Japanese murder suspect, 16, says she ‘wanted to dissect’ someone
Girl who lived alone confesses to strangling and decapitating classmate using a hammer and saw
A 16-year-old girl has confessed to decapitating a classmate, police said yesterday, after she allegedly told investigators she "wanted to dissect" someone.
The teenager, whose name was not released because she is a minor, was arrested on Sunday on suspicion of murdering her 15-year-old classmate Aiwa Matsuo after police discovered her dismembered body on a bed in the suspect's home.
The accused has admitted she strangled Matsuo before severing her head and left hand, "using tools ... and something like a cord", a police investigator said.
"The victim was found decapitated, with her left wrist chopped off," the investigator said, adding that the murder probably took place on Saturday evening.
The girls attended the same high school in Sasebo city in southwestern Japan, police said.
Police found tools, including hammers and a saw, by the body, Yomiuri newspaper reported.
The girl lived alone after her mother died of cancer last year, but her father and stepmother live in the same city, reports said.
The Sports Nippon newspaper said the alleged killer told police she "wanted to dissect" a body, adding that the victim's belly was cut open.
Investigative sources told the Kyodo news agency that the suspect said she had dissected a small animal before. The suspect is likely to undergo psychiatric evaluation, the sources said.
Kyodo said police suspect there was trouble between the two classmates and that the suspect had made careful preparations for the murder.
The girls had made an agreement to meet on Saturday about a week in advance and the suspect said she bought a hammer and saw, the sources said.
"I wanted to kill someone. I bought tools by myself," Yomiuri quoted the girl as telling police.
Police believe Matsuo was killed at the suspect's apartment at around 8pm on Saturday, about five hours after Matsuo left her home. The suspect allegedly hit Matsuo over the head a number of times from behind and strangled her with a rope.
The suspect told investigators she and Matsuo went shopping in the city's downtown area on Saturday and the police are checking security footage to verify this.
The suspect attended school for only three days in the first semester, according to the prefectural education board. A teacher at the junior high school she graduated from used to visit her apartment once a week to talk with her.
Violent crime is still relatively rare in Japan, but several high-profile cases involving young people in recent years have heightened public concern.
Sasebo had already made headlines in 2004 when a primary school girl stabbed her classmate to death.
Additional reporting by Kyodo