Juan Ignacio Blanco  


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Classification: Spree killer
Characteristics: Robberies
Number of victims: 4
Date of murders: December 13-28, 1991
Date of birth: 1956
Victims profile: Middle-aged women (hostess bar operators)
Method of murder: Strangulation - Stabbing with knife
Location: Osaka, Japan
Status: Sentenced to death on September 12, 1995

The Supreme Court upheld the death sentence given by a lower court to a man who murdered four female bar managers in western Japan in less than a month in 1991. The decision makes the death sentence final for Masakatsu Nishikawa, 49, who was convicted of murder and robbery.

Nishikawa murdered the women between Dec 13 and Dec 28 in 1991 by strangling or stabbing them at the bars they managed. He pleaded guilty but claimed he should not be criminally liable because he had drunken a large quantity of alcohol, which made him feeble-minded, while he maintained was not guilty of the three other murders.


Execution verdict upheld on serial hostess killer

Mainichi Shimbun

June 20, 2001

Despite a deprived childhood, no grounds exist to prevent mass murderer Masakatsu Nishikawa from being executed for his crimes, the Osaka High Court ruled Wednesday morning.

Dismissing a lower court ruling that ordered Nishikawa be sent to the gallows, the high court upheld the 45-year-old man's conviction for robbery and murder or injury of five middle-aged women in the early '90s.

"Your crimes were cruel and callous, all based on a premeditated intent to murder defenseless women," Presiding Judge Motoyasu Kawakami said as he upheld the death sentence. Nishikawa, a Tottori native who now uses the surname Kaneda, was convicted of four counts of robbery and murder, all for crimes that occurred in 1991. His victims were all hostess bar operators. There were two 55-year-olds, one from Matsue and the other from Kyoto, a 51-year-old from the ancient capital and a 45-year-old from Himeji.

Nishikawa was also found guilty of a fifth offense, robbery resulting in attempted murder after he tried to strangle a woman in Osaka during January 1992, leaving her within an inch of her life.

Defense lawyers argued that Nishikawa was innocent of the first three murders. They admitted the Himeji killing, but said their client was suffering from a nervous condition and was also drunk at the time. Lawyers said he had no idea what he was doing and could not be held responsible for the killing.

Kawakami dismissed Nishikawa's claims of innocence, saying that DNA tests showed he had been responsible for the three killings. He also threw out claims of Nishikawa's reduced mental state.

"No grounds exist to suggest reasonable doubt that Nishikawa knew what he was doing," Kawakami ruled.

Kawakami did concede that Nishikawa had a background filled with strife, but remained adamant that he should die for his crimes.

"Even considering that a deprived childhood had an adverse affect on the shaping of his character, I can so no other option but to carry out the death sentence," Kawakami said.



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