Kobe School Killer Update
I’ve noticed that the post on the Kobe School Killer has had a high number of reads over the past few days. Knowing that he was released back into the public a few years ago, I went around and found some updated articles.
Perverted schoolboy killer set free to dissect society
By Masuo Kamiyama
October 4, 2004
We knew him first as “School Killer,” then as “Seito Sakakibara,” then, during the years of his incarceration and treatment, as “Shonen A,” Youth A. Now we know him by no name at all. His new identity and his whereabouts are closely guarded secrets.
The “sexual sadist” who as a 14-year-old murdered two small Kobe children in 1997 has been free on parole since March, when he was officially pronounced rehabilitated. That optimistic conclusion is highly suspect, argues Shukan Shincho (9/30). Its headline is blunt: “Shonen A was not cured!”
The boy’s first two manga-style names were his inventions, incorporated into taunting notes he addressed to the police investigators looking for him — unsuccessfully at first because they had no suspicion the child-murderer they sought was himself a child.
He’s grown up now, a strapping 22-year-old living and working under an assumed name, his new identity buttressed by a fictitious birthplace and fictitious school records. His neighbors and colleagues have no idea who he really is. He lives in an apartment with a roommate who is a Justice Ministry official. He walks to work every morning, arriving at 8 a.m. at the factory where he is employed as a welder, having learned the trade at the reformatory. He is described as a serious worker. When his workday ends at 5 p.m. he reports to his probation officer before going home.
Shukan Shincho’s information comes largely from a report by journalist “Fumiya” Hitotsubashi in the October issue of the monthly Shincho 45. Hitotsubashi’s report in turn is based on Justice Ministry sources and what he claims are leaked top-secret Justice Ministry documents.
When Shonen A was released in March, the Kanto Regional Parole Board declared that his condition had improved to such an extent that “there is no fear of recidivism.”
The secret internal Justice Ministry documents Hitotsubashi claims to have seen show, however, that at least some of the experts who examined him were less sanguine. They admitted that Shonen A’s aggressive symptoms were under better control, but added that the root cause of his pathology had not been eliminated. “In other words,” Hitotsubashi writes, “A’s sexual sadism has not been cured.” Citing documents recording A’s interview with psychiatrists, Hitotsubashi, quoted by Shukan Shincho, traces the young man’s sexual awakening. It is a grim, sad one.
“The first time I had an erection,” he reportedly told his doctors, “was in grade five, when we dissected a frog. In first year junior high school I masturbated while imagining myself gorging on entrails.”
“Sexual perversions like [Shonen A’s],” says Teizukayama Gakuin professor emeritus Susumu Oda, “are unlikely to be cured in a matter of six or seven years.”
If the young man’s fantasies have not been tamed, and if they result in another crime, “who,” demands Shukan Shincho, “will take responsibility?”