Nerd cult murderer executed

The Telegraph, UK/June 17, 2008

A serial child murderer was executed in Japan today, two decades after he began a reign of terror in Tokyo's suburbs by abducting, killing and eating parts of four young girls.

Tsutomu Miyazaki, 45, revelled in his crimes in 1988 and 1989 and was the first serial killer to be linked to the "Otaku", or nerd, cult in Japan.

Gaining aliases such as Dracula and Little Girl Murderer, he seized girls aged between four and seven years old before killing them.

He cremated the remains of one of the girls and left the ashes on her parents's doorstep. Miyazaki also taunted the police and victims' families in letters, describing in detail what he had done to their children.

But on July 23, 1989, he attempted to mutilate a girl in a park in the Tokyo suburb of Saitama and fled. Returning later to collect his car, he was arrested.

Police who searched Miyazaki's small flat found 5,763 videos, including violent anime manga that quickly earned him the title the "Otaku murderer".

Throughout the court hearings in his case, Miyazaki refused to apologise to the parents of the girls and instead insisted he had done "a good job".

Miyazaki, who was born premature with deformed hands, told judges that he committed the crimes "in my dreams" or blamed his actions on being scared because a "rat person" had appeared and ordered him to kill the girls.

Japan's Supreme Court had upheld his death sentence in January.

Despite mainly harmless associations with Japanese cartoons and films, the public fear of the "Otaku" cult has never really abated since Miyazaki's crimes, and was substantially fuelled on June 8 when Tomohiro Kato, a 25-year-old loner, went on a knife rampage in Tokyo's Otaku district of Akihabara, killing seven people and injuring 10 others.

Miyazaki was among three men hanged today, justice minister Kunio Hatoyama said.

The others were Shinji Mutsuda, 45, who had been convicted of robbery and murder, and 73-year-old Yoshio Yamasaki had been found guilty of killing two people to claim insurance payouts.

"I ordered the executions because the cases were of indescribable cruelty", Mr Hatoyama said.

"We are carrying out executions in order to achieve justice and to firmly protect the rule of law."

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