Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
In November of 1988, Jo Kamisaku (then 17; Kamisaku was a new surname he took after being released from prison) and three other young men from Tokyo abducted and held Furuta, a second-year secondary school student (equivalent to the U.S. 11th grade) from Saitama Prefecture in Misato, for several weeks. They kept her captive in the house owned by the parents of one of the other three boys.
To forestall a manhunt, Kamisaku coerced Furuta into calling her own parents and telling them that she had run away from home, but was with "a friend" and was not in danger. He also browbeat her into posing as one of their girlfriends when the parents were around, but when it became clear that they would not call the police, he dropped this pretext. The girl tried to escape several times, begging more than once with the parents who lived there to help her, but they did nothing, apparently out of fear that Kamisaku would hurt them. He was at the time a low-level yakuza member and had bragged that he could use his connections to kill anyone who interfered.
According to their statements at their trial, the four of them raped her, beat her, introduced foreign objects into her vagina, made her drink her own urine, inserted fireworks into her anus and set them off, forced her to masturbate, and burned her with cigarettes and lighters. (One of the burnings was punishment for attempting to call the police.) At one point her injuries were so severe that according to one of the boys it took her more than an hour for her to crawl downstairs to use the bathroom. They also related that "possibly a hundred different people" knew that she had been imprisoned there, but it is not clear if this means they visited her at different times while she was imprisoned and either raped or abused her. When the boys refused to let her leave, she begged them on several occasions to "kill (her) and get it over with."
On 4 January 1989, using one of the boy's loss at mah-jongg as a pretext, the four beat her with an iron barbell, poured lighter fluid on her legs, arms, face and stomach, and immolated her. She died later that day of shock. The four boys claimed that they were not aware of how badly injured she was, or that they believed she had been malingering.
Arrest and punishment
The boys were arrested and tried as adults, but their identities were sealed by the court due to the way crimes committed by juveniles are handled in Japan. In contrast, Furuta's real name and details about her personal life were reported exhaustively in the media.
Kamisaku and his compatriots pled guilty to a reduced charge of "commiting bodily injury that resulted in death" rather than murder. Kamisaku's parents sold their house for approximately 50 million yen and paid this as compensation to Furuta's family.
For his participation in the crime, Kamisaku served eight years in a juvenile prison before he was released in August of 1999. In July 2004 he was arrested for assaulting an acquaintance, Takatoshi Isono, whom Kamisaku believed was luring a girlfriend away from him, and allegedly bragged about his earlier infamy. Kamisaku was sentenced to seven years in prison for the beating.
Furuta's parents were dismayed by the sentencing passed on their daughter's killers and enjoined a civil suit against the parents of the boy whose house they were staying in. When some of their convictions were overturned based on problematic physical evidence (the semen and pubic hair recovered from the body did not match the boys who were arrested), the lawyer handling the civil suit decided there was no case to be made and refused to represent them further. (There is speculation that the evidence may have been contaminated -- for instance, due to the other as-yet-unidentified parties who came in and raped Furuta separately.)
An exploitive film, Schoolgirl in Cement , was made about the incident, and a graphic, also-exploitive manga (with some of the details fictionalized) was released in 2004 under the name Shin Gendai Ryōkiden (真 現代猟奇伝)("Modern-Day True-to-Life Stories of the Bizarre") by Waita Uziga. Another film named Concrete was made in 2004 and dealt with both the victim and the criminals.
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