The Monster With 21 Faces
|“||Yamamoto of Shiga Prefecture Police died. How stupid of him! We've got no friends or secret hiding place in Shiga. It's Yoshino or Shikata who should have died. What have they been doing for as long as one year and five months? Don't let bad guys like us get away with it. There are many more fools who want to copy us. No-career Yamamoto died like a man. So we decided to give our condolence. We decided to forget about torturing food-making companies. If anyone blackmails any of the food-making companies, it's not us but someone copying us. We are bad guys. That means we've got more to do other than bullying companies. It's fun to lead a bad man's life. Monster with 21 Faces.||„|
|~ The letter ceasing harassment of Morinaga and House Foods Corporation.|
The Monster With 21 Faces is the name given to the unidentified Japanese criminal or organization responsible for the attempted blackmail of food companies Ezaki Glico and Morinaga, alongside others. The case has never been solved, but has variously been blamed on the Yakuza, left-wing and right-wing extremists and union activist and Glico whistleblower Manabu Miyazaki.
Glico Morinaga case
On March 18th, 1984, masked assailants broke into the home of Katsuhisa Ezaki, president of Ezaki Glico, and tied up his wife and daughter before abducting Ezaki at gunpoint and taking him to a nearby warehouse. They then called the director of Glico, demanding 1 billion yen and 100kg of gold for Ezaki's release. However, on 21 March Ezaki managed to escape unharmed from his captors.
On April 10th, three cars in Glico's corporate car park were set on fire. Three days later, Glico received a threatening letter from a person calling themselves "The Monster With 21 Faces", after the villain of a popular detective series by Edogawa Rampo. On 10 May, the Monster sent Glico another letter claiming to have poisoned several Glico products with potassium cyanide, forcing Glico to recall all their products, causing them to lose over 21 million yen and lay off 450 workers. The Monster then threatened to place the poisoned products on store shelves himself, and soon after, the suspect nicknamed The Videotaped Man was caught on CCTV placing Glico products on a store shelf.
During the investigation into the poisoned chocolate, none of which was found, the Monster sent letters taunting the police, one of which indicated the Monster was a disgruntled employee, referencing the fact that the Monster "entered the factory by the front gate". However, on June 26 the Monster sent a letter announcing "We forgive Glico!", and harassment of the company ceased.
Soon after, the Monster began sending letters to food companies Morinaga, Marudai Ham and House Foods Corporation. The Monster sent a letter to Morinaga demanding that they pay them one hundred million yen or unspecified consequences would follow. Morinaga refused, thinking the Monster was making an empty threat after the Glico investigation. Shortly thereafter, the Monster sent a letter to the media warning "all the mothers in the country" that Morinaga products "now taste a bit bitter, since we have added a special seasoning of sodium cyanide". Police investigated, and found 29 poisoned Morinaga products, all of which were labelled "Warning: Contains toxins".
In June, the Monster offered to stop harassing Morinaga if they were payed 50 million yen, leaving money drop instructions to police, telling them to toss a package containing the money from a local train when a white flag was seen. Police set up a sting operation on 28 June. On the way to the drop point, the officer observed a man later nicknamed The Fox-eyed Man watching him. After the white flag failed to appear, both the officer and the Fox-eyed man disembarked. The officer tailed the Fox-eyed Man, but lost him.
On November 14th, the Monster demanded money from House Foods Corporation, and police once again set up a sting operation. On the way to the drop point, officers observed the Fox-eyed Man, but he once again managed to lose them. At the drop point, the police once again found no-one. It was later revealed that, about an hour earlier, a police officer who was not aware of the sting had seen a suspicious-looking vehicle parked at the drop point and approached it, at which point the driver, a man resembling the Videotaped Man, drove away. After this incident, the police compared descriptions of the Videotaped Man and the Fox-eyed Man and concluded they were the same person, releasing a composite sketch of the suspect.
In August 1985, police superintendent Shoji Yamamoto committed suicide by self-immolation out of shame for his failure to catch the Monster With 21 Faces. In response, the Monster sent a letter offering their condolences and announcing they were ceasing harassment of food companies. The statute of limitations ran out in February 2000, and the unsolved case was officially closed.
- The-Monster-with-21-Faces.jpgThe composite sketch of the suspect
- Caught on Camera - Who is the Monster with 21 Faces?