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Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Abuse - Torture - The Japanese police never recovered any human remains and found no physical evidence
Number of victims: 7
Date of murders: 1996 - 1998
Date of arrest: March 6, 2002
Date of birth: February 25, 1962
Victims profile: Kumio Toraya, 34 / Takashige Ogata, 61 / Shizumi Ogata, 58 / Rieko Ogata, 33 / Kazuya Ogata, 38 / Yūki Ogata, 5 / Aya Ogata, 10 (six of Ogata's relatives and a 34-year-old man)
Method of murder: Electrocution - Strangulation - Starvation
Location: Kitakyushu/Fukuoka, Japan
Status: Sentenced to death on September 28, 2005. Commuted to life in prison on September 26, 2007
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Junko Ogata (緒方 純子 Ogata Junko, born February 25, 1962) is a Japanese woman who acted as an accomplice to serial killer Futoshi Matsunaga.

Early life and murders

Ogata was born on Kurume, Fukuoka Prefecture, and grew up in a wealthy family. She was Matsunaga's schoolmate in high school, but she did not know him very well, and he transferred to another school. She was originally a gentle person and got a job in a preschool, but changed after she started dating Matsunaga in 1982. Ogata had remained a virgin until she became involved with Matsunaga, but he suspected her of having relationships with other men. During their relationship, she and Matsunaga had two sons.

Matsunaga abused her severely. He insisted that Junko's mother tried to seduce him, so he abused her, but during the trial Junko began to suspect that Matsunaga had raped her mother. He eventually recruited her in his murder spree. She became cruel under his influence. Matsunaga and Ogata killed at least seven people between 1996 and 1998. Their victims included her parents and two children, Ogata's nephew and niece.

Arrest and trial

Ogata was arrested in March 2002. Japanese writer Masayoshi Toyoda supported her, and created doubt about the trial in his book published in November 2005. When he first tried to meet with her he was not allowed because she was a murderer, but he was eventually allowed to meet her on September 27, 2005.

Ogata was sentenced to die in a Fukuoka district court on September 28, 2005, a sentence she appealed on October 11. The court tried six murders, and her father's death was regarded as manslaughter. On September 26, 2007, the high court in Fukuoka sentenced her to life in prison, rejecting the death penalty. Prosecutors appealed to the Supreme Court, which narrowly upheld the life sentence.


Death sentence reduced for one of murderous pair

September 27, 2007

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) The Fukuoka High Court on Wednesday upheld the death penalty for a man deemed the main culprit in the deaths of seven people, including five of his common-law wife’s relatives, from 1996 to 1998 in Kitakyushu.

The sentence issued to his common-law wife was reduced from capital punishment to life in prison.

Futoshi Matsunaga, 46, and Junko Ogata, 45, conspired to torture a 34-year-old man to death in February 1996 and then to murder five of Ogata’s relatives, including her mother, in an apartment the couple shared with Ogata’s family over a period of seven months ending in June 1998, according to a lower court ruling in September 2005.

The couple were also responsible for the death of Ogata’s father, who died of injuries inflicted by the couple, although they did not intend to kill him, the 2005 ruling said.


Pair to hang for seven murders

No physical evidence in case involving victims tortured for cash

September 29, 2005

KITAKYUSHU – A Fukuoka common-law couple were sentenced to hang Wednesday for torturing and killing seven people who shared their dwelling between 1996 and 1998 in a case whose only evidence was the testimony provided by the accomplice and a woman who managed to escape the mayhem.

The Kokura branch of the Fukuoka District Court said Futoshi Matsunaga, 44, the mastermind, and his accomplice, Junko Ogata, 43, must hang for murdering five of Ogata’s relatives, including two children, and the escapee’s 34-year-old father.

The pair were also convicted of fatally injuring Ogata’s father, but the court ruled they had not intended to kill him.

Presiding Judge Toshinobu Wakamiya called the couple’s actions brutal and unprecedented. The court said the couple conspired to kill six of their victims, and Matsunaga was the mastermind and Ogata his willful executioner.

Matsunaga immediately appealed the sentence to a high court. Ogata’s lawyers said they would consult with her on whether to appeal.

The couple confined and assaulted their victims to extract money from them. When the money ran out or the pair feared they would be discovered, the victim was killed, and the corpse was dismembered and thrown into the sea, the court said, noting several of the victims were forced to borrow huge sums of money before they were slain.

Some of the victims were ordered to take part in the killings and dismembering of the bodies before they were murdered themselves, according to the court.

The couple tried to destroy all traces of the crimes. Because police found no physical evidence, including the victims’ bodies, the prosecutors’ case was based on testimony from Ogata and a 21-year-old woman who escaped from the pair’s apartment, where she had been held captive and tortured with electric shocks.

The court deemed the two women’s statements and court testimony as reliable. Ogata “spoke candidly and in concrete terms, including facts that were disadvantageous for her,” Judge Wakamiya said.

The murders came to light in March 2002 when the woman, then a teen, escaped and alerted police. Her father was one of the victims.

Throughout the trial, Matsunaga denied having committed murder, claiming he only abused the victims because he did not like their attitude and did not intend to kill them because they were his “money trees.” He insisted that Ogata committed the murders on her own.

Ogata basically owned up to the charges during the trial, which started in May 2003. But her attorneys had asked the court to spare her life.

Ogata claimed Matsunaga abused and manipulated her into a physical and mental state in which she had no choice but to obey his orders.

During a court session in March, prosecutors called Matsunaga “the mastermind who lost his sense of right and wrong,” while Ogata was “a loyal executor of (his) instructions.”

The couple’s relationship was a necessary element of the crimes, like “two sets of wheels,” the prosecutors said in a statement, adding that the murders were deeply connected with “Matsunaga’s abnormal desire for money and his self-centered nature, which caused him not to care if others were destroyed.”

The couple began their relationship in 1982, and in February 1985, Ogata left her parents’ home in Kurume, Fukuoka Prefecture, to live with Matsunaga. Matsunaga and Ogata moved into an apartment in Kitakyushu with the teenage girl and her father in October 1994.

In February 1996, the 34-year-old father died from repeated physical abuse.

The following year, six members of Ogata’s family — her parents, Takashige and Shizumi, her sister, Rieko, and her brother-in-law, Kazuya, and their two children, Aya and Yuki — were forced to live with the couple in the Kitakyushu apartment.

All six were slain between December 1997 and June 1998.

Takashige, 61, was electrocuted in December 1997. Shizumi, 58, Rieko, 33, and Yuki, 5, were strangled between January and May 1998, while Kazuya, 38, died in April 1998 from physical abuse. Prosecutors were unable to establish whether Aya, 10, who was killed in June 1998, was electrocuted or strangled.

The death sentence was what prosecutors had demanded.


Futoshi Matsunaga (松永 太 Matsunaga Futoshi, born April 28, 1961) is a Japanese serial killer who both defrauded and tortured his victims in what is publicly known as the Kitakyusyu Serial Murder Incident (北九州連続殺人事件).

He was convicted of six counts of murder and one count of manslaughter, including those of two children, between the years 1996 and 1998. He murdered his victims with an accomplice, Junko Ogata.

His crimes were so atrocious that most mass media were not willing to report the details. The Japan Times reported that prosecutors said "[the case] is without comparison in the criminal history of our country". Despite that, several writers, including Ryuzo Saki, published the details of the crimes.

Early life

Matsunaga was born in Kokura Kita-ku, Kitakyūshū, Fukuoka Prefecture and grew up in Yanagawa. He received good grades in school and had a charming personality, but tended to exhibit disciplinary problems. Eventually he was transferred to another high school because of his relationship with a junior high school girl. He married at 19, and had a son.

In October 1982, during his marriage, he became involved with Junko Ogata, in addition to the ten or so mistresses with whom he was already involved. In 1984 he promised to marry Junko, but Junko's mother, Shizumi, did not approve of Matsunaga's abuse of her daughter. He then raped Shizumi as well.

Junko attempted suicide in February 1985. Matsunaga then convinced Junko that her family hated her because of this. He and Junko began living together in 1985. Two years earlier, Matsunaga opened a futon company named the World, and in 1985 purchased a building in which to operate the company.

Around that time, he began to electrically shock his employees on the third floor of the building. He would sometimes suddenly and vigorously start shouting towards other men, saying things like "there is a spirit behind you! It is sucking away your fortune!" occasionally mixing in religious words like saṃsāra and referring to kami. His wife escaped with her son and accused him of domestic violence. He had stolen 180 million yen (approximately USD$2.2 million) through fraud or blackmail.

In 1992, he and Junko evaded police capture and were put on the nation's Most wanted list.

The first two victims

Matsunaga's first victim was a married woman with three children. In April 1993, he convinced her to leave her husband and run away with him, telling the woman that Junko was his sister. One of her children died under mysterious circumstances in September 1993. Her two other children went to live with their father and grandfather in October 1993.

During their relationship, Matsunaga defrauded the woman for 11.8 million yen (approximately USD$145,510.00). The woman died mysteriously in March 1994, and the police were unable to prove that Matsunaga had killed the woman or her child.

Captivity and murders

Matsunaga lived in a condominium in Kokura Kita-ku, Kitakyushu. In 1994, he began victimizing Kumio Toraya and his daughter.

Kumio confided to Matsunaga some information about his previous criminal history; Matsunaga then used this information to blackmail Kumio. Kumio even admitted to previous crimes which he had not committed.

Kumio and his daughter were held captive in Matsunaga's room. Matsunaga tortured Kumio with electric shocks, forced him to eat his own feces, and forced his daughter to bite her father. Kumio was 34 when he died of the effects of this abuse on February 26, 1996.

Matsunaga convinced Kumio's daughter that she had murdered her father. He told Junko and the girl to dispose of the remains. Kumio's remains were thrown into the sea near the Kunisaki Peninsula after being pulverized.

The same year, Matsunaga found another target; a woman who had been an acquaintance of Kumio. Matsunaga promised to marry her. He claimed he was a graduate of Kyoto University.

Matsunaga defrauded the woman of 5.6 million yen (approximately USD$69,066.00). She and her daughter had gone to his room and they were then held captive there. The woman escaped by jumping from the second floor to the ground in March 1997. She was put into the care of a mental hospital and her daughter was released.

One day in April 1997, Junko left for work and did not return. Matsunaga called Junko's family, informing them of her absence. He continued to blackmail Shizumi. He made threats to Junko's family, and told them that Junko was a murderer.

Matsunaga then faked his own suicide. Believing him to be dead, Junko returned, only to find him alive. Matsunaga continued to treat Junko abusively. Matsunaga also raped Junko's married sister, Rieko.

Junko's family gave 63 million yen (approximately USD$777,116.00) to Matsunaga, after which he held them captive. He abused the vaginas of Shizumi and Rieko with electric shocks.[citation needed] He controlled the family in ways similar to the methods that cult-leader Shoko Asahara had used.

On December 21, 1997, he coerced Junko to torture her 61-year-old father, Takashige, to death by electrocution.

After suffering Matsunaga's continued abuse, Shizumi's mental state began to deteriorate. He commanded Rieko and her husband Kazuya to strangle Shizumi on January 20, 1998. She was 58.

Eventually, Rieko began to lose her hearing. On February 10, 1998 Matsunaga commanded Kazuya to strangle Rieko, while their 10-year-old daughter Aya held her down. Rieko was 33.

Matsunaga and Junko then confined Kazuya in a bathroom, where he starved to death on April 13, 1998. He was 38.

Matsunaga forced Junko, Aya, and Kumio's daughter to kill Rieko's 5-year-old son, Yuki. On May 17, 1998 Aya strangled Yuki while Junko and Kumio's daughter held him down.

During the trial, Kumio's daughter testified that Matsunaga and Junko had tortured Aya with electricity. Junko, however, denied Kumio's daughter's testimony about this, saying the girl's recollections might have been inaccurate because of guilt feelings about committing her first murder. Kumio's daughter strangled Aya on June 7, 1998.

Matsunaga and Junko dismembered and boiled their victims' remains in pots. The other residents of the condominium heard strange noises and smelled the stench. The victims' remains were finally disposed of in washrooms or put out to sea. The condominium was renovated after the murders. Matsunaga blamed the murders on Junko, who, with their two children, were the only survivors in her family.

Matsunaga's crimes continued. In July 2000, Matsunaga convinced another woman to go away with him, lured by the prospect of marriage. In August 2001, she gave her twin children to him and Junko. Matsunaga and Junko then convinced the woman to give them 20 million yen (approximately USD$246,580.00), telling her that they would need the money to bring up her children.

Arrest and trial

Kumio's daughter, who was being held captive, escaped from Matsunaga on January 30, 2002, but Matsunaga found the girl on February 15, 2002 and took her back into captivity. He then tortured the girl with electric shocks.

On March 6, 2002, the girl escaped from Matsunaga again, and reported the crimes to the police. She was 17 years old. The police arrested Matsunaga and Junko the next day when they tried to retrieve the girl. The twins and the couple's two children were taken into police protection.

The media initially reported only that Matsunaga and Junko had held their victims captive, similar to the case of Fusako Sano, but eventually the media revealed the details of the murders Matsunaga and Junko had committed.

The pair were charged with Aya's murder on September 18, 2002; Takashige's murder on October 12, 2002; Shizumi's murder on December 6, 2002; Yuki's murder on January 11, 2003; Kumio's murder on February 3, 2003; Rieko's murder on February 25, 2003; and Kazuya's murder on May 30, 2003.

No murder charges were brought against Kumio's daughter. Junko calmly confessed to her part in the murders, but Matsunaga professed his own innocence. He insisted that the women had fabricated their stories about him. The Japanese police never recovered any human remains and found no physical evidence, so they primarily relied upon the testimonies of Kumio's and Junko's daughters during the police investigation.

On September 28, 2005, a district court in Fukuoka sentenced Matsunaga and Junko to die by hanging. The court tried six cases, but considered that Matsunaga and Junko had not killed Takashige directly, they had only injured him by electric shocks, which later resulted in his death.

The pair appealed the verdict. On September 26, 2007, a high court upheld Matsunaga's original sentence, but Junko's sentence was changed from death by hanging to life imprisonment because Matsunaga had exerted control over Junko to force her to kill the victims.


  1. Kumio Toraya (虎谷 久美雄 Toraya Kumio) – The girl's father

  2. Takashige Ogata (緒方 誉 Ogata Takashige) – Junko's father

  3. Shizumi Ogata (緒方 静美 Ogata Shizumi?) – Junko's mother

  4. Rieko Ogata (緒方 理恵子 Ogata Rieko) – Junko's sister

  5. Kazuya Ogata (緒方 主也 Ogata Kazuya) – Rieko's husband

  6. Yūki Ogata (緒方 優貴 Ogata Yūki) – Junko's nephew

  7. Aya Ogata (緒方 彩 Ogata Aya) – Junko's niece



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