Japan's 'Black Widow' sentenced to death for killing partners

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

Sentenced to death by hanging for an old millionaire in Japan for the murders of three of his spouses and a murder attempt on a fourth.

The media dubbed her "black widow" in reference to a female spider that kills its mates after sex.

Kakehi initially refused to speak when her trial began in June but later stunned the court by admitting having killed her fourth husband in 2013.

Since the death of his first spouse in 1994 as a result of illness, she would have been according to the press relations with a dozen men, six of whom have passed from life to death. Kakehi then inherited money from the men, having previously worked with her victims to make legal documents naming her their heiress.

Due to a lack of physical evidence showing her involvement in the cases, with, for example, cyanide compounds that she is believed to have used not being identified, the focus of the trial was the court's judgment on circumstantial evidence collected by the prosecutors.

Kyoto District Court sentenced Kakehi for the murder of three men, including a husband. However, the one-time millionairess went bankrupt and was debt-ridden.




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

Kakehi was first arrested in November 2014 and indicted the following month on a charge of killing her husband, who died at the couple's home in Muko, Kyoto Prefecture, in December 2013, about a month after their marriage.

She had relationships with many men, mostly elderly or ill, meeting some through dating agencies, where she reportedly stipulated that prospective partners should be wealthy and childless. "I will laugh it off and die if I am sentenced to death tomorrow", she was reported as saying.

"It was a heinous crime driven by greed for money", the judge said.

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. 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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