Police Reaches Dead End in Belgian 'Manga Murder' Case
posted on by Egan Loo
The Belgian newspaper Het Belang van Limburg reported on November 24 that the police have no concrete leads in the two-month-old case of body parts found near notes linked to the Death Note manga. On September 28, two hikers found a human torso and two thighs in Duden Park in the city of Saint-Gilles. Police later determined the shaven parts came from a Caucasian male individual. No identification or personal effects were found on the body parts, but two pieces of paper were found nearby with the same message in Roman capital letters: "WATASHI WA KIRA DESS." This is an apparent misspelling of the Japanese phrase "Watashi wa Kira desu," or "I am Kira (Killer)," that is used in Tsugumi Ooba and Takeshi Obata's Death Note suspense manga series.
The Belgian press have nicknamed the case "Mangamoord" ("Manga Murder" in Dutch), although the police officials emphasize that they cannot rule conclusively that the case was indeed murder. They also note that they have found no further connection between the manga and the case, despite the two notes. The circumstances of the real-life case were not similar to those of any fictional portrayal of death in the manga series.
Other leads in the case have also been fruitless. No missing person was reported whose description matches the body parts. The only potential witness that has come forward was a jogger that said she saw a blond man lying down in the area where the body parts were discovered. However, she could not provide any more clues. The police initially concluded that the apparent victim was still alive no more than 48 hours before the hikers' discovery, but later acknowledged that the body parts could have been preserved by freezing, long before being left at the scene.
The police also initially hypothesized that this could be a prank by medical students, due to the almost surgical precision with which the body parts were cut and the discovery's timing, which coincided with the beginning of the school year in Belgium. However, the faculty of the medical department of the Free University of Brussels indicated that it would be improbable for missing parts from classroom cadavers or the moratorium to have gone unnoticed. The police have not ruled out the possibility yet.
The police also hypothesized that this might be the work of a psychopath, particularly since there were five unsolved murders of women in the Belgian city of Mons (Bergen in Dutch) between 1996 and 1997. However, there have been no similar incident since September, and the police have not announced a concrete link with the earlier cases in Mons.
Thank you to Nele Noppe for the news tip.
File Photo © Région de Bruxelles Capitale & LMRC asbl.
follow-up of Notes near Body Parts in Belgium Linked to Death Note (Updated)