Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Tsutomu Miyazaki (August 21, 1962 – June 17, 2008), also known as The Otaku (“Geek”) Murderer or The Little Girl Murderer, was a Japanese serial killer, cannibal, child rapist and necrophile who abducted and murdered four young girls in Saitama and Tokyo Prefectures from August 1988 to June 1989. His crimes included vampirism and preservation of body parts as trophies.
Tsutomu Miyazaki came from a wealthy and highly regarded family: his father owned a newspaper, and both of his parents were hard-working and successful. However, it was uncovered at Miyazaki’s trial, that his mother was not actually his biological mother but the child of an incestuous relationship between his father and Miyazaki’s older sister. An exceptionally bright young boy, his parents put immense pressure on him to perform to their lofty expectations. Born prematurely, and with deformed hands, he was bullied throughout school. Miyazaki initially performed well in school, and he planned to go to college to become a teacher. However, when he was a teenager, his grades dropped, making it impossible for him to get into a good university.
With few options available to him, Miyazaki enrolled in a program to become a photo technician. The young man felt rejected and unloved by his parents and younger sisters, so he was devastated when his beloved grandfather passed away in 1988. To cope with the loss of his elderly relative, Miyazaki ate some of his grandfather’s ashes as a way of staying connected to the deceased man.
The Little Girl Murders
Mari Konno was four years old when she went missing August 28, 1988. Miyazaki had led her to his car and driven to the outskirts of Tokyo, where he strangled her, had sex with her corpse and left her naked, taking the clothes home with him. He took photographs of every stage of the abduction.
Miyazaki had led Konno into his black Nissan Langley and abducted her. He drove westward of Tokyo and parked the car under a bridge in a wooded area. There he sat alongside the girl for a half-hour before murdering her. He then engaged in sexual acts with the corpse and left her corpse in the hills near his home. He took her clothes with him and departed. He allowed Konno’s corpse to decompose for a while before later returning to remove the hands and feet, which he kept in his closet. These were recovered upon his arrest. He charred her remaining bones in his furnace, ground them into powder, and sent them to her family in a box, along with several of her teeth, photos of her clothes, and a postcard which read: “Mari. Cremated. Bones. Investigate. Prove.”
On October 3, 1988, Miyazaki was driving along a rural road when he spotted seven-year-old Masami Yoshizawa. She was walking along the road and he offered her a ride. He then drove to the same place he had killed Konno and killed Yoshizawa. He engaged in sexual acts with the corpse and took the girl’s clothes with him when he departed.
On December 12, 1988, four-year-old Erika Namba was returning home from a friend’s house when Miyazaki abducted her, forcing her into his car. He drove to a parking lot in Naguri, Saitama, forced her to remove her clothes in the back seat, and began to take pictures of her. After killing her, he tied her hands and feet behind her back, covered her with a bed sheet, and placed the body in his car’s trunk. He disposed of the girl’s clothes in a wooded area and left the body in the adjoining parking lot. Miyazaki sent a postcard to her family, assembled using words cut out of magazines: “Erika. Cold. Cough. Throat. Rest. Death.”
On June 6, 1989, Miyazaki convinced five-year-old Ayako Nomoto to allow him to take her pictures. He then led her into his car and murdered her. He covered the corpse with a bed sheet and placed her in the trunk of his car, taking the body to his apartment. He spent the next two days engaging in sexual acts with the corpse, taking pictures of it in various positions, and filming it.
When the body began to decompose, Miyazaki dismembered it, abandoning the torso in a cemetery and the head in the nearby hills. He kept the hands, from which he drank blood and ate part of them. Fearing that the police would find the corpse, he returned to the cemetery and the hills two weeks later and carried the remains back to his apartment, where he hid them in his closet.
The torso was quickly discovered and, even after the mutilation, identified.
On July 23, 1989, Tsutomu Miyazaki tried to kidnap two sisters, but one of the girls escaped, leaving him to force the other child into his vehicle. However, the sister who had avoided the abduction sought the help of her father who discovered his daughter and Miyazaki in a car at a nearby park. Miyazaki, who ran from the scene, completely naked, after the 6-year old’s father caught him taking pictures of his daughter’s genitals, was arrested by police when he eventually returned to his vehicle.
Trial and Execution
During his trial, Tsutomu Miyazaki showed no remorse for the depraved murders of the young girls, and he made nonsensical statements throughout the proceedings, generally behaving very strangely. While he was incarcerated, Miyazaki told a psychologist that a human/rodent hybrid known as “Rat Man” had compelled him to commit the murders, and he even drew pictures of this malevolent figure.
According to Miyazaki, Rat Man had convinced him he would be able to bring his beloved grandfather back from the dead if he killed the young children, leading him to abduct and murder his victims.
A lengthy trial started on March 30, 1990, the media now dubbing Miyazaki as “The Otaku Murderer”, his defense tried to reason him as insane. The Tokyo District Court rendered him as accountable for his actions and he was sentenced to death on April 14, 1997.
Miyazaki’s father had been deeply ashamed of his son’s actions and refused to pay for his legal defense. He committed suicide in 1994.
Miyazaki’s death sentence was upheld after two appeals, once in 2001 and again in 2006.
Tsutomu Miyazaki was hanged June 17, 2008.
Moral Panic: Crime Caused by Violent Anime?
At the time of the killings, there was a lot of negative sentiment in Japan about anime, so some people thought the press may have used Miyazaki’s videos to demonize the entire culture surrounding these animated movies and shows.
When Miyazaki was finally apprehended, the contents of his tiny bedroom horrified the police and sparked heated debates about the impact violent films and television shows may have on Japanese children and adults. When the Japanese serial killer finally stood trial for his crimes, he further shocked the nation with his callous attitude and bizarre claims, making Miyazaki one of the most disturbing murderers the nation had ever seen.
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