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Kyoto "Poison Lady" to hang for insurance policy murders

08 November 2017, 02:14 | Myrtle Vega

Japan's 'black widow' serial killer gets death sentence

Japan: A “black widow” sentenced to death for the murder of three husbands

A Japanese court has sentenced a 70-year-old woman to death for killing her husband and two partners and attempting to murder a fourth man.

Kyoto District Court Judge Ayako Nakagawa sentenced Chisako Kakehi to death by hanging.

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

"Even if I were executed tomorrow, I would die smiling", Kakehi reportedly told judges.

The court rejected arguments from defense lawyers that Kakehi was not criminally liable because she was suffering from dementia. The defense filed an appeal.

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". She kept the poison in a plant pot, and revealed she had killed her husband for spending "millions of yen" on other women.

Among them was her fourth husband Isao Kakehi, 75, whose marriage to her after being widowed for a long time aroused police suspicions.

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Prosecutors maintained that in all four cases, the victims were tricked into drinking cyanide given by a debt-ridden Kakehi, who was seeking to inherit their assets.

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

As not all the victims went through legal autopsy, the defense counsel claimed there was a possibility that some of the victims died from disease or use of different drugs or poison.

Her lawyers said that her testimony could not be trusted due to her dementia.

The judge said that her acts were serial murders by poisoning with the aim of acquiring inheritances or escaping from debts. But just several days before her indictment, she confessed to murdering him. She was later indicted in connection with the deaths of Honda from Osaka Prefecture and Hioki from Hyogo Prefecture.

Kakehi first married at the age of 24 and was involved with more than 10 men.

During the trial, prosecutors described how the murders occurred after Kakehi joined a matchmaking service asking to meet rich men without children. 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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