Wednesday, 22 November, 2017

'Black Widow' Serial Killer Sentenced To Hang For Murdering Husbands, Lovers

Chisako Kakehi Chisako Kakehi
Andrew Cummings | 08 November, 2017, 01:13

Kakehi used to befriend wealthy and mostly elderly and sick men who did not have any children.

The 70-year-old, dubbed "Black Widow" by Japan's media, was yesterday convicted and sentenced to death by a Kyoto court for the murders of three lovers and attempted murder of an acquaintance.

The high-profile case has gripped the country, where she has become known as the Black Widow, after the female spider which kills its mates after sex.

The prosecution's case rested on a small bag of cyanide found in a plant pot that Kakehi had tried to discard.

Prosecutors said she killed the men after they made her the beneficiary of life assurance policies that ran into millions of dollars. Kakehi's lawyers plan to appeal the decision, reports the Guardian.

During the trial Kakchi admitted to killing Isao Kakehi, saying he had not treated her well financially, but later retracted it.

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

Chisako was arrested in November 2014 and indicted after her fourth partner and husband, Isao, died in December 2013, a month after they got married. They accused her of plotting her crimes well in advance, including helping to prepare notary documents linked to wills.

Yesterday, presiding judge Akiko Nakagawa said: "It was an extremely malicious and shrewd crime borne only out of a greed for money".

The justice rejected the argument of his lawyers who contended that the accused was suffering from dementia and that therefore it could not be held criminally responsible. "The death sentence can not be avoided even after fully taking into account dementia and other factors", presiding Judge Ayako Nakagawa said in the ruling.

Although she was aware of the toxicity of the cyanide compounds, she gave them to the four men by putting the substances in capsule form so that they looked like supplements, the judge said. She made over $8.8 million in insurance payouts over a decade, though supposedly lost most of it in the stock market. 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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