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Police close to identifying victim of manga-inspired murder

Published on October 26, 2010

Belgian police are close to identifying the victim of a gory manga-inspired murder, whose sliced thighs and lower abdomen were found in a park three years ago, the prosecutor's office said Tuesday.

Spokesman Jean-Marc Meilleur told AFP that police had “a serious lead” on the victim’s ID but that further scientific testing was necessary.

After a three-year search for the perpetrators of the gruesome killing, police last month arrested four men aged between 22 and 24, charging three with the murder and one for failing to assist a person in danger.

None of the men had a criminal record but all were manga fans, police said.

The September 2007 murder was dubbed a “manga killing” after police found two sheets of paper near the sliced remains of the victim, scrawled with a message in Japanese, but in European print.

It said “Watashi Wa Kira Dess,” which means “I am Kira,” the hero of Japanese manga “Death Note.” The book is about justice-seeking Kira who eliminates criminals by writing their name on a list, which leads to their death.

Meilleur said a photo had been recognised by the four suspects as well as by a family but refused to give further details until new tests established a match with the picture.

When they were arrested, the suspects said the victim lived with them but that they did not know his name. They had asked him to leave but he refused, triggering a row that lead to his death.