Japan's 'Black Widow' sentenced to death for murder

Japan's 'Black Widow' sentenced to death for murder

The murders appear to have been motivated by money, and she even met some of her victims through a matchmaking service that targeted men with a high income.

A Japanese court on Tuesday sentenced a 70-year-old woman to hang for the deaths of her husband and two other former partners, and the attempted murder of a fourth man.

Chisako Kakehi, aged 70, has been called during his trial the " black widow ", in reference to this spider devouring the male after mating.

The Japan Times reports that Kakehi caused her husband and common law partners, all of whom were in their seventies, to drink cyanide, calling it a "health cocktail".

Since the death of his first spouse in 1994 as a result of illness, she would have been according to the press relations with a dozen men, six of whom have passed from life to death.

Kakehi, also known as "the Poison Lady", killed the men after they made her the beneficiary of life insurance policies, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said she used cyanide to rid herself of her lovers, amassing a reported one billion yen ($8.8 million) in payouts over 10 years.




First diagnosed with mild dementia in 2016, Kakehi said she had trouble remembering events shortly after her arrest.

Ms Kakehi was accused of murdering her fourth husband, 75-year-old Isao Kakehi, on 28 December 2013, a month after they got married.

"The cases were well prepared in advance".

"It was a heinous crime driven by greed for money".

She had relationships with many men, mostly elderly or ill, meeting some through dating agencies, where she reportedly stipulated that prospective partners should be wealthy and childless.

Kakehi's defense lawyers pleaded "not guilty" to the charges on the ground that Kakehi was not criminally liable because she was suffering from dementia. "I will laugh it off and die if I am sentenced to death tomorrow", she was reported as saying.

In the first public hearing, Kakehi said she would leave everything to her lawyers, but her statements lacked coherence and she once admitted to committing murder during proceedings. The 135-day trial was Japan's second-longest court case of its kind since 2009, when the nation instituted a judge-jury system.

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