July 28, 2009
Hiroshi Maeue (前上 博, left) and Yukio Yamaji (山地 悠紀夫, right) are hanged for murder
Maeue, dubbed “The Suicide Website Murderer,” was hanged for murdering three victims in 2005. Each victim was found in an internet community dedicated to those who wanted to kill themselves. Maeue met three people — a 14-year-old boy, a 25-year-old woman, and a 21-year-old man — in person after agreeing to a double suicide by lighting a coal burner in a closed car. Before the suicide pact could be completed, Maeue strangled his victims. The killings occurred within a three-month span.
Yamaji had murdered his 50-year-old mother by beating her with a baseball bat when he was 16. He waited two days before calling the police, was arrested, and paroled three years after the murder. Two years after his parole, on November 17, 2005, Yamaji raped and stabbed two sisters to death, ages 19 and 27. For this double murder, Yamaji was sentenced to hang. He was the youngest person executed in Japan since 1972 when Misao Katagiri (片桐 操) was executed for a 1965 shooting spree which claimed one life and 17 injuries. Both Yamaji and Katagiri were 25 at the time of their deaths.