Zodiac Killer copycat, 14, decapitated victim and left their head for caretaker
A teenager's murder of two kids and the macabre decapitation of one of them, remains as shocking today as when the sicko committed his gruesome crimes.
Shinichiro Azuma, who used the alias Seito Sakakibara, was only 14 when he began his evil attacks in Kobe, Japan – attacks that attracted international attention not only because of his age but also owing to their hideous nature.
He was finally caught by cops after the shocking mutilation of a mentally-disabled child.
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A caretaker found the severed head of Jun Hase outside a school just moments before students arrived for lessons in May 1997.
In a horrific scene that could have come from a Hollywood film such as Halloween or Seven, 11-year-old Jun’s eye sockets were empty, his mouth was cut open to the ears and a note had been left on his tongue.
It read: “This is the beginning of the game… Try to stop me if you can you stupid police… I desperately want to see people die, it is a thrill for me to commit murder.”
The rest of the body was found near a water tank where the killer had lured him. The nature of the killing inevitably led to comparisons with the Zodiac murders in the United States three decades earlier.
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The murder of poor Jun came after a series of other attacks by Azuma.
A few months earlier, in February 1997, the sicko attacked two schoolgirls with a hammer, although fortunately they both survived.
But the following month he killed for the first time. He hit 10-year-old Ayaka Yamashita on the head from behind with a hammer and stabbed another girl in the stomach. Although the stabbing victim survived, Ayaka died of her injuries nearly a fortnight later.
Animal corpses linked to Azuma were also found in the area, including a headless bird and a cat with its paws chopped off.
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At about the same time, Azuma began sending anonymous letters to a local paper, claiming credit for the murders and taunting the cops.
He was finally caught by police on June 28. Investigators found his diaries, which contained detailed descriptions of his crimes.
It was then that even more shocking details emerged of the murder of 11-year-old Jun.
After he had sawn off the boy’s head near the water tank, Azuma had taken it in a bag to his granddad’s house.
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When he got there, he drank some of the blood from the bag and then played with himself, ejaculating over the head before cleaning and disfiguring it.
Under Japanese law, his age meant he couldn’t be convicted of murder, so he was sent to a juvenile detention centre and released in 2005 after only a few years inside.
He remains under close watch by the police and it’s thought he is now a mechanic somewhere in Tokyo.
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