"Manga murder" solved?
UPDATE October 13: Belgian comic artist Yann is preparing an album based on the "manga murder". Yann says he's a fan of Death Note, and the scenario he's working on involves a heroine posting in an online amateur detectives forum about the manga murder, not realizing that the actual murderers are reading along. Sounds like our comment section is about to become a comic. There's no news yet about when or if the album will be published.
UPDATE: Belgian newspapers report today that the victim was a Frenchman who had been living with (one of the) Belgian suspects for a month, when a fight broke out between them for unknown reasons and the Frenchman was killed. The suspects tried to dissolve the body in acid, and when that failed, they cut up the pieces and dumped them. It appears police managed to solve the case because it turned out that DNA from both the victim and one of the suspects was connected to an older gang rape case. One of the suspects was a fan of Death Note and left the notes next to the body parts. The "Japanese symbol" and rice found near the scene are now said to be unconnected to the crime.
Oh dear. Remember the "manga murder" from 2007, when a severed leg was found in a Brussels park next to a note that referenced Death Note? Belgian newspapers such as De Morgen report that four people who are said to be manga fans were just arrested in connection with the case. The article is in Dutch, here's a translation (note that all factual errors regarding the criminal case and Death note in the article are the newspaper's):
Brussels police have arrested four people for a crime committed in 2007, or so Le Soir Mag reports. Police discovered decaying human remains in the Dudenpark in Vorst. A text in Japanese was found next to the remains, and the murderer was nicknamed "the manga killer".
On September 28, 2007, a passerby first discovered the remains of an adult male in the Dudenpark. Part of a torso and two thighs were found.
Watashi Wa Kira Des
Close to the remains, police officers found two sheets of paper with a message in Japanese: "Watashi Wa Kira Dess", which is said to mean "I am the killer". This sentence originates in the manga "Death Note", a six-part comic series that was very succesfull and on which two animated movies were based. The officers also discovered a Japanese symbol and rice on the crime scene.
Three years after the facts, four suspects were arrested on Friday and accused. Three were accused of manslaughter, the fourth of failing to provide assistance to a person in need. Two have already confessed to the crime, a third has confessed that he was present during it. Brussels police confirmed this information in in Le Soir Magazine.
The identity of the victim is not yet known. The suspects, who are manga fans, claim they do not know the name of the man, who apparently lived with them. The victim was allegedly killed during an argument. He was fatally bludgeoned, and the perpetrators cut up the body afterwards.
The article is also accompanied by a random still from Death Note, and the trailer for the anime. The original report appeared here
in a French-language magazine and has some pictures.
Let's hope the suspects were not actually manga fans. Since the papers are already saying they were, it probably doesn't matter if it's actually true or not, though. Bother. We're now waiting for calls from radio stations who want us to explain why Death Note fans kill people.