A Japanese woman, nicknamed in the media as the “Black Widow” for lacing her lovers’ drinks with cyanide and collecting millions in insurance payouts and inheritance, was sentenced to death on Tuesday.
The Kyoto District Court sentenced 70-year-old Chisako Kakehi for the murder of three men, one of them her husband, and the attempted murder of another.
Kakehi, who gained notoriety for poisoning her romantic partners, was nicknamed after the spider species where the female kills the male after mating.
“The accused made the victims drink a cyanide compound with a murderous intention in all four cases,” Judge Ayako Nakagawa was quoted as saying by NHK
. “The cases were well prepared in advance. They were cunning and malicious. I have no choice but to impose the ultimate penalty.”
The court rejected defence lawyers’ arguments that Kakehi could not be held criminally liable for the men’s deaths because she had dementia.
The court added said that she killed the men after she was named beneficiary of their life insurance policies, which amounted to ¥1 billion (US$8.8 million), reported AFP
. During the trial, it was revealed that she had relationships with several men, some of which she met through dating agencies, where her search criteria reportedly stated that she was looking for wealthy and childless men.
Kakehi showed no emotion when the sentence was handed out, and she had earlier said that she was ready to be hanged.
“Even if I were executed tomorrow, I would die smiling,” Kakehi reportedly said.
Her lawyers are planning to appeal the case to a higher court, which means it could drag on.
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