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Junko Furuta

“It strikes me profoundly that the world is more often than not a bad and cruel place.” 
― Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho

What’s the worst nightmare you’ve experienced in your lifetime?

Nothing can prepare you for the violence, torture, humiliation and gross maltreatment meted out to Junko Furuta at the tender age of just 17 years. The events that lead up to her death are so profoundly shocking that they can have but one of two instant reactions from someone, either utter disbelief or mind numbing shock. Her incessant torture and sexual abuse, that lasted 41 days was carried out by 4 teenaged boys, all under 17 years old themselves,  points to a disturbing reality,  that it doesn’t take a hardened criminal to subject another human being to cruelty, it just takes a criminal bent of mind. The violent streak in a person is not something that escalates from the first crime onward, it is rather a chance for him or her to act out on the need for carrying out violence that roots itself in their subconscious from what does seem to be a reasonably long time.

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The atrocities inflicted upon Furuta seem to be from a script of a horror movie. Her ordeal began on the first day of her kidnapping, to last upto 44 days during which, she was subjected to all kinds of abuse imaginable. As per their own confession, the boys took turns raping her repeatedly for a total of over 400 times, fed her cockroaches & forced to drink her own urine. She was forced to masturbate, was burnt with cigarettes repeatedly, and was violated with foreign objects introduced in her vagina and anus.

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Since she had gone missing suddenly, there was a clear danger of her parents getting worried and reporting the matter to the police, which could lead to a manhunt. To eliminate the possibility, the boys made her call her parents and tell them that she had she had left home and had gone away, but was with her friends and was safe.

The motive or reason behind the crime remains unclear.

On December 1, 1988, cruelty went several notches up, and Junko was severely beaten up a number of times. She was hung from the ceiling and was used as a punch bag. Her nose was filled by her own blood to the extent that she could only breathe through her mouth. When she was brought down from the ceiling, dumbbells were dropped on her stomach. The damage done to her internal organs was considerable, which is why she could not hold water inside despite being thirsty. When she asked for water and was given some to drink, she vomited it out almost as soon as she drunk it.

She also made an attempt to escape, but was caught and was punished by being burnt with cigarette butts. Inflammable liquid was poured on her arms and legs and she was set on fire for having tried to run away. Not just that; a bottle was also inserted up her anus causing injury.

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Ten days later, on December 10, 1988, when she could not walk properly due to severe burns on the legs, she was beaten up by bamboo sticks. According to some unconfirmed reports, fireworks were inserted in her anus and were lit. She was beaten up by golf clubs and her hands were smashed by weights used for exercising and her nails were cracked to inflict pain.

Ten days later, the boys poured hot wax on her face and her eyelids burnt by cigarette lighter, and she was not only stabbed with sewing needles in the chest region, but her left nipple was also clipped with a plier and destroyed. Due to the insertion of objects in her vagina, she bled heavily, and was unable to urinate properly. The injuries to her private parts were so severe that it took over half an hour to crawl downstairs to use the lavatory to urinate. Her eardrums were also severely damaged though there is not much clarity about the real cause of the damage.

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On the 40th day of her captivity, Junk virtually begged her abductors to kill her and end her unbearable suffering. But that was not to happen for another couple of days.

On January 4, 1989, the boys got furious over something and wanted to take it out on Furuta. They started hitting Furuta’s mutilated body with an iron barbell, and kept on until she started bleeding from her mouth. They also subjected her face and eyes to the flame of a candle. Thereafter, highly inflammable lighter fluid was poured on her arms and legs and she was set on fire alive. The fire was put out soon, but not soon enough to prevent injury; only soon enough to prevent immediate death.

Junko Furuta did not carry on any longer and died a couple of hours later the same day after suffering the unbearable agony for 41 days, which was further scaled up to the extreme in the final few hours of her life. Junko Furuta’s death was among the most painful individual deaths caused by human beings in the history of mankind.

On January 5, 1989, the boys filled a 55-gallon drum with concrete, dumped the dead girl’s body in the setting concrete. The drum was then cast away somewhere on the reclaimed land in Koto, Tokyo.

The boys were arrested, prosecuted and sentenced, but since they were juveniles at the time of committing the crime, the jail terms were lighter. They were sentenced to imprisonment ranging between four to seven years.

“Don’t you feel shame? I thought scum like you could at least feel shame” 
― Kohta Hirano

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