A notorious serial killer whose murders of two children in 1997 revolted the nation has risked stoking further public ire by apparently setting up a vanity website on which he says he will post updates about his life.
The site, named Sonzaino Taerarenai Tomeisa (The Unbearable Transparency of Being), declares that it is “former boy A’s official home page.”
Boy A is how the teen killer was referred to at the time of his trial, but he is better known to the nation as Seito Sakakibara, the pseudonym he used while taunting police.
The 14-year-old Sakakibara targeted younger children in a macabre spree in Kobe, leaving two dead and three injured.
He was paroled from a medical reformatory for juveniles in 2004 and was released a year later. Sakakibara published a memoir in June this year which dwelled on his savage attacks and left an air of ambiguity about the extent of his regret. Relatives of the victims expressed horror at its publication, with the father of one calling on stores to pull the book from sale.
There is no confirmation that the website is the work of Sakakibara, but the weekly magazine Shukan Bunshun said Thursday it received a letter from him on Aug. 31 detailing how he came to release the memoir. The letter went on to say he had also set up a home page and gave the URL.
The website declares that it will be the sole source of information about Sakakibara, since he is not a user of online social networking.
It offers biographical details, such as describing him as 165.6 cm tall and 54.3 kg in weight and suffering from expansive delusions.
The “Gallery” section shows nude photos of a man wearing a mask, which viewers are invited to believe is Sakakibara himself. The website purports to show art created by Sakakibara, including photos and drawings of slugs. It also includes comments by him about his favorite books.
Distinctly lacking is an apology or any expression of remorse — to the families of his victims.
Sakakibara appears to want to engage people. The website offers an email address for them to send comments.
Experts said Sakakibara’s latest move showed he was self-absorbed and wanted attention from the public.
“After all, he is kind of an exhibitionist,” Makoto Nakayama, a professor at Kansai University of International Studies and an expert in criminal psychology, said of the launch of the website.
Looking at grotesque drawings and photos on the website, “I think he wants people to fear him or think he is someone special,” he said.
Nakayama said Sakakibara committed the crimes in 1997 with an aim to get attention from people.
One of Sakakibara’s two murders plumbed the depths of notoriety in Japan, when he placed the decapitated head of an 11-year-old boy in front of the gate of a junior high school in Kobe.
He also sent a letter to a local newspaper company.
Nakayama said Sakakibara hid his identity and didn’t express his voice for a long time, so his craving to showcase himself has been probably growing, which can be seen in the release of the memoir.
However, creating the website showed a major lack of consideration and remorse to the families of the victims, he said.
The publication of his memoir, titled “Zekka,” drew widespread criticism, with many people calling it inconsiderate to the families of the victims.
The book did include an apology to the families, and the publisher justified its venture saying it aimed to help readers understand the mind of a killer.
Some bookstores were unconvinced, refusing to stock it.