An exceptionally bright young boy, his parents put immense pressure for his brother and him to perform to their lofty expectations. It was uncovered at his trial, that his mother was actually not his biological mother; he was the child of an incestuous relationship between his father and Miyazaki’s older sister. Born prematurely, and with deformed hands, he was bullied throughout school.
He found an interest in photography and became a photo technician, but this did not dissuade his suicidal notions, which developed in his late teens.
A few months before the first little girl was abducted by Miyazaki, his Grandfather died, considered the only member of the family he was remotely close with, he ate some of the ashes to remain close to him.
The Little Girl Murders
Mari Konno (今野真理 Konno Mari), was four years old when she went missing August 28 1988. Miyazaki had led her to his car and driven to the outskirts of Tokyo, where he strangled her, had sex with her corpse and left her naked, taking the clothes home with him. He took photographs of every stage of the abduction.
A second little girl disappeared in October 3rd 1988. Her name was Masami Yoshizawa (吉沢正美 Yoshizawa Masami); she was seven years old.
Picked up walking along the road in Hanno Saitama prefecture she got into Miyazaki’s car and was never seen again.
Strangled in the exact same place as Mari Konno, her corpse was sexually abused and left just yards from his previous victim.
It wouldn’t be long until a third little girl vanished from the Saitama prefecture. December 12th 1988 would be the last day anyone saw four year old Erika Namba (難波絵梨香 Nanba Erika) alive.
Abducted by Miyazaki, he forced her to strip in the back of his car whilst he took pictures, before he strangled her. Tied up and covered by a sheet he placed her body in the back of his car. Whilst driving to presumably the same location he had chosen as the site to dump the little girl’s bodies his car became stuck after a wheel slipped off the edge of the road.
Miyazaki returned from the nearby woodland carrying an empty sheet to find two men who proceeded to help him free his car.
The discovery of Erika’s body near where the two men who had helped Miyazaki gave police a description of a potential suspect and his car. The men wrongly identified the car however, thus the police’s strongest lead at the time would be near useless.
There was one link that could be made between all three cases though, each family had been receiving nuisance silent phone calls.
Though The Little Girl Murderer as the media now knew him would not take his next (and last) victim for a few months, he was still busy.
Barely a week after Erika’s murder her family received a collage postcard made up of different Kanji (letters/words) taken from newspapers that read: “Erika. Cold. Cough. Throat. Rest. Death.”
Police would now more seriously view the postcard that the first victims’ (Konno) family had received not long after they had made a public plea for her safe return. That postcard read: “There are devils about”.
The next delivery to the Konno family was a whole lot more sinister.
Shigeo Konno, Mari’s father, found a cardboard box on his doorstep the morning of February 6th 1989. It contained dirt, ashes, charred bone fragments, photos of his little girl’s clothing, numerous baby teeth and a single sheet of paper that said “Mari. Bones. Cremated. Investigate. Prove.”
Initial investigation on the contents of the box stated that the teeth were probably not from Mari. Upon hearing this news, Miyazaki penned a letter stating that they were in fact her teeth, along with a Polaroid photo of Mari. Sent to the Konno family signed as “Yuko Imada” a pun on “Now I’ll tell”.
Upon returning from Mari’s funeral, now that the remains had been officially confirmed as hers after multiple examinations, the Konno family found another letter signed by “Yuko Imada”, this time detailing what their daughter’s body was like as it decomposed, giving details about how it smelt bad.
It was June 6th 1989 when Miyazaki found five year old Ayako Namato (野本綾子 Nomoto Ayako) playing in a park by herself. Approaching the young girl and quickly befriending her, Miyazaki convinced her to come to his car for more pictures. Not long after, Miyazaki strangled Ayako tied her up and put her under a sheet in the trunk of his car.
What differed from his previous victims is that he took Ayako home with him; posing her nude, he took photos while masturbating.
A few days passed before he disposed of the decomposing body. First decapitating the corpse and removing the hands and feet the torso was left at a cemetery. He ate some of the little girl’s remains before tossing the rest into the woods near his residence. Realising it was a mistake to have done this so close to home, he retrieved them a few weeks later, burnt what he could and threw the bones away.
The torso was quickly discovered and, even after the mutilation, identified.
Incredibly, despite the massive police investigation a civilian would apprehend the Little Girl Murderer on July 23rd 1989.
Miyazaki was caught trying to take pictures of a girl who he had coerced to strip nude for him after her sister had run home to tell their father. Miyazaki, knocked down by the father scrambled away but shockingly returned to his car and arrested by the waiting police officers.
Police knew right away that they had found the Little Girl Murderer, and within a few weeks had a full confession as well as locations for recovery of victim’s remains that were still missing.
Trial and Sentencing
A lengthy trial started on March 30th 1990, the media now dubbing Miyazaki as “The Otaku Murderer”, his defence tried to reason him as insane. The Tokyo District Court rendered him as accountable of his actions and he was sentenced to death on April 14, 1997.
Miyazaki’s father had been deeply ashamed of his son’s actions and refused to pay for his legal defense. He committed suicide in 1994.
Miyazaki’s death sentence was upheld after two appeals, once in 2001 and again in 2006.
Tsutomu Miyazaki was hanged June 17th 2008.