In one of the worst cases where killers deliberately prlonged their victim's suffering, Junko Furuta suffered for 44 long days. Furuta was a 17-year-old high school student in Tokyo, Japan, when she was kidnapped in December, 1988. Her kidnappers were also teenagers, and one of them was even her classmate. The boys held Furuta captive for over a month and subjected her to horrifying methods of torture. She begged to be killed, but they refused to grant her request until January 4, 1989, when she finally succumbed to her injuries after being set on fire one last time.
Her body was found in an industrial drum filled with concrete some time later. The concrete encased high school girl murder case became the subject of several movies, novels, and manga comics. The disgustingly brutal case tore across Japan, receiving nationwide attention as people began to discover the heinous crimes committed against the poor girl. To the shock of the world, the kidnappers eventually faced minimal charges and were given light sentences. Read on to learn more about the tragic case of Furuta and the unspeakable horrors that were done to her.
By all accounts, Furuta was a well-behaved student. However, her encounter with one of her classmates, Hiroshi Miyano, who had a crush on her, proved to be her downfall. Furuta turned Miyano down when he asked her out, and that became the catalyst for her kidnapping.
Miyano was one of her captors, along with his friends Jō Ogura (also known as Jo Kamisaku), Nobuharu Minato, and Yasushi Watanabe. Miyano and Ogura were 18, the others 16 and 17.
One of the first things that Furuta's kidnappers did was have her make a phone call. They forced her to call her parents and tell them that she had run away from home. She further elaborated, saying that she was fine - not in any danger - and was staying with a friend. This prevented them from calling the police, which would have started a search for her whereabouts.
The four teenagers who tortured Furuta and eventually killed her were all tried as adults. However, due to the ways in which criminals are sentenced in Japan - and the fact that all four pled guilty to their crimes - they received rather lenient sentences. The ringleader in the case (which some sources mention as Kamisaku) received 20 years in prison, but only served 10. The others served between 3 and 9 years, most of which was served in juvenile prisons. All are now out of jail.
However, in 2005, Kamisaku was arrested for beating one of his acquaintances for 4 hours straight. He also allegedly threatened to kill the man. In the end, he was sentenced to 7 more years in jail and is again out on the streets.
Furuta's parents were shocked at the short sentences the kidnappers received. They took their case to civil court in hopes of punishing the criminals. They were awarded 50 million yen in compensation, the American equivalent of $600,000.