Kyoto "Poison Lady" to hang for insurance policy murders

Kristopher Drake
November 8, 2017

Japanese widow Chisako Kakehi was sentenced to hang on Tuesday by Kyoto District Court, after being convicted for murdering her husband and two other lovers, plus the attempted murder of a fourth man. Judge Ayako Nakagawa said Kakehi was fully responsible for her actions at the time, and that it was a carefully premeditated crime aimed at amassing inheritance money.

Defense lawyers argued Kakehi shouldn't be liable for the crimes because of a dementia diagnosis. Her lawyers have filed an appeal against what they call an "unjust" verdict.

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.

But later that week, Kakehi recanted her confession, saying that she did not remember the admission. It is estimated she amassed $8.8 million USA in this fashion. The court said she had the men take cyanide capsules, saying they were health supplements.

A court-appointed physician said previous year that Kakehi's case of dementia was mild and that she was fit to stand trial.

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.

She had earlier told judges she was ready to face the gallows. But just several days before her indictment, she confessed to murdering him. He died on Dec 28, 2013, only a month after their marriage. She was later indicted in connection with the deaths of Honda from Osaka Prefecture and Hioki from Hyogo Prefecture.

Kakehi first Wednesday at the age of 24, launching a fabric-printing company in Osaka Prefecture with her first husband. But following his death in around 1994, the factory went bankrupt and her house was put up for auction, leading her to ask neighbors for a loan.

Kakehi used to befriend wealthy and mostly elderly and sick men who did not have any children.

Like the venomous spider that kills its mate after copulation, 70-year-old Chisako Kakehi formed relationships with elderly men and then tricked them into drinking cyanide to collect the insurance money, reports Kyodo News.

The trial was held under the nation's lay judge system, which involves citizen judges.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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