Defendant in Tsuyama Girl’s Murder Case Reveals ‘Dangerous Sexual Habits | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Defendant in Tsuyama Girl’s Murder Case Reveals ‘Dangerous Sexual Habits

The identity of defendant Katsuya Shujihiko, who is said to have committed the murder of a 9-year-old girl in Tsuyama City, Okayama Prefecture, 17 years ago in September 2004.

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Defendant Katsuhito Katsuda was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of a third-grade girl (Photo: Kyodo News at the time of the 2018 sentencing)

On January 6, the Okayama District Court held a sentencing hearing for Katsuya Katsuya, 43, who was accused of murder and indecent assault for the murder of a third-grade girl, A., then 9, in Tsuyama City, Okayama Prefecture, where Judge Akira Kuranari sentenced him to life imprisonment. There was no evidence at the crime scene to link the defendant to the incident, such as a DNA type, and the defendant denied the allegations, and had contested his innocence. The defense is appealing the case on the same day.

“A person who repeatedly commits crimes against girls”

The incident took place 17 years ago in September 2004, but was long unsolved. Katsuta, who was serving time in Osaka prison for another attempted murder, was arrested as a suspect in the case in May 2018. It was about 14 years later.

I absolutely did not do anything like that,” he said. I did not go to the crime scene or to Tsuyama City on the day of the incident.

The first hearing of the jury trial was held on October 6, 2021. At his arraignment, Katsuta flatly denied the charges against him. However, he did not deny the charges from the beginning. His statements continued to change before and after his arrest, eventually leading to his “complete denial. The issue in the jury trial was whether Katsuta was the culprit or not, and whether his confession during the investigation phase was credible.

The Okayama District Court ruled that the crime was committed by Katsuta and that the confession made during the investigation was credible.

The court said, “Considering the fact that the defendant was given prior information and that he was not induced to confess, it is reasonable to assume that he was able to speak only because he was a criminal. Even if he could have given specific details based on TV information, memories, and his imagination, it would have been difficult for him to tell such a story unless he was the perpetrator, in order for the story he put together to be consistent and coherent.

According to the prosecutor’s opening statement at the first trial, after the incident occurred, the Okayama Prefectural Police began investigating the case as a murder case, but for many years they had not been able to identify a suspect. In order to expand the investigation outside of the prefecture, the police asked for cooperation from the Hyogo Prefectural Police, and in 2017, the existence of Katsuta emerged as “someone who repeatedly committed crimes against girls.

At the time, Katsuta was serving time in Osaka Prison, where he was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the attempted murder of a girl in 2015. In 2000, he was sentenced to probation for indecent assault and indecent assault on several girls around the age of 10, including punching them in the abdomen and touching their private parts.

In 2010, he was sentenced to four years in prison for assault and battery, including punching a girl in the abdomen and poking her with a screwdriver. It was because of this past that Katsuta drew attention as someone who repeatedly committed crimes against girls.

The investigators asked Katsuta, who was serving a sentence in Osaka Prison, and began interviewing him. In May 2018, Katsuta was arrested as a suspect in the murder of Ms. A. During an interrogation on June 2 of the same year, he stated that he had stabbed Ms. A to death. Six days later, however, he changed his statement, saying that it was “all bullshit that I thought up on my own. However, even after that, he did not consistently deny it, and during the psychiatric evaluation conducted from the same month to October, he explained to the medical examiner that he admitted to killing Ms. A.

In his opening statement, the defense argued that the defendant had what is called “borderline intelligence” and that the content of his statements at the time were unreliable. Borderline intelligence is the borderline between what is considered “average” and what is considered a “disability” in terms of intelligence quotient. At first glance, they seem to be able to live their daily lives without any problems, but they have difficulties in communication and calculation, and have inconveniences in their daily lives.

He added, “Hair and other items were seized from the scene, but no DNA type linked to the defendant has been detected. There is no evidence to support the footsteps of the day, and no murder weapon has been found,” he also clarified. However, the judge said, “DNA typing of hair requires a ‘hair root sheath. However, the court rejected the defense’s argument, saying, “DNA typing of hair requires a ‘hair root sheath’ for DNA typing, but since natural hair loss has almost no hair root sheath, DNA typing cannot always be detected.

The trial was focused on the “changes in the confession” and “its credibility,” but what Katsuta also talked about in court was his “urge for girls,” which is also related to his criminal record.

On November 11, 2021, during the questioning of the accused by the judge and the jury, he said that he had originally been “following girls”.

The judge said, “You said you enjoyed following girls and watching them, but were you targeting girls in elementary, middle, and high school?

The defendant said, “Yes, I think all of them (elementary, junior high and high school girls) are included. If they were cute, I targeted them all.

The defendant was living in Hyogo Prefecture at the time, but he liked cars and often went on long trips. The defendant was living in Hyogo Prefecture at the time, but he liked cars and often traveled far.

Judge: “According to your story, you said you had been to Tsuyama City four times before the incident, didn’t you?

Defendant: “Yes.

Judge: “In each case, you said you parked your car in the eighth floor parking lot of the same shopping center. How did you get down to the ground?”

Defendant: “I took the emergency stairs all four times. The reason is that I thought there might be a security camera in the elevator.”

Judge: “When did this happen?”

Defendant: “Around 2003 to 2004.

This story, “I parked my car in the parking lot of the shopping center and went down the emergency stairs to the ground,” is the same as the “story Katsuta made up,” which she had confessed to at one time. He also said that he walked to the elementary school that the victim, Ms. A, attended at that time. In the “story,” the defendant testified that he knew the route the victim took to get out of school.

What is the connection between the defendant’s self-injurious behavior and sexual arousal?

The defendant testified again and again that he was researching information on the Tsuyama incident. This was because “I was interested in the girls because they were cute.

Every year in September, I would search the Internet. Every September, I would search the Internet using the words ‘Tsuyama girls’ murder.

He also watched the TV program “TV no Chikara” (TV Asahi), which was airing at the time. She also claimed that she had watched the program when it was aired about the murder of the three Tsuyama Elementary School girls, and that she knew the details of the case from newspapers and other media, and that she was able to create a “story” when she confessed. However, during the questioning of the accused, he sometimes gave more detailed testimony than what he had gathered from such information.

The judge said, “In ‘The Power of TV,’ the scene where you strangled the girl, you strangled her from behind, but the defendant said, ‘I strangled her with both hands.

Defendant: “I only remembered that I strangled her while she was standing, I only remembered that I strangled her with both hands!”

Despite her denial, the defendant continued to speak louder and louder, and the judge followed up with, “Are you confused? The judge followed up with, “Are you confused? This was not the only time he was involved in such a situation. When the defendant was asked about the contents of a letter he had written to his mother, his voice became so loud that he could not stop his testimony.

Judge: “What was the story of the letter you wrote to your mother saying you strangled her but did not stab her?”

Defendant: “I left my house, let’s see, first I went to the Tottori Sand Dunes, then I took a break, and on the way I thought I would look for the girl in Tsuyama, so I parked my car in the parking lot of a shopping center and was wandering around the area when I found an elementary school and saw the girl leaving alone, so I decided to follow her.

Then I followed her. The girl was leaving school by herself, so I followed her and found out that she was a lock-up girl. So I took a chance and went to her house. I opened the front door and said, ‘Excuse me,’ and asked the girl who came out, ‘What time is it?’ I asked. The girl had regained her memory of the time, so I went up to her room and said, ‘Come here. What time is it? I asked. Then I asked, “Are you alone? The girl replied, “Yes. …… The girl was cute and I wanted to play a prank on her. But I didn’t do anything naughty! I strangled her neck. She resisted too violently, so I took a small knife out of my bag while choking her. ……”

The defendant continued to talk about the stabbing even though she was listening to the story that she did not stab him. Again, the police stopped her.

The defendant’s self-injury is inseparable from his criminal record against girls and women. It was revealed that he had repeatedly stabbed himself in the abdomen, not in the wrist or the leg, a dangerous act, even before the Tsuyama incident and right before the attempted murder case, a previous conviction.

Judge: “You said that he had self-injured himself several times. You stabbed yourself in the stomach, etc., and were taken to the hospital in September 2004, correct?”

Defendant: “Yes.

Judge: “And after that?

Defendant: “Yes, many times. The last time was just before the Heisei …… (attempted murder) case, when I ended up in Osaka Prison. At that time, I was hospitalized.”

Judge: “At what point do you think about doing it?

Defendant: “I suddenly think about it. I feel like I might have done it.

Judge: “You stabbed him countless times and went to the hospital, didn’t you?

Defendant: “Yes, I stabbed myself so deeply that I was hospitalized once. I couldn’t stop the bleeding, so I called an ambulance. ……”

According to Katsuta’s testimony, he had been self-harming from at least 2004 to 2015, when he was not in prison, and the first trial decision for his attempted murder in 2015 found the following connection between his self-harming behavior and his sexual arousal leading up to the incident.

The defendant had a peculiar habit of stabbing himself in the abdomen with a craft knife over his shirt, watching it bleed, and imagining a girl bleeding from her abdomen. He was hospitalized before this case because he had stabbed himself in the abdomen too much, and the doctor told him that he could not stab himself anymore.

At this time, it was also pointed out that he was “disguising himself and trying to avoid security cameras in order to avoid being arrested” while looking for a target. In the Tsuyama case, the defendant said that he had avoided security cameras in his “confession story”. The Tsuyama case in 2004 and the attempted murder case in 2015 have more than one thing in common: the girls were ransacked, followed, and hospitalized for self-harm.

(Continue to [Part 2: “Crime is just a way to kill time…” The defendant in the Tsuyama girl’s murder told a psychiatrist in a shocking statement])

  • Reporting and writing by Yuki Takahashi

    Observer. Freelance writer. She is a freelance writer and has written several books, including "Tsukebi no mura: rumor killed five people? (Shobunsha), "Runaway Old Man, Crime Theater" (Yosenya Shinsho), "Kanae Kijima: The Secret of Dangerous Love" (Tokuma Shoten), "Kanae Kijima Gekijo" (Takarajimasya), "Kasumikko Club: Daughters' Court Hearings" (Shinchosha), and many other writings based on interviews on murder cases and court hearings.

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