Junko Furuta was a Japanese schoolgirl who suffered 40 days of unimaginable torture at the hands of her classmates before dying on January 4th, 1989. After she rejected the school bully, Hiroshi Miyano, she was taken by 4 boys to the home of one of the kidnappers, Nobaharu Minato. All in all, over 100 people knew of her abduction; none did anything to help, and several joined in the torture.
According to their statements in court, the four boys tortured Junko relentlessly, to such an extent that her face was so swollen she was virtually unrecognisable, she lost bladder control (and was beaten for wetting the carpet), and her body developed a rotting smell.
The torture included:
- Rape — Junko was raped over 400 times over the course of 40 days. Many of these rapes were gang-rape, and the four boys’ friends were invited to join in and humiliate her. Over 100 different men are alleged to have participated in rape at some point. She was naked for most of her imprisonment and forced to masturbate in front of her captors. Some of the boys urinated on her, and she was forced to drink her own urine.
- Vaginal mutilation — iron bars, scissors, needles, skewers, a bulb, fireworks, cigarettes and lighters amongst other foreign objects were forced into her vagina and anus, causing severe burning and damage. Additionally, she forcibly had her breasts pierced with sewing needles and one of her nipples was torn off.
- Beatings — she was beaten regularly, and sometimes strapped up as a human punching bag. The boys used clubs, rods and bamboo sticks to punish her for displeasing them.
- Freezing — after pleading to die, she was locked outside overnight (bear in mind this was in winter), and later locked in a freezer.
- Burning — this is believed to be the ultimate cause of her death. She suffered severe burns from the aforementioned lighters and fireworks. When she tried to call the police, she was doused with lighter fluid and her body was set on fire. Somehow she survived but was killed by another body fire on the 40th day of imprisonment.
- The boys reportedly dropped barbells and an iron exercise ball on her stomach, which was partly responsible for the lost bladder control, along with the damage to her genitals.
Hiroshi was sentenced to 20 years, and the other main captors received 5–10 years each. Most of them were subsequently arrested again for various crimes, including rape and fraud. They were aged 17–18 at the time; Junko was 17. Had the captors been slightly older, they almost certainly would have received life imprisonment or the death penalty. The case is considered controversial due to their lenient sentences, and I can see why.
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