National / Crime & Legal

Suspect in Zama serial murders says the nine victims were 'objects of desire'

JIJI

Takahiro Shiraishi, a 28-year-old man charged in September with murdering and robbing nine people in his apartment last year, said in recent interviews with Jiji Press that he committed the crimes for money and sex.

The victims were “objects of desire,” Shiraishi said during the interviews at the Metropolitan Police Department’s Takao police station and the Tachikawa detention house.

The interviews were held after Shiraishi was indicted on Sept. 10 for killing one man and eight women, robbing them of money and dismembering their corpses in his apartment in Zama, Kanagawa Prefecture, between August and October last year. He was also charged with raping and dumping the bodies.

Shiraishi has demanded that media organizations pay for interviews with him. Jiji Press refused to do so, but he partially gave his account of the crimes.

Asked whether he murdered the nine victims, Shiraishi said, “Yes.” He explained that he committed the crimes to satisfy his greed for money and desire for sex.

Asked how he feels now about the victims and their next of kin, he said, “I drew a line between people I love and care about and other people.” He was evasive about those “other people.”

There were no words of apology or remorse.

Shiraishi said he was “shocked” that he was arrested. When he thinks about his arrest, he cannot sleep at night, he said.

He expressed regret over not turning off the ninth victim’s mobile phone, weak signals from which led to his arrest. “There are tons of things” he should have done to avoid capture, including destroying evidence, he said.

Shiraishi demanded money whenever details of the incidents were asked for, saying, “I will respond faithfully if I’m paid for my labor.” He suggested a willingness to exchange letters or write a book, depending on how much money he can get.

He spoke clearly throughout the interviews, often laughing and using gestures.