Japanese crime victims are turning up all over the country missing heads or limbs. It’s not a serial killer’s spree: The perpetrators are disturbed individuals who quickly confess. One woman conked her cheating husband on the head with a wine bottle and then cut him up and scattered the pieces across Tokyo. A man chopped up his sister after she mocked him for failing a dental school exam. And a teenage boy killed his mother as she slept, sawed off her head, and brought it to police. Some Japanese commentators blame the bizarre crime wave on violent movies, while others point to a growing sense of alienation and powerlessness. “These recent murders are about self–validation,” said Jinsuke Kageyama, a criminal psychologist. “People murder someone in order to fulfill an ‘empty self.’”
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