"I wanted to watch a face in agony."
Hiroshi Maeue, a.k.a. "The Suicide Website Murderer" or "The Suicide Pact Strangler", was a Japanese serial killer.
Little is known about Maeue's early life, other than he had a quiet childhood and adolescence. According to Maeue himself, he read a mystery novel as a child, which inspired him to kill people with the modus operandi he would use during his crimes. As a student in the prestigious Kanazawa Institute of Technology, Maeue attacked and attempted to strangle a male acquaintance; he dropped out shortly after in 1988. Years later, in 1995, he was arrested for beating and attempting to strangle a co-worker, he was not prosecuted, but was fired from his job. In 2001, he was sentenced to three years in prison for trying to strangle two women, the sentence was suspended and he spent only one year in prison. After being released on good behavior, he once again attempted to strangle another person and was sentenced to nearly two years in prison. In 2005, Japan was ranked third in a poll regarding which countries were most prone to suicide. Due to the rise in suicides, Maeue decided to take advantage of a recent trend in Japanese society, called the "Internet Suicide Pact", which was used by at least 65 people to commit suicide. One suicide method in particular attracted the attention of Japanese media, which gave him the idea to use it.
Surfing through the many suicide forums available at the time, Maeue found Michiko Nagamoto, a disturbed woman from Osaka, and sent her 20 e-mails; he suggested that they locked themselves in a car and committed suicide by inhaling carbon monoxide. Shortly after meeting Nagamoto, Maeue strangled her and left her body in nearby mountains; her body was found days later and identified through fingerprints. Maeue repeated the same process with two more people, a junior high school student from Kobe (the same city where Seito Sakakibara had committed his crimes) and a college student from Higashiōsaka, his killings lasted a four-month span. Maeue was eventually arrested by police, who traced him by tracking down his e-mails and a car rental contract; he is believed to have posted messages on several suicide forums. Maeue refused appeals and was hanged on July 28, 2009, alongside fellow serial killer Yukio Yamaji, a 25-year-old man convicted of killing his own mother and raping two more women before killing them as well.
Modus Operandi Edit
Maeue targeted people from both genders who were members of suicide websites, hence his nickname. Maeue lured his victims through the promise of participating in a suicide pact with them, though he had no intention of killing himself. The pact involved Maeue and his intended victim locking themselves in a sealed rented car and committing suicide via charcoal burning, poisoning themselves with carbon monoxide; this suicide method was infamous for being used by a good portion of Japanese people to commit suicide. At the location, Maeue would have a brief conversation with the victim before strangling them to death with his bare hands; filming the whole event for his own enjoyment. After killing his victims, Maeue would dump their bodies in mountainous areas located in southern Osaka Prefecture.
A mental-health expert diagnosed Maeue as being sane and mentally-competent, but suffering from a paraphilic psychosexual disorder, which forced him to strangle people in order to gain sexual release. Prosecutors accused Maeue of being a "lust murderer" and insisted that he was a repeated offender who was very likely to kill again if he was ever released from prison.
Known Victims Edit
- Dates further unspecified:
- 1988: Unnamed college student (survived)
- 1995: Unnamed man (survived)
- 2001: Two unnamed women (both survived)
- 2002: Unnamed junior high school student (survived)
- February 19: Michiko Nagamoto, 25
- May: Unnamed junior high school student, 14
- June 10: Unnamed college student, 21
On Criminal Minds Edit
Maeue seems to have served as inspiration for serial killer by proxy Will Summers. Both were serial killers (though Maeue wasn't a proxy killer) who lured potential victims in through lethal websites that involved two participants and had a deep fascination with strangulation and asphyxiation. Also, both committed crimes involving strangulation prior to their serial killings.