Seito Sakakibara was the pseudonym under which the perpetrator of the Kobe Child Murders signed his crimes. These murders occurred in March and May of 1997 in Kobe Japan. One of his victims, 11 year old Jun Hase pictured above, was discovered at the front of the elementary school he attended as a special education student. Jun had been decapitated, his head cut off by a handsaw and his body had been mutilated. A note was found stuffed into the child’s mouth, which 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. A bloody judgment is needed for my years of great bitterness.”
Sakakibara would contacted police regularly from that date up until he was apprehended in July 1997. He would regularly threaten to commit further murders, referring to the children he targeted as ‘vegetables’ and criticised the Japanese educational system, claiming it was responsible for how he turned out as a person.
The perpetrator was a 14 year old child, and after he was arrested he confessed to further attacks and one more murder, the killing of 10 year old Ayaka Yamashita. His diary detailed how he had attacked the girl with a hammer, and had only discovered days later that she had died. After his arrest there was a lot of controversy surrounding the case, with politicians blaming violence in the media for the crimes. Sakakibara’s identity was also withheld from the public and he was labelled ‘Boy A’ due to the fact he was a minor at the time he committed his offences.
In 2004 the Japanese Ministry of Justice announced that Sakakibara, at the age of 21, was going to be released from prison on a provisional basis with the intention of his full release in 2005. Despite regular criticism from the public with claims that Sakakibara poses a threat, the government has maintained his new identity and his residence as a closely guarded secret.