshi Isono, an acquaintance he thought his girlfriend may have been involved with. Ogura tracked Isono down, beat him, and shoved him into his truck. He drove him from Adachi to his mother's bar in Misato, where he allegedly beat Isono for four hours. During that time, Ogura repeatedly threatened to kill the man, telling him that he had killed before and knew how to get away with it. He was sentenced to seven years in prison for the assault on Isono and has since been released. Ogura's mother allegedly vandalized Furuta's grave, stating that she had ruined her son's life.[17] It has also been reported that Ogura had depleted his father's savings, money which was intended to be provided as restitution to Furuta's family, buying and consuming a number of luxury goods.

The sentences were largely regarded [18] as being far too light for the crimes committed, and all four individuals were protected by special provisions applied to individuals 18 years old and younger.

During sentencing, the judge commented that "exceptionally grave and atrocious violence" had been inflicted upon the victim, and that Junko Furuta had been "murdered so brutally at the young age of 17, [that her] soul must be wandering in torment".[citation needed] Upon hearing the details of the brutal rape and torture, a spectator in the gallery fainted.[citation needed] Furuta's mother also reportedly had a mental breakdown, which required psychiatric treatment.[citation needed]

Aftermath[edit]

Junko Furuta's funeral was held on 2 April 1989. One of her friends' memorial address stated:

Jun-chan, welcome back. I have never imagined that we would see you again in this way. You must have been in so much pain…so much suffering… The happi we all made for the school festival looked really good on you. We will never forget you. I have heard that the principal has presented you with a graduation certificate. So we graduated together – all of us. Jun-chan, there is no more pain, no more suffering. Please rest in peace…

Furuta's intended future employer presented her parents with the uniform she would have worn in the position she had accepted. The uniform was placed in her casket. At her graduation, Furuta's school principal presented her a high school diploma, which was given to her parents. The location near where Furuta's body was discovered has been developed since and is now Wakasu park.[19]

At least three books have been written about the crime.[20] An exploitation film, Joshikōsei konkurīto-zume satsujin-jiken [ja] (女子高生コンクリート詰め殺人事件), about the incident was directed by Katsuya Matsumura in 1995. Yujin Kitagawa (later a member of the music duo Yuzu) played the role of the principal culprit, and Mai Sasaki played the role of Furuta.[21][22][23] The case was also the inspiration for the film Concrete in 2004,[citation needed] and the manga 17-sai.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "古田順子の両親の現在や生い立ち!女子高生コンクリート事件の被害者まとめ". MATOMEDIA [マトメディア]|芸能・ゴシップ・事件まとめ (in Japanese). 4 January 2020. Retrieved 16 April 2021.
  2. ^ "古田順子の生い立ちや両親の現在~飯島愛コンクリート事件関与のデマも総まとめ". NewSee|有名人の現在・芸能・ゴシップ・事件まとめ (in Japanese). 10 February 2020. Retrieved 16 April 2021.
  3. ^ "【女子高生コンクリート詰め殺人事件】被害者の遺族の現在や犯人のその後など真実に迫る | 女性が映えるエンタメ・ライフマガジン". windy-windy.net (in Japanese). Retrieved 16 April 2021.
  4. ^ 「週刊アサヒ芸能」1989-04-20, page 174
  5. ^ a b "古田順子の生い立ちや両親の現在~飯島愛コンクリート事件関与のデマも総まとめ". NewSee (in Japanese). 10 December 2019. Retrieved 1 January 2020.
  6. ^ douga bubble (26 December 2017), 女子高生コンクリ殺人 当時の報道6, retrieved 11 April 2019
  7. ^ "古田順子の両親の現在や生い立ち!女子高生コンクリート事件の被害者まとめ". MATOMEDIA [マトメディア]|芸能エンタメ・ニュースまとめ (in Japanese). 4 January 2020. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t "Full text of the Tokyo High Court's ruling on the Junko Furuta case" (in Japanese). Tokyo High Court. 12 July 1991.
  9. ^ Tanihara, Keisuke; Kojima, Satoru; Nakajima, Yutaka; Mizuno, Takeya (1 July 2005). "The Media Naming of Adult Criminals with Juvenile Criminal Records: The 1989 Concrete-Packing Murder Case and 2004 Assault Case (Part 1)". Information and Communication Studies. Bunkyo University, Faculty of Information and Communications. 33: 331–344.
  10. ^ a b c d Yumi, Wijers-Hasegawa (29 July 2004). "Man who killed as child back in court". The Japan Times.
  11. ^ a b c Hawkins, Kristal (21 February 2013). "Japanese Horror Story: The Torture of Junko Furuta". Crime Library. Archived from the original on 22 February 2013. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
  12. ^ a b c d e "Rapist, Murderer Given 20-Year Sentence". The Daily Yomiuri. Sunday 13 July 1991. Page 2. Retrieved from LexisNexis on 29 September 2009.
  13. ^ "Chilling Details About The Murder of Junko Furuta AKA The Concrete-Encased High School Girl Murder". Ranker. Retrieved 20 November 2019.
  14. ^ "Jo Kamisaku Today".
  15. ^ https://www.tokyoreporter.com/crime/junko-furuta-killer-again-on-trial-chaos-in-the-courtroom/amp/
  16. ^ https://www.tokyoreporter.com/crime/junko-furuta-killer-arrested-for-attempted-murder-3-decades-later/amp/
  17. ^ "神作譲(小倉譲)の現在は?【再犯】三郷市逮捕監禁致傷事件まとめ! | 素敵女子の暮らしのバイブルJelly[ジェリー]". jelly-media.jp (in Japanese). Retrieved 20 November 2019.
  18. ^ https://www.tokyoreporter.com/crime/junko-furuta-killer-again-on-trial-chaos-in-the-courtroom/amp/
  19. ^ "JKコンクリート詰め41日間もまわされ続けた畜生事イ牛の全て。犯人達の現在がヤバすぎ・・・ ※実写化 動画あり※". サンサーラ速報 (in Japanese). 19 October 2017. Retrieved 20 November 2019.
  20. ^ 渥美饒兒『十七歳、悪の履歴書-女子高生コンクリート詰め殺人事件』作品社、2003年。ISBN 4878935723.
    門野晴子『女子高生コンクリート詰め殺人事件―彼女のくやしさがわかりますか?』おんな通信社編、社会評論社、1990年。
    佐瀬稔『うちの子が、なぜ!―女子高生コンクリート詰め殺人事件』草思社、1990年。 ISBN 479420390X.
  21. ^ Joshikôsei konkuriito-dume satsujin-jiken at IMDb
  22. ^ "Filme mit Beteiligung von Yujin Kitagawa" (in German). Archived from the original on 11 June 2009. Retrieved 9 March 2008.
  23. ^ https://filmarks.com/movies/82908

External links[edit]