Kyoto "Poison Lady" to hang for insurance policy murders

08 November, 2017, 01:13 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • A Japanese woman nicknamed the 'black widow' been sentenced to death for killing her husband and two others

A Japanese woman dubbed the "Black Widow" has been sentenced to death for tricking elderly lovers into drinking cyanide and pocketing millions in insurance payouts and inheritance.

Kyoto District Court ruled that the accused used cyanide "with a murderous intention" in the four cases.

During her trial, Kakehi maintained her innocence until July, when she made a surprise confession to killing her husband with poison.

While sentencing the old woman, presiding judge Akiko Nakagawa said: "It was an extremely malicious and sneaky crime borne out of greed for money".

"Even if I were executed tomorrow, I would die smiling", Kakehi previously told the judges. Kakehi passed off the cyanide as a health drink, the court heard.

But her lawyers reportedly plan to appeal to a higher court, suggesting the high-profile trial could yet drag on.

The court dismissed her lawyers' argument that she had dementia.


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

Nakagawa said Kakehi "made light of human lives" and "almost no words of apology" for the crimes.

The defense also claimed that there was a possibility some of the victims had died from disease or by different drugs or poisons, noting that some of the victims had not undergone legal autopsies.

There was some controversy over the sentence, as Kakehi was exhibiting signs of early onset dementia at the time of the murders.

Among them was her fourth husband Isao Kakehi, 75, whose marriage to her after being widowed for a long time aroused police suspicions. The poison was found in the body of at least two of the men she had relationships with.

She married first at the age of 24 and launched a fabric printing company in Osaka Prefecture with her first husband. However, the one-time millionairess went bankrupt and was debt-ridden.

She would befriend the elderly men through a matchmaking agency, usually going for those who are childless and well-to-do. She married or was associated with more than 10 men and inherited about ¥1 billion, though she eventually fell into debt following dabbles into the stock market and futures trading.

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