Firstly, we want to analyze the evolution of homicides through the Internet. We can confirm that this increase with the intensification of the use of the network.
On October 30, 2017, the dismembered bodies of nine people were found in an apartment in Zama City. Shiraishi Takahiro, accused of theft, rape and murder, used social networks to contact women who posted messages of suicidal tendencies and invited them to their home with the false promise of taking their lives with them.
In addition, Shiraishi’s treacherous network did not only extend to the nine victims from whom he took his life; other people must have been spared by chance from the same fate.
The conversation of Shiraishi Takahiro with a high school student through Line:
- Shiraishi: You seem to be suffering a lot. Do you want to die?
- Girl: I tried to hang myself twice, but I didn’t make it. I’m very anxious.
- Shiraishi: If you are well informed about how to tie the rope, how to place the cushioning, from what height, and what medications to take, you will succeed. (…) Those who say that it is a painful method in which one suffers and that one can fail have not researched how to die without suffering. (…) Try it and, if you see that it is painful, stop and that’s it. Shall we try it?
When Shiraishi speaks from Tachikawa prison, he doesn’t even try to hide his egocentric insides and issues statements such as “I did it to satisfy my greed and my lust” or “I don’t regret what I did at all.
From “Doctor Kiriko’s case” to contacts that end in murder
However, network homicide cases have been going on for years. The oldest is the so-called “Doctor Kiriko case”, which occurred in December 1998.
The year of Internet deployment in Japan is considered to be 1995, when Windows 95 came on the market. On the other hand, that year there were 32,863 suicides, exceeding 30,000 also for the first time.
Subsequently, however, the nature of Internet-related events began to change, giving way to homicides in which murderer and victim meet through virtual contact platforms.
The Internet Suicide Epidemic
As a result, incidents like those described above are forced to prohibit children under the age of 18 from accessing dating platforms. Also, local initiatives were also undertaken to filter the users of such sites, such as the imposition of child protection ordinances.
In September 2003, a 46-year-old businessman was stabbed in the Tokiota district of Chūō; a 19-year-old boy living in Kawagoe (Saitama) was arrested as a suspect. Both subjects met through a virtual message platform in which the victim asked the aggressor to end his life. It was, therefore, an attempted murder at the victim’s request. Apparently, the entrepreneur intended to pay off the debts of the business with his life insurance money.
That year Japan reached the historic peak of suicides, with 34,427 cases. The country suffered an economic downturn between 2001 and 2003, with the unemployment rate exceeding 5 %.