The scream of silence
Based on a real-life event that had shaken two nations.
(DISCLAIMER) This contains content that some might find disturbing. Read it at your own will but be warned that this might be upsetting. I wrote this under the impression of the culprit who cowardly never admitted to his crime and until this day, he is alive and well in prison.
Silence is freakishly loud. In fact, it can be disturbingly obnoxious at times.
Lifeless and exposed to such bitter surroundings in complete silence, there she was, laying near a drainage ditch. By the time they found her, she refused to move with eyes closed tightly and a numbingly cold body. She had been laying there for days in the frigid weather. I left her there, hurriedly and cold-bloodedly. Her name was Linh and she was murdered on a spring day in March 2017.
A few years ago, her family migrated to Japan to pursue a better life. My bet was that their minds were filled with a fantasy where they were finally free from the burden of poverty back in their hometown. The idea of starting a new life in a “so-thought” better place must have occupied their minds as it was apparently too promising to think of one day they might have to lose their only daughter. Undeniably, the memory of having to bury their child with their own hands would haunt them for the rest of their lives.
Yasumasa Shibuya is my name and I had a desolated and twisted childhood. My mother’s frequent scolding alongside with her constant displeasure had somewhat grown me a repugnance toward older women. My sickening fancy for children started to develop as a way to help lighten the grudge I held for years. With the attempt to turn my fancy into reality, I once married a 16-year-old girl without legal authorization. Surprisingly, it did not last long. I married a few more times afterward but due to my contorted mentality, women always ended up leaving me. However, I was a father of three children. Two of mine were at the same age as Linh’s and one even attended the same school as she did.
I did not really care for the young girl’s life that I took or the happy family that I ruined. But, I cared way too much for my freedom to see myself being locked up in prison. I was, however, aware of the situation I was in. Accused of kidnap, rape and murder, I needed to keep my mouth shut. I chose to remain silent throughout every single interrogation because as long as I did not speak, I would not be charged of any crimes. Silence was my only weapon and I would not let go off it easily for whatever reason.
They thought they could throw me behind the bars just because they found the girl’s DNA, her underwear in my van and many other convincing evidences? Ridiculous and unbelievable. My silence, for as long as I could remember, was a scream of justice coming from her family. They could scream for it as loud as they wanted and I would always find a way to keep it down. Funny how one man’s silence could cause such chaos in a nation. I could not help it, it was one of my rights and I was not sorry for using it, just how I was not hesitant to do what people believed I did.
I guess if I had to say it, I did in fact use silent treatment with the whole nation of Japan and I did not regret it. I was the definition of a coward but a smart one. Knowing what rights to use when put in a state of desperation, I had to give some credit to my rotten self. The fact that I would choose not to say a word about it rather than admitting the crime that I committed was a true man’s move. The last thing that I would care for was how I became the most hated man in my own country. They were all screaming at me as if they could break my silence. In fact, it was so powerful that the victim’s family had to ask for more than 60,000 signatures as a petition to crack my mouth open. As I was keeping myself quiet, the girl’s family was crying and screaming her name out in the funeral.
My lawyer told me if the plaintiff got at least 50,000 signatures from 50,000 different people, they would consider capital punishment. At the time, I was scared, fear for my life but I would never say a word about the day I killed their daughter. To my surprise, her family somehow got more than 70,000 signatures and that meant I was facing a death penalty. But to my luck, I knew my time was not up, they gave me a life sentence. They got 70,000 people “screaming” in some paper but could not break my silence. A life sentence in a place like Japan means three decent meals a day; they allow you to play sports at a certain time in a day with your fellow inmates; they get you into a sleeping schedule that I bet many college students would be jealous of. As it turns out, I am only limited to interacting with the outside world which it is not bad thing considering the whole silence shenanigan I caused.
Somewhere in the world there is a man like me, who would rather live in guilt for the rest of his life than owning up to his wrongdoings. A man who would choose to remain silent for taking a young girl’s life and put her family through hell. I did not take responsibility for what I did and I do not plan on doing so anytime soon while spending my time in the cell, for which I know as long as my mouth is sealed, nothing can harm me. I am a disgusting human being with such acrimony toward life that I decided to kidnap, sexually assault and murder someone’s daughter to relieve it. Nasty people are all around you and do not be surprised if you bump into one of us one day. We are a big community of insufferable, horrid screw-ups but will always find a way to get ourselves out of it, and in my case, I used silence; I silenced out people’s scream for justice. Every day, I wake up from my sleep, knowing I am still breathing while the girl is laying six feet underground.
Her name was Linh and she was 9 when I, Yasumasa Shibuya, murdered her on a spring day in March 2017.