Japan's 'Black Widow' sentenced to death for murdering lovers

Jerome Frank
November 8, 2017

Japan's "black widow" serial killer was today sentenced to death by hanging for killing her husband and two common-law partners.

Kakehi earned the nickname "Black Widow" for her comparisons with the spider that kills its mate after copulation.

According to the ruling, Kakehi murdered her 75-year-old husband Isao, common-law partners Masanori Honda, 71, and Minoru Hioki, 75, and tried to kill her acquaintance Toshiaki Suehiro, 79, by having them drink cyanide.

Kakehi was reportedly married at least three times and had three other partners who died within a few years of starting relationships with her.

Chisako is accused of using the deadly poison cyanide to kill her lovers.

Her lawyers plan to appeal, "suggesting the high-profile trial could yet drag on", the website adds. For over ten years, she had amassed a fortune of one billion yen (7.6 million euros) in the form of life insurance, real estate and bank deposits, according to the press.

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The court ruled that Chisako Kakehi is guilty in all four cases, which took place in three western prefectures.

Nakagawa pointed out that Kakehi "made light of human lives" as she repeatedly committed the crimes. But following his death in 1994, the business went bankrupt and her house was put up for auction, prompting her to ask neighbors for a loan.

Kakehi was arrested in November 2014 and later charged with killing her fourth husband in December 2013.

"The cases were well prepared in advance". She said her husband treated her unfairly when it came to finances, giving more money to a woman he previously dated than to her.

Another focal point was whether Kakehi bears criminal responsibility, as the defense claimed that she was suffering from dementia at the time of the incidents.

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". She had said later to the judges that she was ready to face the death penalty: "Even if I was being executed tomorrow, I would die with a smile ". Having opened in June, it was the second-longest of its kind, with 135 days spent examining the case.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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