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Chisako Kakehi was found guilty of murdering three men in Japan. Delve into everything we know about the chilling serial killer called the Black Widow.

Black Widow: Why was this serial killer in Japan denied her freedom?

Japan’s Supreme Court has decided to uphold a death sentence given to seventy-four-year-old serial killer Chisako Kakehi, also known as the Black Widow, for the murder of three men, including her husband, and an attempted murder of a fourth between the years 2007 & 2013. According to public broadcaster NHK, Kakehi reportedly received large insurance payouts after poisoning her victims with cyanide. 

How she did it

The serial killer in Japan utilized online dating websites to seek victims by filtering out potential matches to be childless, elderly, or ill. Kakehi was in a relationship with the victims, all aged between fifty -four & seventy-five years old, when they were poisoned and found dead. Kakehi would reportedly begin the process of inheriting their assets immediately after their untimely deaths. 

Reportedly, Kakehi received around one billion yen ($8.8 Million) after the deaths, funds that she put into the stock market and used to crawl out of her own debt. However, according to The Japan Times, she lost much of it in market trading and soon fell back into debt. 

Caught cyanide-handed

The serial killer in Japan’s reign of terror ended when her last victim passed away after only being married to Kakehi for less than two months. Police ordered an autopsy due to suspicion – surely, the death of so many of Kakehi’s lovers couldn’t just be a coincidence. 

Turns out, they were right. The serial killer in Japan was finally caught when traces of cyanide were found in the victim’s blood & stomach – a similar circumstance to her last fiance’s death when he crashed his motorcycle and cyanide was found in his blood, too.

Police would later say that many of Kakehi’s previous partners had passed away in the last two decades, and the serial killer in Japan was arrested eleven months later and put on trial soon after.

More evidence of the serial killer in Japan’s wrongdoing was found when prosecutors searched her home and found medical books with pages on poisoning bookmarked. They also found paraphernalia that could be used to conceal cyanide in her husbands’ meals and the lethal drug itself. 

Trial days

During her 2017 trial, Kakehi admitted to killing her husband, stating she had no intention of hiding her guilt and wanted to murder her husband out of deep hatred. The serial killer in Japan went on to say she would simply laugh it off if sentenced to death due to her crimes. However, three days later, she attempted to retract the confession, claiming she didn’t remember giving the initial confession. 

During this retraction, the serial killer in Japan noted that she wasn’t given any money after her husband’s death.  However, the court wasn’t swayed, and Kakehi was sentenced to death during the initial court proceedings. Kakehi’s legal team recently attempted to repeal the death sentence, arguing the serial killer in Japan is suffering from dementia and should be considered incapable of participating in a criminal trial.

The presiding judge over the trial, Judge Yuriko Miyazaki, was unswayed by repeal, stating the serial killer in Japan participated in a cruel crime and possessed strong murderous intentions. 

Despite the defendant’s circumstances, Judge Miyazaki made it clear in his decision that the death penalty would be unavoidable for Kakehi and the serial killer in Japan was put back on death row. No hanging death has been set yet for the Black Widow. 

Chisako Kakehi isn’t the only Black Widow on death row in Japan. Kanae Kijima, who was found guilty of killing three men she met on a dating website and making it look like suicide, is awaiting a death sentence as well.

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