27 Little-Known True Crime Stories March 2023

The Satanic Verses murder is one I just looked up while searching for true crime stories from Japan. On July 12, 1991, scholar Hitoshi Igarashi was found dead in his office at the University of Tsukuba after he’d translated the novel The Satanic Verses into Japanese.

For context: In 1989, the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a fatwa on Salman Rushdie, the author of that novel, due to how controversial it is within Muslim communities. Two years later, Khomeini’s successor Ali Khamenei issued another fatwa on anyone who was involved with the novel’s publication in some way. This, of course, included Igarashi.

Igarashi’s killer(s) have never been found, even 31 years later.”


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