There are a number of serial killers who are considered the worst of the litter. Ted Bundy, Ed Gein, Henry Lee Lucas, John Wayne Gacy — the list goes on and on, but we’re all familiar with those killers. Those are all relatively known names that often get brought up when discussing serial killers. We’ve all seen their movies and watched their trials, and some of us have studied their crimes extensively. It’s rare when the most disturbing of serial killers are not as well documented by the general public as names like Gein and Bundy, at least as far as America is concerned. In America’s well-recorded and, perhaps, disturbing fascination/obsession with serial killers, few Americans are familiar with the murders of Tokyo’s very own Tsutomu Miyazaki.
Perhaps it’s a cultural disconnect more than anything else, but not many westerners know about Tsutomu Miyazaki and his killings, which ranged from August 1988 until June 1989. Yes, Miyazaki’s murder spree lasted a little less than a year, but don’t be deceived. Despite only a year worth of kills under his belt and what some would call a “small” body count, Miyazaki is one of the more venomously frightening and discomforting serial killers to ever walk the planet. The media gave him many nicknames — The Otaku Killer, The Little Girl Murderer, Dracula, Rat Man — but no matter what we call him, just the mere mention of his name for anyone familiar with his actions makes us all squirm in our seats. He was a killer, cannibal, and necrophile, and he even practiced vampirism. The guy was one disturbing piece of work, and here’s everything you need to know about him.
15. Born From Incest
As is often the case with many different serial killers, the dark desires of Tsutomu Miyazaki originate from him having a terrible upbringing. Serial killers are typically innately evil because something awful happened to them in youth. Miyazaki, on the other hand, was born into awfully gross and indecent circumstances. From the moment of his birth, Tsutomu Miyazaki was born into darkness and pure evil. His father had an incestuous relationship with one of his sisters and wound up impregnating her. On August 21st, 1962, Miyazaki was born, although prematurely. Because he was born premature, he was also born with deformed hands. Miyazaki’s hands were fused directly to his wrists, which also meant that he needed to move his entire forearm just to rotate his hand.
14. Bullied as a Child
Because of his hand deformity, Miyazaki spent much of his time alone and kept to himself. Not only did this deformity make Miyazaki feel self-conscious about how he presented himself to other people, but his appearance turned his peers off from wanting to get to know him. This was especially the case when he was in elementary school, where he was ostracized from child-friend circles and even bullied by his peers because of his deformity. The same would occur in his family life as even his own sisters found his appearance to be disturbing. The sheer amount of social blackballing that Miyazaki suffered from his peers and family is what turned him into a socially introverted loner and, eventually, the killer we know of today.
13. Failed Aspirations
Because he kept to himself so often, Miyazaki was able to focus more on his studies, the reason why he excelled at them. Following a rough childhood during his attendance at Itsukaichi Elementary School, he went on to attend Meidai Nakano High School where he was quite the apt pupil. Despite being a star student at one point in his education, his grades began dropping dramatically. Perhaps, he became unmotivated by his school lectures, or maybe, he became so jaded that he didn’t have a social life and that all he focused on was school as opposed to maintaining a normal teen life (i.e. dating, friend circles, etc.). Whatever the reason may have been, he only ranked 40 out of 56 in his class and because of this wasn’t accepted into Meiji University, where he hoped to attain an English degree and become a teacher. He had to settle on going to junior college to pursue a career as a photo technician.
12. Black Sheep of the Family
In the mid-1980s, Miyazaki moved back into his parents’ house and shared a room with his oldest sister. This proved to only further strain the relationship between himself and his family. He was always treated like the redheaded stepchild of the family, but when he expressed refusal and general lack of interest to take over his father’s newspaper business, that negligence from his family turned into resentment, not just from his family but from everyone in his family. Miyazaki longed to be listened to by his parents, but whenever he tried, he felt no one tried or wanted to hear him out. During this point in his life, because he was so often brushed off by pretty much everyone in his family, he strongly contemplated suicide often.
11. Ate His Grandfather’s Ashes
For basically the entirety of his life, Miyazaki was ostracized by the large bulk of his family, particularly his two sisters. The only person whom Miyazaki ever felt like he could go to in times of distress was his grandfather. To Miyazaki, his grandfather was the only person in his family (and the world, for that matter) who ever supported him no matter what he did and the only person he could go to for guidance. That all changed in 1988 when his grandfather died. This only proved to disturb Miyazaki’s mental state even further and made him feel even more alone in the world than he already was. In order to feel closer to his late father, Miyazaki proceeded to eat his grandfather’s ashes.
10. Small Weiner
In the aftermath of Miyazaki’s arrest, one of his former high school classmates claiming to be a former friend was asked to give their take on Miyazaki’s personality during that stage in his life. The classmate claimed that he always believed Miyazaki had an inferiority complex. Apparently, Miyazaki once confided in the classmate that he had a small penis, and because of this small penis, he wouldn’t talk to older women or even women who were at least close to his same age. If this is true, this would certainly explain the killer’s disturbed sexual interest in child girls. His insecurities prevented him from allowing himself to pursue older women romantically, and so he regressed into child-related perversions.
Miyazaki had many perversions. Much of his interest in photography stemmed from his wandering eye and voyeuristic nature. He often attended college tennis matches and took pictures there not because he wanted good shots for the scenery, not for the sake of a job, and not even out of enjoyment for the sport. He attended college tennis matches solely to photograph the players in a sexual manner, often with upskirt shots. He would keep the pictures to himself and use them whenever he wanted to masturbate. Another one of his perversions was his love for child pornography, which he started watching in 1984 at the age of 21. Child pornography was legal in Japan at the time and therefore was normalized in Japan’s culture, but it’s a perversion nonetheless, especially in today’s culture (both American and Japanese).
8. Incestual Tendencies
Given that he was a child born from an incestual relationship between his father and his sister, it seems disturbingly ironic that the younger Miyazaki would grow up to find himself attracted to his own sisters as well. In 1988, just a few weeks after the death of his grandfather, Miyazaki was caught peeping on his sister while she was taking a shower. Outraged, she demanded that he leave her alone. Embarrassed, he attacked her. When his mother found out about this, she ordered him to spend more time working and less time in the house and most importantly, less time watching those dirty videos he had stored away in his room. Immediately after the suggestion, Miyazaki attacked her as well.
7. The First Victim
On August 22nd, 1988, a four-year-old girl named Mari Kono went missing while playing at a friend’s house. This was also a day after Miyazaki turned 26 years old and would be known as Miyazaki’s first child abduction. Miyazaki had lured the young girl into his Nissan Langley and drove away. He drove all the way to Tokyo’s west side, where he parked under a bridge and sat beside her for a half hour before finally killing her. Afterward, Miyazaki had sex with the little girl’s corpse, removed her clothes, and left her body by the hills near his house. Long after the girl had already decomposed, Miyazaki returned to her body to remove her hands and feet. Miyazaki burned her bones in a furnace and then along with her clothes, sent it all in a box, which he then shipped to her family. With it was a note that read, “Mari. Cremated. Bones. Investigate. Prove.”
6. The Second Victim
Less than two months after Miyazaki’s first kill, he would kill again. On October 3rd, he was driving along a rural road when he saw a seven-year-old girl named Masami Yoshizawa walking by herself. Miyazaki offered her a ride home, and unfortunately, the young girl accepted. As per the killer ritual that he had established up until that point, Miyazaki drove her to the exact same spot where he murdered his first victim, and the same ritual occurred. They sat together in the parking spot for a moment, he killed her, he had sex with her dead body, he took the girl’s clothes, and then he left her corpse in the same spot where he had left Mari just a month and a half beforehand.
5. The Third Victim
As with the last victim, Miyazaki didn’t wait long to murder another child. On December 12th, just slightly over two months since his last kill, Miyazaki snatched up four-year-old Erika Nanba into his car while she was walking home from school. This time, Miyazaki decided to divert from the ritual he established with his first two kills. He drove down to Naguri, Saitama, parked in a nearby parking lot, and forced the girl to strip naked. While in his backseat, Miyazaki took graphic pictures of the girl before killing her. He then bound the body by its hands and feet, then wrapped it in a blanket before placing it his trunk. He dumped the body in the adjoining parking lot and kept her clothes in a wooded area. Some time afterward, Miyazaki sent a postcard to the girl’s family that read, “Erika. Cold. Cough. Throat. Rest. Death.”
4. The Fourth Victim
Miyazaki wouldn’t strike again for another six months, but alas, on June 12th, 1989, he claimed another victim. After stalking and pursuing a five-year-old girl named Ayako Nomoto, he asked if they could go somewhere more private so that he could take photographs of her. She obliged, and within moments, she was in his car, where he killed her. He then placed her body in a blanket, dumped her in the back of his trunk, and took her to his apartment, where he spent two days filming and fornicating the corpse. When the body decomposed, he dismembered it. Miyazaki discarded the torso in a cemetery and the girl’s head in the hills nearby. He kept the hands, which he sucked dry of blood and even ate parts of. Eventually, he feared that the cops would find the remains he had left behind, so he quickly retrieved them after two weeks. He hid the head and torso in his closet.
3. His Arrest
A little over a month since his last kill, Miyazaki craved another kill, but this attempt would prove to be his downfall. While wandering a Hachiko neighborhood, Miyazaki ran into two young schoolgirls. He tried to force them into his car, but one of them escaped. She ran off and grabbed her father, who found Miyazaki taking pictures of the man’s daughter’s vagina near a park. He ran off completely naked, and by the time he returned to his car, Miyazaki was caught red-handed by the police. Upon his arrest, Miyazaki proceeded to confess to killing four young girls and attempting to take another’s life that day. Later on, while investigating Miyazaki’s apartment, police found 5,763 videotapes (which included child po——–y, anime, horror films, and torture p–n) as well as the body parts of his victims.
2. Rat Man
Perhaps the strangest aspect of this case overall is that Miyazaki introduced an alter ego to the trials. In showing no remorse for the families, his actions, or the lives he had taken, Miyazaki proceeded to blame everything that he did on a hybrid creature that forced him to kill and which he called Rat Man. According to Miyazaki, Rat Man promised him that if he could abduct and kill the children whose lives he took, then Rat Man would bring his beloved grandfather back from the dead. So dead set on convincing the jury that Rat Man was more than a figment of his imagination, Miyazaki even drew pictures of Rat Man to convince everyone that the creature was real. Needless to say, it didn’t work.
1. The Trial and His Death Sentence
Miyazaki’s trial lasted, altogether, from 1990 until 2008. Given the extreme nature of the case, this one should’ve been open and shut as quick as day. In many ways, it was, as Miyazaki was originally sentenced to death on April 14th, 1997. However, the actual conviction was delayed for a number of years. Finally, in 2001, the Tokyo District Court upheld Miyazaki’s conviction and so did the US Supreme Court in 2006. Two years later, on June 17, 2008, Miyazaki was put to death via a hanging. His execution was considered strangely swift due in part to the timing of the Akihabara massacre from the week before, and questions arose concerning both incidents. The Ministry of Justice had no comment.
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