Archive for the ‘True Crime’ Category

I have posted this on Halloween because I am of the honest opinion that the worst horrors are those committed by humans to humans, with actual sentient intent on them. When I looked into the Hello Kitty Murder (blog link) I was also asked if I had heard about the case of Junko Furuta and so I am going to outline this one. Again it is true crime and some of it is disturbing so please do not read if you think this will not be to your taste.

There are no photos for this one, I don’t think it’s right for this subject.

Furuta was a Japanese high-school student who was abducted, raped, tortured and murdered in the late 1980’s. Her case was named “Concrete-encased high school murder case”, as her body was found in a concrete drum.

She was born 18th January, 1979 and died, aged 17 at Adachi, Tokyo, Japan. Four teenagers were involved, Hiroshi Miyano, Jo Ogura, Shinji Minato and Yasushi Watanabe. Miyani Hiroshi was born in Adachi, Tokyo on 30th April 1970 and was arrested/apprehended 23rd March 1989. It seems about 100 people knew what had happened or had been involved but no-one said anything or did anything about it. Most of the people involved were friends of the four low-ranking Yakuza teenagers.

There is a film about her plight, from 1995 and called Concrete Encased High School Murder Case: Broken Seventeen Year Olds. I haven’t seen it myself but there you go, if you are interested that is what it is called. The film’s director Katsuya Matsumura and the listings for his IMDB credits seem to suggest that this is his area of interest and the last update was for a film he did in 2015.

From all online accounts I could see Junko Furuta was a decent young woman, she was a student who lives with her family. She worked as a part-time employee and one of her schoolmates, Hiroshi Miyano, asked her out on multiple occasions. She turned him down each time as she was not after a relationship and he took exception to that; he was Yakuza and he was now out for revenge. There are reports she’d not drank, smoked or done drugs, here was a boy who was a bully and not used to the idea of being told no.

November 25th, 1988, Miyano and his friend Nobuharo Minato were in her neighbourhood and looking for women to rob and rape. They spotted her around 8.30pm that night as she was heading back on her bicycle from work. Minato was ordered by Miyano to kick her off, which he did, and they fled the scene. He then returned to her an innocent bystander and he offered to walk her to her home for the sake for her safety.  She hadn’t realised that Miyano was guiding her towards a warehouse where he decided to tell her about his gang connections.

He raped her in the hotel and then the local hotel, from the hotel he called the other three. Ogura reportedly asked for him to keep her there so they could have their fun. The group had a history of gang rape, they had released their last captive. Around 3am he took her to the nearby park so his friends could get involved and they outright told her they knew where she lived and they would kill her family if she tried to escape. She was then dragged to a house owned by Minato’s parents to continue their fun. It became a regular hideout and in order to forestall the police the gang had her call her mother to say she’d ran away.

Her parents contacted the police, 27th November, they made their daughter call home to say to stop the police investigation and when Minato’s parents were around she forced her to pretend to be the girlfriend of one of them. It later became a pretence they dropped when it was clear Minato’s parents were not going to make any report to the police. Neither his parents or brother dared to do anything because of his Yakuza connections and for 44 days the girl suffered at the hands of any number of the sadistic ‘friends’ invited over.

One of the people who got involved was Koichi Ihara who claimed he was bullied into the rape of the victim, he came home and confided in his brother about it. Koichi Ihara’s brother told his parents and they bravely went to the police. Two officers were despatched and they were told there was no one at the house, they even declined an invite to look inside, they were dismissed and after the truth came out about their negligence.

In December she tried to call the police herself, but Hiroshi got to her and when the police tried to call back Miyano told them it had been a mistake. Her death came on 4th January 1989, the four boys challenged her to a game of Mahjong and despite her terrible condition she somehow managed to win. Eventually after another round of torture the poor young lady succumbed to her wounds and died.

Nobuharu, Minato’s brother called him to say Furuta appeared dead and now they were afraid they’d be caught for murder so they got a travel bag, wrapper her in blankets, stuffed her in and then put her body in a 55 gallon drum. It was all filled up with wet concrete, then around 8pm that night they put the drum in a cement truck in Koto, Japan.

23rd January 1989 and Hiroshi Minayo and Jo Ogura were talking and hinting about Furuta when speaking to the police, but the police were talking about another case after they had been arrested for another gang rape. The police interrogation started out confusing until they matched up the case and then found the body the following day, she was identified by her fingerprints and on the 1st April Ogura was arrested for another crime and then re-arrested for the murder. Yasushi Watanabe, Nobuharu Minato and his brother were all arrested too.

The four boys identity was originally a secret and sealed by the courts as they were juveniles but journalists from a magazine – Shukan Bunshun, worked it out and published them as they considered it such a severe case they felt they did not deserve anonymity. All four of them admitted to committing bodily injury that resulted in death, but not for murder. It will wasn’t over however, Furuta’s mother suffered a mental breakdown upon hearing just how badly her daughter had been treated. Many felt the sentences were too light, regardless of the boys ages.

July 1990, Hiroshi Miyano, the alleged leader was given 17 years and tried to appeal to Tokyo High Court, but they added three years to the sentence. In 2004 he tried to get parole, but due to an incident It was declined. In January, 2013 he was arrested for fraud but there wasn’t enough evidence. Does anyone want to give this man another chance? I’m not sure, it sounds like he won’t learn and it is probably not the last incident he will end up involved in.

Nobuharu Minato got 4-6 years and on appeal was re-sentenced to 5-9 years. He was 16 at the time, his parents were not charged, neither was his brother. Furuta’s parents sued, they won their civil case and after his release he went on to live with his mother, he has not worked since.

Yasushi Watanabe got 3-4 years and again he got an appeal which elevated him to serve 5-7 years. After his release he married a Romanian woman.

Jo Ogura was given 8 years in a juvenile prison and released August, 1999. After his release he was said to have boasted about his involvement. In 2004 he was arrested for assaulting Takatoshi Isono, after his release he tracked Isono down, beat him and shoved him into his truck. The man was beaten and threatened for four hours, he got 7 years for that, his mother (another monster in my opinion) went to Furuta’s grave and vandalised it for ruining her son’s life.

2nd April, 1989 her funeral was held and her work uniform was placed in the casket. I am only left saddened by this case, and angry because her poor mother had to suffer hearing all the terrible things this young lady endured. These monsters have continued on with their lives and hers was cut brutally short, their blatant disregard for her life left me feeling horridly empty about how they even got to walk free, but I don’t control any justice system and I am sure it cannot be easy for those that have to work within in to remove their personal feelings when they have to enter into these decisions.

I kept many of the actual events of what happened to her for the end of this article because if you have read enough you may wish to stop here. I didn’t even know if I should write them out as it was so awful reading into it in the first place but decided for the sake of completion I would do it this way.

It was already documented above that she had suffered gang rape, this was persistent throughout her ordeal. She was held captive for 44 days, and the four of them alone were said to have done this over 400 times. They had beaten her, used her as a ‘punch-bag’ by hanging her from the ceiling, they’d dropped weights on her stomach, she was forced to eat live cockroaches, drink her own wine and they forced her to masturbate in front of them. They also inserted foreign objects into her vagina and anus, this included a light-bulb (lit) and fireworks, her genitals were burnt out, they tore off her left nipple with pliers and pierced her breasts with sewing needles.

After the police officers failed to save her they carried on, and after her attempt to get the police failed they became more brutal (I shiver writing that). They doused her legs and feet in lighter-fluid, then set her on fire. They forced her into convulsions when they forced a large bottle into her anus, they then thought she was faking a seizure and lit her alight again in punishment. She begged for death, they made her sleep outside on the balcony during winter and they locked her in a freezer. The injuries she sustained were so bad it would take her up to an hour to crawl to the wash-room, she eventually lost control of her bladder and bowels so they beat her for that. The smell and appearance of her was so appalling that they lost sexual interest in her and then set off on their travels to rape someone else.

After the mahjong game she was given a beating and fell on to a stereo, she was convulsing, they then realised she was bleeding and leaking puss so covered their hands in plastic bags before carrying on the inhuman beatings on her.

I don’t know about you but I genuinely don’t feel it matters that they were juveniles, these little monsters knew what they were doing was wrong they just didn’t care. No amount of sentencing or punishment will bring her back or give any sense of justice, they simply feel irredeemable in their actions. I only hope that her soul has some rest, that her mother one day gets her own. It is such a shame she could never reach her potential and yes there was a lot of my own opinion in this one but for once I felt it was only right.

Sources:

Wikipedia, reddit, Japan Times, Japaninsides.com, Tokyo Reporter, Find a Grave, Crime Library and IMDB

TRIGGER WARNING

A quick search online will give you plenty of information but to give you a summary and because it is probably flitting to the nature of my blog, I am going to summaries this one.

López was born in Uruguay and the family moved to the USA where the seemingly easy, good-natured López grew up. He was regarded as a fairly nice person who had a dew male friends but never had a girlfriend or seemed to hold friendships with women. López dropped out of high school but didn’t pursue any of his artistic talents due to fears of being rejected by any schools and fearing that he was inadequate.

By 18 years of age he was a social recluse, he seemingly found a better place in fantasy and became enthralled by celebrities. In 1993 he became obsessed by Icelandic singer, Björk, following her career and learning everything he could about her.

At the beginning it seemed quite positive, she was a muse for him and overtime, during his 803 page diary, it showed he was losing connection with reality. His main motivation seemed to be a way to find for her to accept him as a friend nothing really suggested it was sexually motivated either. He spoke of a way to go back to the 1970’s and find her to be her friend…

Overall his diary is really an account of a terribly lonely man, he felt inadequate, ugly and unsuccessful. López’s diary referenced suicide and had fourteen mentions of murder. In it he had mentioned other celebrities but an overwhelming 408 references were made about Björk.

All-in-all up until this point I was seemingly a lonely man, obsessed with a woman he could not meet, but the story does not end there; hence me including it on the blog.

In 1996 he was living alone in Hollywood, Florida, and found an article in Entertainment Weekly about her romantic involvement with Goldie (Clifford Joseph Prince). He avidly disliked the relationship because he was a black man and felt betrayed at her having Goldie as a lover. He decides he needs to harm her because of this relationship and the feeling of betrayal.

14th January 1996 and López stopped writing his diaries, instead he moved to making video diaries instead. He made eleven tapes in total, each lasting around two hours. They were filmed within his apartment, a squalid place hat he referred to as his pigsty, he would also record the videos in various states of undress.

By the end of his series he had decided Björk must die and in his diary he states that he’s going to kill her by sending a package, he wanted to send her to hell. His intention was a letter bomb loaded with needles of HIV infected blood gained from a prostitute and abandoned his plan when he realised he could not do it, it was unfeasible.

López changed tactics, in June he began to construct a bomb in a book that was to be sent to her home, he wanted it to look like it had been posted by her record label. It was devised to spray acid in her face, to leave her disfigured.

12th September 1996 and López makes his last entry, he films his preparation of going to the post office. He is nervous but if he aroused suspicion he was going to commit suicide if they tried to detain him. He returns from the post office and resumes the entry, he has Björk’s music playing in the background and is naked in the video.

López then shaves his head and paints it with red and green paint, he colours his lips black and tells that camera that he is now nervous. Declaring that he is not depressed, or drunk, he then shoots himself with a .38 caliber pistol and slumps forwards. It looks like he was hoping that the blood would splatter on the sign behind him, “The best of me. Sept 12”, but the bullet did not exit his skill and he fell forwards.

You can find this on YouTube and other sites, I haven’t posted the link here, I don’t think it’s necessary. Watching the video, which I did, I felt quite upset because this was a man who was clearly very ill and ultimately he killed himself. You can hear the noises of his blood falling down and exiting and yes it’s real… but it’s not nice. Don’t go trying to watch it unless you know you can cope. I have warned you and accept no blame if you do.

López’s death was discovered by a maintenance worker (poor thing) on 16th September, the smell was terrible and the blood was seeping through the ceiling. The worker called the police who gained entry and found him decomposing once they gained entry. They also found a further message above the wall in black letters, “The 8mm Tapes Are A Documentation Of A Crime Terrorist Material. They Are For The F.B.I”, the apartment was then evacuated and searched for devices.

There was only one that had been constructed and it was the one he had posted, police contacted Scotland Yard and after viewing the last tape the Metropolitan Police managed to intercept the package from a South London post office. It was safely detonated.

López died not knowing that only a few days before he had shot himself Björk and Goldie has ended their relationship. Björk herself was affected by the event and did eventually respond, no doubt relieved that the thing had not been delivered and put her and her child at risk. No one that knew López had considered him dangerous either, and overall it seems that this was a man who’s mental health had degraded and was not as likely to be noticed as he had always been very secluded and kept away from people.

Bjork APEVicPark270518-97 (42563937282).jpg
By Raph_PHAPEVicPark270518-97, CC BY 2.0, Link