"The accused made the victims drink a cyanide compound"

Japan’s ‘Black Widow’ serial killer has been sentenced to death for murdering a string of lovers with cyanide.

The Guardian reports that 70-year-old Chisako Kakehi earned millions in insurance payouts and inheritance from her four deceased lovers, amassing to one billion yen in payouts of 10 years. She reportedly lost the majority of her fortune through unsuccessful financial trading.

Kyoto District Court sentenced Kakehi for the murder of three men, including a husband. She was also charged for the attempted murder of another.

“The accused made the victims drink a cyanide compound with a murderous intention in all the four cases,” Judge Ayako Nakagawa told the court.

Kakehi earned the nickname ‘Black Widow’ for her comparisons with the spider that kills its mate after copulation.

Her defence argued that Kakehi was not criminally liable because she had suffered from dementia – an argument rejected by the judge.


The widow had met the men through dating agencies, stipulating that her partners needed to be wealthy and childless.

Cyanide was hidden in a plant pot owned by Kakehi. The poison was found in the body of at least two of the men she had relationships with. Medical books and paraphernalia for administrating drugs were also found in her apartment.

Kakehi admitted to killing her fourth husband in 2013, “I killed him… because he gave other women tens of millions of yen but did not give me even a penny.”

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

Kakehi’s lawyers are planning to appeal to a higher court, which could extend the trial.