Published: Thu, November 09, 2017
Medical | By Garry George

'Black Widow' poisoned her lovers to grab their fortunes

'Black Widow' poisoned her lovers to grab their fortunes

Kyoto District Court handed out the sentence to Chisako Kakehi, 70, for the murder of three men-including a husband-and for the attempted murder of another.

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

That failed attempt clearly didn't deter Kakehi, who would go on to kill 75-year-old Isao Kakehi a month after they were married in 2013-something Kakehi acknowledged during the trial but later denied, per the BBC. The poison was found in the body of at least two of the men she had relationships with.

The judge also noted Kakehi-who once said she "would die smiling" if executed-showed no remorse and "made light of human lives".

Calling her actions "shrewd and despicable", prosecutors had said Kakehi had planned the crimes in advance - including the preparation of notary documents - tricking the victims into drinking the cyanide by passing it off as a health cocktail. Her defence also maintained she was innocent, citing insufficient evidence.

Chisako Kakehi has been sentenced to hanging after using cyanide to kill her lovers and make millions from insureance payments.

Shortly after the ruling, Kakehi's lawyers filed an appeal with a higher court, suggesting the high-profile trial could yet drag on. Even though she has been diagnosed with dementia, the court ruled that she should be held responsible for the crimes. They have appealed against the death sentence, arguing that her dementia means she can not be held liable for her crimes.

There was some controversy over the sentence, as Kakehi was exhibiting signs of early onset dementia at the time of the murders. She was later indicted in connection with the deaths of Honda from Osaka Prefecture and Hioki from Hyogo Prefecture. 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. She earned an inheritance of approximately 1bn yen (£6.88m, $8.84m) but now it has been said that she lost much of her wealth through financial trading.

This is the second-longest court case in Japan involving a jury since 2009, lasting 135 days.

More than 500 people lined up in front of the courthouse to get a ticket to observe the hearing.

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