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Futoshi MATSUNAGA

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Abuse - Torture - The Japanese police never recovered any human remains and found no physical evidence
Number of victims: 7 +
Date of murders: 1996 - 1998
Date of arrest: March 6, 2002
Date of birth: April 28, 1961
Victims profile: Kumio Toraya / Takashige Ogata / Shizumi Ogata / Rieko Ogata / Kazuya Ogata / Yūki Ogata / Aya Ogata (3 men, 2 women and 2 children)
Method of murder: Electrocution - Strangulation - Starvation
Location: Kitakyushu/Fukuoka, Japan
Status: Sentenced to death on September 26, 2007
 
 
 
 
 
 

Futoshi Matsunaga (松永 太 Matsunaga Futoshi, born April 28, 1961) is a Japanese serial killer and fraudster. He tortured and murdered at least seven people, including two children, between 1996 and 1998. He murdered his victims with an accomplice, Junko Ogata, who was also a victim of his abuse.

His crimes were so atrocious that most mass media were not willing to report the details. The Japan Times reported that prosecutors said "[the case] is without comparison in the criminal history of our country".

Early life

Matsunaga was born in Kokura Kita-ku, Kitakyūshū, Fukuoka Prefecture. He was a juvenile delinquent and transferred due to living with a junior high school girl. He married a woman at the age of 19, and had a child.

While still married, in 1982 he promised also to marry Junko Ogata. Her mother, Shizumi, wanted the couple to part, but he then seduced Shizumi as well. He treated Junko violently.

Junko attempted to commit suicide in 1985, but he made her part from her family, convincing her that her family hated her because of her suicidal attempt. He begun to live with Junko in 1985. He established a new company, named the World, selling futons in 1983, and purchased a building for the company in 1985. Around that time, he begun to electrocute his men on the third floor of the building. He had gotten 180 million yen through fraud or blackmail. In 1992, he and Junko evaded the police and were put on the nation's Wanted list.

The first two victims

Matsunaga's first victim was a married woman with three children. In April 1993, he convinced her to leave her husband and run away with him, telling the woman that Junko was his sister. One of her children died under mysterious circumstances in September 1993. Her two other children went to live with their father and grandfather in October 1993.

During their relationship, Matsunaga defrauded the woman of 11.8 million yen. The woman died mysteriously in March 1994. The police were not able to prove that Matsunaga had killed the woman or her child

Confinement and Murders

Matsunaga lived in a condominium in Kitakyushu. In 1994, he targeted Kumio Toraya and his daughter who survived and escaped in 2002.

Matsunaga gained information from Kumio about his previous convictions and tried to blackmail him. Kumio even admitted to previous convictions which he hadn't committed in reality.

Kumio and his daughter were confined in his room. He tortured Kumio with electrocution. He forced Kumio's daughter to torture her father as well. Kumio died of abuse at the age of 34 on February 26, 1996.

Matsunaga convinced the girl that she had murdered her father. He told Junko and the girl to rid of his remains. Kunio's remains were thrown away in the Kunisaki Peninsula offing.

In same year, he had found a next target; a woman who was Kumio's acquaintance. She was tricked into believing that he would marry her. He insisted that he was a graduate from the Kyoto university.

He cheated her of 5.6 million yen. She and her daughter visited his room and were held prisoner. She jumped off from the second floor to the ground, and escaped from him in March 1997. She was put into the care of a mental hospital and her daughter was released.

In April 1997, Junko went to work and didn't return. Matsunaga called Junko's family, claiming her absence. He continued to blackmail Shizumi. He told her family that Junko was a murderer, and he threatened them.

He released false information that he had committed suicide, and he performed his own false funeral. The news eased Junko's mind and she returned, but only to find that he was alive. Matsunaga violently abused Junko.

Junko's family gave 63 million yen to Matsunaga, then they were held captive. Matsunaga also seduced Junko's sister, Rieko, who had married. He continued to abuse the women sexually with electrocution. He controlled the family in the manner of cult-leader Shoko Asahara and his subordinates.

On December 21, 1997, he intructed Junko to torture Junko's father, Takashige, to death by electrocution at the age of 61.

Matsunaga abuse made Shizumi's go insane and she gave strange voices. He commanded Rieko and her husband Kazuya to kill Shizumi by strangulation on January 20, 1998. She died at the age of 58.

Matsunaga abuse made Rieko's ears go deaf. He commanded them to kill Rieko, and she was held by Junko's sister's daughter, Aya, and was strangled by Kazuya on February 10, 1998. She died at the age of 33.

Kazuya, who directly murdered two people, was exhausted. They confined him in a bathroom, and he starved to death on April 13, 1998. He died at the age of 38.

Matsunaga commanded them to kill Rieko's son, Yuki, and he was held by Junko and Kumio's daughter and was strangled by Aya on May 17, 1998. He died at the age of 5.

He commanded them to kill Aya, and Matsunaga and Junko electrocuted her. Junko, however, denied the girl's testimony and said that her recollections might have altered from a sense of guilt because it was the first murder for the girl. She was strangled by Kumio's daughter on June 7, 1998. She died at the age of 10.

All victims' remains were subdivided and were boiled in pots. When they subdivided victims' bodies, inhabitants in the condominium heard noises and smelled the stench. The victims' remains were finally thrown away to washrooms or the sea. The condominium was renovated right after the murders. Matsunaga blamed the murders on Junko, who was the only survivor in her family besides her two children.

Matsunaga crime continued even after that. In July 2000, a mother ran away from her home lured by the prospect of marriage. They cheated her of 20 million yen. In August 2001, she gave her twins to them. They cheated her of much money as the expense of bringing up children.

Arrest and trial

Kumio's daughter, who was being held captive, escaped from Futoshi on January 30, 2002, but Futoshi found the girl on February 15, 2002. The girl was abused with electrocution.

On March 6, 2002, the girl escaped from Futoshi again, said the crime and called the police. At that time, she was 17 years old. The police arrested Futoshi and Junko on the next day when they tried to get back the girl. The police protected four children; twins and the couple's two children.

They were arrested for murdering Aya on September 18, 2002. They were arrested for murdering Takashige on October 12, 2002. They were arrested for murdering Shizumi on December 6, 2002. They were arrested for murdering Yuki on January 11, 2003. They were arrested for murdering Kumio on February 3, 2003. They were arrested for murdering Eriko on February 25, 2003. They were arrested for murdering Kazuya on May 30, 2003.

The girl wasn't accused of murders. Junko calmly admitted murders, but Matsunaga insisted his own innocence. There wasn't any physical evidence, so the police mainly used the girl's testimony and Junko's testimony.

On September 28, 2005, a district court in Fukuoka sentenced him and Junko to die by hanging. The court admitted six cases, but it considered that Takashige had not been killed but had only been injured by electrocution, which then resulted in death. They appealed the decision.

On September 26, 2007, a high count sentenced again Matsunaga to die, but Junko's sentence was changed from execution to life imprisonment because Matsunaga had forced her to kill the victims with his domestic violence.

The incident was too atrocious to explain, so mass media wasn't able to report the details of the incident. Yet several brave writers, including Ryuzo Saki, wrote the details of the incident.

Victims

  1. Kumio Toraya (虎谷 久美雄 Toraya Kumio) - The girl's father

  2. Takashige Ogata (緒方 誉 Ogata Takashige) - Junko's father

  3. Shizumi Ogata (緒方 静美 Ogata Shizumi) - Junko's mother

  4. Rieko Ogata (緒方 理恵子 Ogata Rieko) - Junko's sister

  5. Kazuya Ogata (緒方 主也 Ogata Kazuya) - Rieko's husband

  6. Yūki Ogata (緒方 優貴 Ogata Yūki) - Junko's nephew

  7. Aya Ogata (緒方 彩 Ogata Aya) - Junko's niece

  


 

Death too good for "cruel, twisted and inhumane" serial-killer couple

October 7, 2005

Bloodthirsty, sadomasochist lovers Futoshi Matsunaga and Junko Ogata may have been sentenced to swing from the gallows, but there are some who say executing the couple convicted for killing seven people only once isn't enough, according to Shukan Gendai (10/15).

Fukuoka District Court's Kokura Branch handed down the death penalty to Ogata and Matsunaga, saying that their crimes had been "cruel, twisted and inhumane."

They may still have been involved in their murderous lifestyle had it not been for a young girl who escaped their clutches in March 2002 and revealed a tale of heinous horror almost unparalleled in Japanese criminal history.

The girl, then just 17, revealed that in a period just over two years from 1996, Matsunaga and Ogata had killed Ogata's parents, sister, brother-in-law and their two children, as well as the girl's own father. All the bodies were chopped into little pieces later dumped into the sea.

"Matsunaga's hideous sexual proclivities were horrifying. Matsunaga forced his common law wife's mother to take part in a simulated rape and he used a stun gun on the genitals of Ogata's niece, who was only a little girl 10-years-old, giving her an electric shock," an investigation insider tells Shukan Gendai. "When we raided Matsunaga's home, we found loads of pornographic photos and videos that he had taken. There was even photos where Matsunaga had taken pictures of naked women walking around with vibrators still inserted into themselves."

Amazingly, the girl whose escape led to the cruel couple's capture, is putting the pieces of her life back together despite years of torture at the hands of Matsunaga and Ogata.

One of the first things the girl did following her escape was let loose with everything she had experienced during her ordeal as Matsunaga and Ogata's virtual slave, according to a close friend who comments to the men's weekly.

"It was just such a shocking experience that opening up about it was the only way she could deal with it. She said that in the period before her father was killed (in about 1996), the couple set about making her and her father hate each other. They were forced to punch each other upon fear of being given a jolt from a stun gun. Matsunaga and Ogata ordered her to punch her father as hard as she could. That experience really seemed to have hurt her," the friend tells Shukan Gendai. "(Matsunaga and Ogata) only let them eat food scraps. In the cold winter, the girl and her father were locked up in a freezing bathroom while the couple sprayed icy cold water down on them. It was a torture. She did say, though, that she'd had some pleasant dreams about her dad after he died.

"The girl also talked about a stew (Matsunaga and Ogata) made using her father's body parts and how Matsunaga insisted that she drink the broth. He isn't human."Despite having been put through a living Hell, the girl, now a woman of 21, is finding her feet.

"She goes to night school and has a part-time job at a kid's home. She didn't go to high school much. She also got her license as soon as she turned 18. Now, she's really cheerful. She sometimes even laughs. She looks happy and, with a bit of make-up, is quite a looker," the friend says.Nonetheless, the dark days the young woman went through have apparently not entirely disappeared.

"She hates Matsunaga and Ogata with a vengeance," the friend tells Shukan Gendai. "She said, 'I hope they get executed as soon as possible.'

 
 

Pair accused of slaying 7 face gallows

The Japan Times Weekly

March 12, 2005

Prosecutors demanded the death penalty March 2 for a couple accused of murdering seven people who lived in their apartment between February 1996 and June 1998.

Futoshi Matsunaga and Junko Ogata, both 43, stand accused of slaying six of Ogata's relatives and a 34-year-old man who was not kin.

In demanding capital punishment, prosecutors told the Kokura branch of the Fukuoka District Court that the couple's actions were brutal and they bore a great responsibility as the case "is without comparison in the criminal history of our country."

The prosecution said the defendants repeatedly assaulted and confined their victims in a bid to extract money from the adults. When either the money ran out or it was feared word about the crimes would get out, the victims were separately murdered and their bodies dismembered and disposed of. No physical evidence of the crimes was ever found.

The murders came to light in March 2002 when a teenage girl escaped from the pair's apartment, where she told police she had been confined and subjected to electric shocks.

 
 

Mystery shrouds couple after torture of captive schoolgirl

March 23, 2002

A bloodcurdling scream erupted from the 17-year-old girl as she ripped her toenails off one by one with a pair of pliers.

Despite the banshee-like cry, Junko Ogata apparently looked on emotionless.

Ogata and Futoshi Matsunaga, who stood by the door of the Kitakyushu apartment to make sure the girl could not escape, had been "taking care" of the 17-year-old for the past seven years, ever since they moved in with her and her father.

Nobody knows exactly what happened to the girl's father. She has told the police the pair killed him, cut his body into small parts and forced her to help them throw the pieces from a ferry.

Days after her toenail torment, the 17-year-old girl managed to flee to the safety of her grandfather's home in Kitakyushu. Her seven years in captivity were finally at an end.

Shortly afterward, Ogata and Matsunaga, classmates who became lovers, were found to have four more boys stashed away in a different apartment in another part of Kitakyushu. Two of the boys were Ogata's own kids. The other two a set of twins entrusted to Matsunaga by a woman desperate to escape her debts.

Flash (4/2-9) notes that Matsunaga was once a futon salesman before he started an antiques company that rose to occupy a three-story building and flourished during the days of the "bubble" economy.

His world took a tumble in 1992 when the company was swamped with bills it couldn't pay. Matsunaga disappeared and police issued a warrant for his arrest for fraud.

"Most of the people he did business with looked like they were gangsters. Because Matsunaga had done this lot over, he just disappeared. He knew if anybody from the underworld got hold of him, he was dead," an acquaintance from the time tells Flash.

Ogata, on the other hand, headed off to a junior college upon completing high school and gained qualifications to become a kindergarten teacher. She began working at a kindergarten near her home in the spring of 1992.

"She was a polite young lady who enjoyed being with kids. She really tried her hardest and, until the start of 1985, was never late or called in sick," the head of the kindergarten tells Flash.

Something went drastically wrong with Ogata in 1985. She collapsed on the day that parents were invited to see their children's classes and permitted to take one week off work.

"Even after the week had finished, she didn't come back to work. We went to wish her well, but couldn't find her anywhere. She turned up on payday, but since then I haven't seen her again. I even had to hand over her severance pay to her mother," the principal says.

Some rumors have popped up about why Ogata strayed from the straight and narrow.

"I've heard whispers that she quit the kindergarten because she'd found herself a bloke," an old neighbor of Ogata's says. "Other rumors say she joined up with Matsunaga at the time."

In 1985, Matsunaga had been married for three years in a union that was to last for another seven. Ogata became an executive of his company in 1992, the year of his divorce, and when the firm fell through, the pair disappeared -- as did Ogata's father. Ogata gave birth to boys in 1993 and 1996. These boys were among the four found in the second Kitakyushu apartment.

Ogata and Matsunaga are believed to have first started living with the girl they are accused of keeping captive in January 1995. Facts are hazy, but Ogata and Matsunaga could have been called in to help the girl's father get away from the large number of people to whom he owed money.

"They called themselves the Hashimoto family and the girl referred to Ogata as her aunt. But the girl always looked really gloomy," a neighbor of the time recalls.

Around this time, Matsunaga and Ogata apparently began referring to themselves as yonigeya, those who help people vanish overnight. In 1996, the father of the girl the pair are accused of kidnapping disappeared without a trace. Sinister outcomes that back up the girl's claims of murder have been suggested.

"For about a week in the summer of '97, we could hear the noise of a saw being used in their apartment until around 3 a.m.," a neighbor tells Flash. "And there was this vile smell that permeated the entire apartment block."

 
 


Futoshi Matsunaga and his accomplice, Junko Ogata.

 

 

 
 
 
 
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