Japan's 'Black Widow' sentenced to death for poisoning lovers, taking their money

Japan's 'Black Widow' sentenced to death for poisoning lovers, taking their money

Japan's 'Black Widow' sentenced to death for poisoning lovers, taking their money

She is married with four of them and made them acquainted through marriage agencies, which to him had, at his request, older men, wealthy, without children and living alone.

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.

When they trusted her enough to make her the sole beneficiary of their assets, Chisako Kakehi would move in for the kill - like the venomous black widow spider that devours its partner after copulation.

The serial killer kept some of her cyanide in a plant pot which she later threw out, according to prosecutors. The defense had also argued that Kakehi could not be held responsible as she had developed symptoms of early-onset dementia at the time of the murders. She tried to kill a fourth man as well, court heard.

Her lawyers immediately appealed Tuesday's ruling to a higher court, suggesting the trial could continue for years.

Prosecutors said she used cyanide to rid herself of her lovers, amassing a reported one billion yen ($8.8 million) in payouts over 10 years.

Kyoto District Court convicted Chisako Kakehi of the deaths, which occurred between 2007 and 2013.

Kakehi has lamented her lot in life to reporters and insisted she is the victim of unfortunate events. But following his death in 1994, the business went bankrupt and her house was put up for auction, prompting her to ask neighbors for a loan.

The court underlined that Kakehi did not suffer dementia when she committed the last crime in December 2013. They accused her of plotting her crimes well in advance, including helping to prepare notary documents linked to wills.

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.

Judge Ayako Nakagawa called it "a heinous crime driven by greed for money".

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

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

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