|The story below is originally published on Mainichi Daily News by Mainichi Shinbun (http://mdn.mainichi.jp).|
|They admitted inventing its kinky features, or rather deliberately mistranslating them from the original gossip magazine.|
|In fact, this is far from the general Japanese' behavior or sense of worth.|
Contemporary Japan's most heinous criminal, as Shukan Bunshun (8/17-24) describes Futoshi Matsunaga, is preparing to face the Fukuoka High Court in the autumn and fight the death sentence handed down to him for killing at least seven people.
Matsunaga, 45, may even have killed more people in Kitakyushu in the period between February 1996 to June 1998.
On Sept. 28 last year, the Kokura Branch of the Fukuoka District Court ordered Matsunaga and Junko Ogata, his 44-year-old slave-cum-lover, to go to the gallows after it found them guilty of seven counts of illegal confinement resulting in death. Matsunaga appealed the sentence the same day.
"Because they did such a thorough job of destroying the evidence, the district court trial had only two items of material evidence. All the prosecution had to base their case on were statements from Ogata, which were a little bit weak to carry a trial of seven counts of murder," a reporter for a national daily tells Shukan Bunshun.
Matsunaga is a renowned con artist and superb sweet talker. He lured Ogata into his clutches not for himself, but to get his hands on the assets of her family members.
"Matsunaga was a fugitive, but managed to get Ogata to fund his escape by pretending he was close to her," the district court ruling in their case said.
Unfortunately, Ogata was soon tricked into slavery, doing everything that Matsunaga ordered. It was a fate to befall other members of her family.
"Matsunaga locked (all seven) up in a single room of an apartment and kept them prisoner there. He had complete control over their eating and toilet habits, as well as dictating their daily lives. If they disobeyed him, he would repeatedly electrocute them," the national daily's reporter says.
Matsunaga used electrocution to wear down his victims' resistance, wrench their wills into obeying him and turned them into slaves. With the occasional choice word or two, he slowly turned each of the victims against each other and, even though they were all members of the same family, manipulated them into fighting each other to secure his favor. Eventually, he convinced his slaves to start killing each other.
Each time one of the members of Ogata's extended family killed a relative, the others would obey Matsunaga's orders on disposing the body, cutting it up with knives or saws. The fleshier parts of bodies were cut into large chunks that were boiled down. Bones were removed and ground up in food processors. This was all mixed into a concoction Matsunaga likened to the sauce used in Korean yakiniku barbecue meals and either flushed down the toilet or dumped into the sea, destroying evidence of the death that had occurred.
Matsunaga, during his trial, denied any direct involvement in the Ogata family's gruesome body disposal.
"I was only the producer who showed them what they needed to do. It was sort of the same thing as needing an architect to construct a building," Shukan Bunshun quotes Matsunaga as saying during his trial.
Matsunaga was convicted for the murders and sentenced to death, as was Ogata. Seconds after the verdict was handed down, Matsunaga instructed his lawyer to appeal the ruling.
"Now, Matsunaga is preparing his appeal with the aid of another court-appointed lawyer. He appears to be thriving in the prison environment and is the picture of health," Shukan Bunshun says, adding that he is still forbidden by the courts from communicating with anybody other than his lawyer for fear that his cunning mind will get to work using others to create further evil.
(By Ryann Connell)