If we were to draw up a ranking of the most disturbing and scary serial killers ever, Tsutomu Miyazaki would probably be among the top places.
What makes this killer so sinister are not only his horrific crimes, but also everything he did after with a series of actions that can make one’s skin crawl.
The serial killer of little girls
August 22, 1988, Saitama, Japan. It is three in the afternoon when Mari Konno, a four-year-old girl, leaves the house to go play with a friend.
The hours pass and after 6 pm Mari does is not back home to her family yet. Her parents, worried, raise the alarm. The police start the search but there is no trace of the girl. Some witnesses report seeing her in the company of a man with curly hair.
In the meantime, the days pass and there is no news of Mari. Suddenly something disturbing happen. The Konno family receive continous calls, but when they pick up to answer, the caller hangs up. If they decide to ignore the calls, the phone would keep ringing for up to 20 minutes. On the same days they receive a with a chillig sentence:
There are devils about
October 3, 1988. Masami Yoshizawa, a 7-year-old girl, disappears in Hanno, Saitama prefecture. Six weeks have passed since Mari Konno’s case. A timing that suggests that the two events are connected, however without concrete elements the Police fumbled about in the dark.
A little more than two months will pass before the suspicions become certainties.
On December 12, 1988, the traces of Erika Namba, 4 years old, are lost. The alarm is official: a kidnapper of girls wanders around the Saitama prefecture. Unfortunately things will get worse.
The next day, in a forest about 50 km from her home, Erika’s lifeless body is discovered. She was strangled. Her hands and feet tied with a nylon rope. A terrifying scenario that casts an even darker shadow on the story.
Did the kidnapper kill also the two previous victims? Were they chasing now a serial killer?
In the following days the Namba family start to receive strange phone calls in same fashion of those that had haunted the Konno family. They also received a letter, written with clippings from magazine letters with the message:
“Erika. Cold. Cough. Throat. Rest. Death.”
February 6, 1989. Shigeo Konno, the father of the girl missing for almost six months finds a box in front of the entrance to his home. He warns the police that open the package when they arrive. Inside they find ashes, some fragments of bones, ten small teeth and photos that portray some child’s clothes. To accompany everything a chilling letter:
“Mari. Bones. Cremated. Investigate. Prove.”
The investigators ordered an analysis of the material found, and upon initial verification it turned out that they did not belong to Mari.
However, a new letter was delivered to the Konno family:
“I put the cardboard box with Mari’s remains in it in front of her home. “I did everything. From the start of the Mari incident to the finish. I saw the police press conference where they said the remains were not Mari’s. On camera, her mother said the report gave her new hope that Mari might still be alive. I knew then that I had to write this confession so Mari’s mother would not continue to hope in vain. I say again: the remains are Mari’s.”
The author of the message signed himself as Yuko Imada. New analyses were arranged and this time they confirmed the message from the letter: the remains belonged to Mari. The victim’s family received a second message, also signed with the pseudonym Yuko Imada, but with a tone decidedly different:
“Before I knew it, the child’s corpse had gone rigid. I wanted to cross her hands over her breast but they wouldn’t budge… Pretty soon, the body gets red spots all over it… Big red spots. Like the Hinomaru flag. Or like you’d covered her whole body with red hanko seals… After a while, the body is covered with stretch marks. It was so rigid before, but now it feels like its full of water. And it smells. How it smells. Like nothing you’ve ever smelled in this whole wide world.”
June 6, 1989. Ayako Nomoto, a 5-year-old girl, disappears after going to a park. People immediately begin to fear the worst.
After a week of intense searching, her body is discovered. The condition of her body is unsettling. The killer left only the poor victim’s torso, while her head, hands and feet are missing.
A murder that leaves a deep sense of terror in the citizens. The police are dealing with a deeply sadistic and perverse killer, a subject devoid of humanity and compassion.
The investigations seem to lead nowhere but a few weeks later a particular event will mark the end of this murderer’s career.
July 23, 1989. A little girl warns her father that she managed to escape from a gentleman who molested her while she was playing with her sister in a public park, and she asks her parent to intervene. The man goes to the indicated area and surprises a boy while he is intent on photographing the private parts of the other daughter. He throws himself at the subject, who runs away in fear. The authorities are immediately informed of the incident and in a short time they are able to stop the harasser.
His name is Tsutomu Miyazaki, he is 26 and works as an assistant for a typography.
Investigators are sure they have just arrested the person they have been chfor chasing for almost a year. After an initial phase in which he pleads innocent, Miyazaki confesses his responsibiity for all four murders.
On August 21, 1962 in Itsukaichi, a city in the Natashima district, Tsutomu was born prematurely and with a defect in his joints whereby his hands were welded together with his wrists. A handicap that prevents him from rotating his hands upwards.
A malformation that will affect the rest of his life.
When he starts going to school he is soon targeted by his classmates, who mock him for his handicap. Due to this situation, Tsutomi shuts himself more and more in solitude, finding shelter in reading manga and anime, his only true friends.
Miyazaki compensates the problems of social life with an excellent academic performance, applying himself with determination in the subjects and proving to be an excellent student. Over the years, however, he seems to increasingly lose interest in studying and at the end of high school he will fail the test to enter university. He then enrolls in a two-year university after which he obtaines a degree in photo-technique.
Tsutomu’s relationship with his parents and both his two sisters is rather cold. The only family member that seem to get along with is his grandfather Shokichi, with whom he develops a certain affinity and harmony.
Miyazaki’s daily life is characterized by loneliness, which paradoxically becomes his only companion. He has no friends and girls avoid him. Due to this condition he keeps shutting himself up in an imaginary universe, as if he is trying to escape from an external world that rejects and does not understand him. He spends most of his time reading anime, watching horror or action movies, reducing contact with real people to the bare minimum.
When his grandfather dies in May 1988, Tsutomu loses the few certainties and perhaps even the last glimmer of reason left, opening the doors to his perverse and unscrupulous nature. After three months he will commit his first crime against Mari Konno.
His method of action consisted in luring little girls with an excuse; he would lead them to isolated areas where he strangled them to death. Once killed, he sexually abused the bodies. On some occasions he mutilated the victims, eating part of their remains and drinking their blood.
Miyazaki’s trial begins on March 30, 1990.
The accused immediately proves to be totally devoid of remorse and claims to have committed the crimes under the influence of “Rat-Man”, his alter-ego, who has forced him to kill. The psychiatric reports find him to have dissociative identity disorders and a form of schizophrenia, however the court considers him capable of thinking and acting for oneself, therefore fully responsible for his actions.
At the end of the hearings Tsutomu Miyazaki is sentenced to death.
In prison he continues his isolated and solitary lifestyle, dedicating a lot of time to reading.
On June 17, 2008, the death penalty is carried out by hanging.
Miyazaki represents an agglomeration of the worst deviations in the world. A subject that committed abominable crimes and pushed himself to the highest levels of sadism, to the extent of torturing psychologically the families of the victims.
Without a doubt a despicable, cynical character, devoid of any positive feeling towards his neighbor that remains to this day among the meanest and most vile murderers that have ever lived.