Kizu the Reaper
Before there was any crime, before the horror that befell Japanese university summer dorms in the summer of 2000, there was just Keiichiro Matsui, the top student in all of Japan. He had scored #1 on the Japanese national practice exams for his junior and senior years of high school, and attended the most prestigious prep-schools in Japan. He was everything a woman would want, tall, handsome, soft-spoken, polite, kind, wealthy and supremely intelligent, he dressed in a black suit and red tie carrying a briefcase around Tokyo University campus and smiled handsomely to every girl that looked at him, he was an ace medical student who planned to be a surgeon…therefore, no one knew, nor could anyone ever know, why Keiichiro, going by the alias “Kizu no Shinigami,” or “Kizu the Grim-Reaper,” killed more than 900 college-age women over a period of 13 years, from 2000-2013, with a steak knife, scalpel, fishhooks, fishing line and a Japanese katana sword. Striking only in the summer, when the girls stayed at all-girls’ dormitories in the tropical hot-spring country in southern Japan and when no school was in session, moving with purpose and intent, much like a great white shark hunting its prey with a silent, malicious determination, dressed in a topcoat, black boots with a simple black mask and a black Fedora hat, sneaking into the dorms like a ghost, wielding fishing line and fishhooks. Kizu would silently approach a sleeping young woman standing over her bed with the ocean breeze blowing in, and rudely awaken her by holding a knife to her throat. Kizu would crucify her to her bed with fishhooks in her hands, arms, legs and feet, tied with fishing line, and eviscerate her vagina and uterus with a knife and scalpel to the strains of Mozart’s Dies Irae, played in the hallowed halls of Notre Dame Cathedral. Then, he’d decapitate her cleanly with the katana, jam the phone lines with a signal scrambler in his pocket, so that no one could call the police, and repeat the ghastly process until every girl in the dorm was dead. During the day, he was perfectly sane, and was the last person you’d expect to be the most horrid serial killer in Japanese history; not since Jack the Ripper did a killer terrorize a country to such a degree. The schools that owned the summer dorms closed them down, but Kizu simply stepped his efforts up after that, breaking into the girls’ homes, and killing them in the same macabre way, often leaving taunting notes and lectures to police about the Platonic-Aristotelian dichotomy; the debate on whether people are naturally good or naturally evil, and opinions about death and heavy issues such as abortion, atheism, religion, assisted suicide, and Marxism vs. Capitalism. He also used bizarre symbols and swastikas, but swastikas drawn in the traditional Buddhist, Hindu or Shinto Namaste style, curved at the ends with four dots surrounding it, rather than the Nazi Party’s Heukenkreuz design. He also carved messages like “WAR” “PEACE” and “LOVE” into his victims’ bloodied, battered skin with a scalpel. The attention paid to the case waxed and waned over the 13-year span, 9-11-01 stole the headlines, but the dreaded “Grim Reaper Killer” never went away; between the international hunt for Osama bin Laden and the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, you would see, on Japanese news media, every summer, headlines of another hot-spring bathhouse dorm slaughtered like squealing hogs, police never called, the same killer, every year, every time, usually 3 or 4 times a year…it all ended on May 8, 2013…for the first time in the 21st Century, college girls vacationing in southern Japan could sleep soundly, and not fear the wrath of Kizu the Reaper…but his macabre psychological torment involving the sound of a bicycle horn and repressed memories of abuse he underwent as a young boy was almost too depraved and psychotic to be believed. Even today, police still shudder at the very mention of the case…
The summer of 2000 broke open just like any other, the universities in Japan reached their summer breaks, and the girls of Udan-no-Ura Bathhouse Dormitory returned for another summer of fun, drinking, partying and flirting around town, at the various bars and host clubs that catered to them; these opened up every summer in anticipation of the 6 college girls that lived in Udan-no-Ura between May and August, most people assumed that, because of how every business treated them as special guests, they may as well might have run the town. They were stunning, bossy, and high-maintenance, and extremely intelligent, they attended Tokyo University, the most prestigious university in Japan and ranked behind only Harvard and Oxford in the global rankings. They were treated like princesses every time they came to town, and expected, no, demanded, nothing less. Some might have claimed that they were tyrants, and some might have secretly or even openly resented their arrogance. However, there was no indication that anyone meant them any harm, as even the naysayers said that they brought huge amounts of business to the tiny resort town in the summer, Udan-no-Ura was essentially a college onsen town that catered to the whims of 6 college girls every summer. They lived like queens, but every queen has someone that wanted her dead…little did anyone know what was about to happen one night in June.
“Goodnight, everyone, we’re all going to sleep, leave the window open, it’s a beautiful night. Happy summer.” The six girls went to bed as their guests all filed out of the room, leaving the window in the dorm house open facing the beach, just to let the breeze circulate through the house, as they had for the past two years. They had never had so much as anyone look inside their house through the window, and crime rates here were very low…they had no reason to be suspicious, as police bulletins went out whenever there was even a petty crime in town, but, most crime was not even worth getting into a fuss over. The only crimes ever to befall Udan-no-Ura were pickpockets and shoplifters; there had never been a violent crime in the history of the resort town’s existence. There was no history of violence, no reason for violence, and no motive. This was not a bad neighborhood. Therefore, there was no reason to fear violence in an upper-class resort town full of university students, at least against the university students, there had been a few fights and brawls that the police had to break up between drunken young men that the 6 girls invited over, but that was all part of the usual summer banter at the police station. Therefore, no one could have foreseen the shadowy figure walking up to the bathhouse dorm window on the first floor, at 3:00 A.M., he looked just like a shadow, moving slowly and unpredictably, so that he looked just like a shadow moving along in the wind with whatever was casting it, in the same way a walking stick moved to look like a twig blowing in the wind, it was perfect camouflage, even a security camera would have had trouble detecting the individual amongst the shadows cast by the streetlights. As the shadow approached the window, he jumped up and into the low window and into the living room, darkened by the fact that all the girls were asleep and everything was turned off, except for the glow on the digital clocks for the new DVD players, brand-new technology in 2000.