’Black Widow’ serial killer sentenced to death for murder of partners after inheriting over €7m

A Japanese court has sentenced a 70-year-old woman to hang for the deaths of her husband and two other former partners, and the attempted murder of a fourth man.

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

It said she poisoned the victims with cyanide after becoming the beneficiary of their wills.

She reportedly married at least three times and had three other partners who died, all within a few years of starting relationships with her, and amassed over €7m in inheritances over 10 years.


The so-called "poison woman" case surfaced when she was arrested in 2014 over the death of her 75-year-old husband, who had died in December 2013, a month after they married.

Kakehi was later charged with murdering two other men, her former boyfriends aged 71 and 75, and trying to kill a fourth, aged 79.

More than 560 people lined up for the 51 seats in the courtroom to hear today’s ruling, NHK public television said.

The court said traces of cyanide, which she confessed she obtained while running a printing plant, were found in all of the victims.

Investigators discovered a small packet of cyanide buried in a flower pot that Kakehi allegedly tried to throw away. The court said she had the men take cyanide capsules, saying they were health supplements.

The court dismissed her lawyers’ argument that she had dementia. Her defence also maintained she was innocent, citing insufficient evidence.

Judge Ayako Nakagawa said Kakehi was fully responsible for her actions, and that it was a carefully premeditated crime aimed at amassing inheritance money.

The court ruled that she was the only person with the victims at the time of their deaths and immediately applied for her inheritance each time.

The defence appealed against the verdict to a high court, which could take several years.


More on this topic

Controversy after DNA from genealogy website used to trace serial killer suspect

Alleged serial killer facing eighth murder charge in Canada

Police recover remains of at least six people on property connected alleged serial killer

Swiss parliament rampage man named

More in this Section

Donald Trump ‘not bothered’ by North Korea missile tests

Nigel Farage vows to change British politics after routing rivals in European polls

European elections: Far-right and greens gain ground as centre fragments

Corbyn hints Labour may shift towards supporting second referendum


Mystery of Barbary ape at Eamhain Mhacha

Watch for dragonfly survey

Put-upon ravens harangued by the noisy neighbours

Runner of the Week: Kevin Betts - 'It’s always great to get back to Cork'

More From The Irish Examiner