He allegedly killed and dismembered nine victims, mostly young women, and in court on Wednesday, Takahiro Shiraishi put all doubts about the accusations to rest. “All correct,” the 29-year-old defendant known as the “Twitter Killer” said, confirming the murder counts against him during his guilty plea in a Tokyo courtroom, per the BBC and NDTV. Shiraishi could face the death penalty for his crimes. Prosecutors say Shiraishi started targeting his victims—females ages 15 to 26, and one male, 20—on the social media platform in 2017 by looking for those thinking about killing themselves. He’d offer to help them in their quest and sometimes say he’d go the suicide route as well. His Twitter profile read: “I want to help people who are really in pain. Please DM [direct message] me anytime.”
Shiraishi was busted after cops who were looking into the disappearance of one of his victims paid a visit to his apartment in October 2017 and found body parts, covered in cat litter, in coolers. He was also accused of sexually assaulting his female victims, per the Japan Times. Shiraishi’s defense team says the charges should be downgraded to “murder by consent,” which would carry a prison sentence of no more than seven years, as his victims had allegedly agreed to being killed. The BBC notes, though, that Shiraishi is said to disagree with his attorneys on this. “There were bruises on the back of the victims’ heads,” he told the Mainichi Shimbun. “It means there was no consent and I did it so that they wouldn’t resist.” Shiraishi is set to be sentenced on Dec. 15, per the Guardian.