A police raid that uncovered a horrifying scene in a studio apartment in central Japan, after Aiko Tamura, a 23-year-old Tokyo resident, went missing, established that one of Japan's gruesome serial murders in recent years, 27-year-old Takahiro Shiraishi, preyed upon suicidal victims through Twitter.
According to the reports, the investigators have unveiled his modus operandi. Shiraishi found women on Twitter whose posts expressed suicidal thoughts, and replied to them by saying, "Let's die together."
Shiraishi created a Twitter account under the username "hangingpro" with a bio that describes a desire to spread the user's supposed expertise about hanging. The profile photo shows a manga-like illustration of a young man wearing a necktie made of a hanging rope. The character's neck and wrist show scars.
The profile adds: "I want to help people who are really in pain. Please DM me anytime."
One of the account's tweets, posted on October 21, discussed victims of bullying as well as those who have attempted suicides, according to the Japan Times.
"Bullying is everywhere, in school and at work," the post read. "There must be many people in society who are suffering after attempting suicides, though their cases are not reported in the news. I want to help such people."
Shiraishi was arrested in Zama, late October, after the police found nine bodies, including two with their heads severed and dumped in a cool box, in his flat in the Tokyo suburbs. He faces one charge of disposing of dead bodies, but more charges are expected.
The police said that the body parts, contained in cooler boxes in the man's apartment, include at least two severed heads. The police plan to carry out DNA tests in an effort to identify the deceased, the investigators added.
Shiraishi, reportedly, told the investigators that money was among his motives as he took ¥500,000 (USD 4,410) from one of his victims.
According to the police, he also admitted to assaulting some of the women with the intent of raping them.