1660: Major-General Thomas Harrison, the first of the regicides Themed Set: Belles Epoque

1959: Genzo Kurita, serial killer

October 14th, 2008 Headsman

On this date in 1959, a disturbed Japanese serial killer was hanged for eight murders.

A past generation’s emblem of monstrousness, Genzo Kurita (English Wikipedia page | Japanese) was invoked on the floor of the Diet as a reason to keep the death penalty.

And no wonder.

He was caught early in 1952 for murdering a 24-year-old and her 63-year-old aunt, and defiling the younger woman’s body. Those murders led to a death sentence a few months later, but they also led to a string of unsolved homicides: another murder-necrophilia crime the previous summer, and the notorious Osen Korogashi incident, when he threw a rape victim’s family over the Osen Korogashi cliffs.*

He got a separate death sentence for those murders (plus two other earlier ones) later in 1952.

A touch unstable — obviously — Kurita withdrew his own appeals in 1954 to get it over with, but it still took the ponderous Japanese death penalty system the best part of the decade to see him to the gallows.

Most of what’s online about Genzo Kurita is in Japanese, like this more detailed survey of his life in crime.

* The raped mother, and three children; one of the children survived. The Osen Korogashi (or Osenkorogashi) cliffs, as it happens, have their own eerily topical legend of the generous daughter of a cruel lord being thrown over the precipice in her father’s place, prompting him to see the error of his ways.

On this day..

Entry Filed under: 20th Century,Capital Punishment,Common Criminals,Crime,Death Penalty,Execution,Hanged,Infamous,Japan,Murder,Rape,Serial Killers

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