Japan's 'black widow' sentenced to death over poisonings

Posted November 08, 2017

Japan's "Black Widow" serial killer-convicted in the deaths of her husband, two lovers, and the attempted murder of a fourth man-was sentenced to death by hanging on Tuesday, The Washington Post reported.

Kyoto District Court ruled that Chisako Kakehi used cyanide "with a murderous intention" in the four cases, and that she should be held responsible for the crimes irrespective of the face that she had been diagnosed with dementia. All four men were aged over 70.

The presiding judge, Ayako Nakagawa, stated that extenuating mental health issues could not explain away the extreme nature of her history, saying, "It was a heinous crime driven by greed for money". The defense filed an appeal.

A court-appointed physician said a year ago that Kakehi's case of dementia was mild and that she was fit to stand trial.

They have appealed against the death sentence, arguing that her dementia means she can not be held liable for her crimes.

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While dismissing the possibility of suicide, accident or the involvement of persons other than Kakehi in the cases, the judge said the accused took extraordinary acts, such as inheritance procedures, soon after the incidents.

Prosecutors have said the men perished at her hands after making her the beneficiary of life assurance policies that ran into millions of dollars.

Kakehi initially refused to speak when her trial began in June but later stunned the court by admitting killing her fourth husband in 2013. He died on Dec 28, 2013, only a month after their marriage.

But later that week, Kakehi recanted her confession, saying that she did not remember the admission.

She married first at the age of 24 and launched a fabric printing company in Osaka Prefecture with her first husband.

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Like the venomous spider that kills its mate after copulation, 70-year-old Chisako Kakehi formed relationships with elderly men and then tricked them into drinking cyanide to collect the insurance money, reports Kyodo News.

Her first husband died in 1994 and the business later went bust, prompting her to take out massive loans.

A Japanese court has sentenced a "Black Widow" who met wealthy partners via dating agencies and poisoned them with cyanide.

The trial was held under the nation's lay judge system, which involves citizen judges.

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