The reason I got to know many professional killers first hand was because I have worked for a long time as a financial journalist. It does not take long reporting in that field before you understand finance is intimately connected with high level organized crime. As a result, in order to provide readers with the truth, it becomes necessary to cultivate sources within organized crime syndicates. As a general rule gangsters do not talk to reporters so, it took a while to assure them I was just a chronicler and not a cop and that I would not write anything that would personally incriminate my sources.
So it came to be that I started hearing many stories about the underworld, especially in Japan. Thus this week I will relate some of what I heard about real world professional killers.
One form of entry level professional killing is what is known euphemistically as “sending somebody to work on a fishing boat.” What this means is that a person who falls deeply in debt to loan sharks is told he is going to have to work on a fishing boat and that his wages will be taken as payment for the debt. What the victim is not told is that the fishing company will take out a large insurance policy in his name and the he will be “swept into the ocean by a wave,” at some point during the fishing voyage.
Then there is the killing that goes on in gang wars. In the old days, when the yakuza had better relations with the police, any time a gang member killed a member of a rival gang, somebody in the gang would turn themselves in and confess to the killing. These days, people simply “vanish.”
A boss of one of Japan’s largest gangs described his own participation in such wars. The first thing his gang would do is abandon all gang offices and known gang hang-outs. Members would also dress down in sweatshirts and sweatpants and sleep in Karaoke rooms or the like. The typical killing would be a discreet shooting or stabbing after which the body is quickly stuffed into the trunk of a car and taken out to the country-side for burial in a shallow grave. In Japan a body will completely decompose within a couple of years and leave no trace.
One top gang member I met claims he was personally killed over 100 rivals, mostly in his youth when he worked in the golden triangle supplying heroin to the CIA. Most of his victims ended up in shallow graves. Another one claims to have killed 18 rivals, mostly in Japan, and also says he used shallow country-side graves for disposal.
However, more exotic methods of disposing of bodies include having them ground up into meat balls and sold as food or boiling them into broth for ramen noodles. When boiled the only thing left is the fillings and these are melted separately. One gang prefers to use vats of acid.
One of Japan’s top killers, who works directly for the chairman of one of the largest banks in the world, says that he chops peoples fingers off “one knuckle at a time,” on behalf of his boss until he gets the information he needs. He then wraps the bodies in lead and dumps them in the ocean. That is what he does for a living.
Above these people lie a realm of professionals who specialize in killing politicians and other high-profile individuals. Their favorite method is using either ricin, which induces strokes or extract of castor bean oil, which causes heart attacks. The ricin induced stroke method was used to kill several post war Japanese Prime Ministers including Keizo Obuchi, Masayoshi Ohira and Kakuei Tanaka. Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto was killed by means of a poison inserted in his anus. I personally called his constituency office and they admitted to me he died of an “unknown intestinal ailment.”
The worst case of the murder of a Japanese Prime Minister, though, definitely is the story of what happened to Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita. According to two independent sources, one a member of the Japanese royal family and another a high ranking public security police official, Takeshita was taken to Alaska by thugs working for the US corporate government.
There he was chased naked in the snow by a helicopter before he was beaten to death and had his testicles crushed, they concur. A video of his murder was shown to high level Japanese power brokers as a warning of what would happen if they tried the same. Takeshita’s big crime, as was the case with Hashimoto, was to discuss in public the possibility of selling off some of Japan’s US government bond holdings. The official story is that Takeshita “died in the hospital.”
Another favored way of killing prominent people is to make the death look like a suicide. When working for Forbes I chronicled the story of Tadayo Honma, the president of Aozora Bank.
Honma, a former senior Bank of Japan official, was objecting to all of his bank’s deposits being emptied and sent to North Korea. As a result, he was forced to write a will at gunpoint before being strangled to death. His death was then called a suicide. Although my timid Forbes editor watered down my source to “underground rumors,” the source was in fact one of Japan’s most senior gangsters and it was his gang that carried out the killing.
In another case, Kuniji Miyazaki , the former chairman of Dai Ichi Kangyo Bank, now part of Mizuho Bank, was visited by a bunch of men in dark suits the evening before he was supposed to testify about a financial scandal. When the men left the house, he was found hanged. The death was ruled a suicide even though reporters from the Yomiuri Newspaper witnessed everything and wrote about it in the English language daily Yomiuri (the main Japanese paper refused to publish the story).
Needless to say, a lot of journalists have also been killed in this manner. They have also been publicly executed. Shortly before Daniel Pearl of the Wall Street Journal was beheaded in Pakistan by Al CIAda militants, Forbes had asked me to go to Pakistan. My instincts told me to stay away and I am pretty sure that if I had gone it would have been me and not Daniel Pearl who was beheaded. Also, my colleague Paul Klebnikov was shot and killed in 2004 at a time when I also survived an assassination attempt. We were both investigating high level criminals linked to Henry Kissinger and the Federal Reserve Board crime syndicate at the time. Klebnikov was investigating Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky, (who helped loot Russia for the Feds) and in particular his link to the murder of a high profile Russian journalist. Berezovsky was recently killed in London by unknown assailants.
In my case, I have been poisoned twice, approached by somebody with an electronic heart attack inducing device once, approached by gun-men twice, been hit by a speeding taxi once etc. That is how desperate the gangsters who control the Western financial system are to prevent us from finding out the fact that at its very heart the Western financial system is based on fraud, murder and bribery backed by nothing but threats.
This is about to change.