Photo/IllutrationA post from Takahiro Shiraishi's “Kubitsuri-shi” Twitter account says: “I want to spread knowledge about hanging. I want to be of assistance for those who are truly in pain. Please feel free to contact me.” (From Twitter)

Takahiro Shiraishi’s online attempts to connect with suicidal women began in March, but he started killing them only after he lived alone and had no intention of ending his crime spree, police said.

Shiraishi, 27, was arrested on Oct. 31 on suspicion of abandoning a body. Severed body parts, including heads, legs and arms, of nine people were found in coolers and storage boxes at his apartment in Zama, Kanagawa Prefecture.

Police are trying to determine what led Shiraishi to start targeting suicidal women on Twitter, as well as to establish a timeline for his brutal actions.

Shiraishi, who has admitted to killing the nine people--eight women and one man--and dismembering their bodies, has said he took money from the victims.

“I wanted to live with ease,” police quoted Shiraishi as saying about his motive.

Police, however, said they are not convinced this was the reason for his actions.

Shiraishi is believed to have portrayed himself as a suicide expert or someone willing to join a group suicide on Twitter as a way to lure women to his home.

“I started to post messages about suicide on Twitter in March this year, and I had exchanged tweets with women ever since,” investigative sources quoted him as saying.

A month earlier, he was arrested by Ibaraki prefectural police on suspicion of introducing women to adult entertainment shops knowing that they would be forced into prostitution.

He was released on bail and returned to his family home in Zama in March, when he set up the Twitter accounts.

During the period when he exchanged messages with women who responded to his tweets about suicide, he was convicted of violating of the Employment Security Law in May by the Mito District Court’s Tsuchiura branch. His sentence of 14 months in prison, suspended for three years, was finalized in June.

Around this time he told his father, “I do not know what I am living for.”

He moved to a small apartment in Zama on Aug. 22, and created a Twitter account under the username of “Shinitai” (Want to die) on the same day. He set up another account under the name “Kubitsuri-shi” (Expert on hanging) on Sept. 15.

Police believe that Shiraishi used multiple accounts to become acquainted with women who had pessimistic views on life. In his attempts to lure them to his apartment, his messages included, “Let’s die together.”

Police said Shiraishi acknowledged that his posts about wanting to die “were all lies.”

He also said, “When I met those women, they said, ‘I want you to listen to me,’ and none of them wanted to die,” according to police.

Three coolers and four large storage boxes at his apartment contained body parts.

Another large empty box normally used to store industrial tools was also found at the apartment. Police suspect that Shiraishi intended to use this box for the remains of future victims.

Shiraishi told police that he once brought home three coolers on his bicycle.

“I have a driver’s license, but I cannot drive a car,” he said. “I was going to throw away the bodies one day, but I could not because (my actions) would be revealed.”

On his “Kubitsuri-shi” account, he tweeted on Oct. 21: “There are always bullies at schools and work places. If (you) cannot feel comfortable at the place you have to go every day or get along with someone you meet every day, (you) will be increasingly worn out spiritually.

“I think there are so many people who are suffering after attempting suicide, which is never covered in the news. I want to be of assistance for those people.”


Timeline of the incidents

February 2017: Ibaraki prefectural police arrest Takahiro Shiraishi on suspicion of violating the Employment Security Law.

Around March: Shiraishi is released on bail and starts posting messages about suicide on Twitter.

Around June: Shiraishi tells his father, “There is no meaning in my life.”

Aug. 22: Shiraishi moves to an apartment in Zama and creates a Twitter account under the user name of “Shinitai” (Want to die).

Late August: Shiraishi kills first woman, according to his statement to police.

Sept. 15: Shiraishi creates another Twitter account under “Kubitsuri-shi” (Expert on hanging) and tweets about how to commit suicide.

Oct. 24: A man reports the disappearance of his younger sister, a 23-year-old woman in Hachioji, western Tokyo.

Oct. 30: Investigators discover bodies of two people at Shiraishi’s apartment.

Oct. 31: Police arrest Shiraishi on suspicion of abandoning the body of one of nine people whose remains are found in his apartment.