Japan’s ‘Black Widow’ confesses to killing fourth man

Chisako Kakehi, on trial for murdering three men, tells judges she also poisoned last partner in 2013 then retracts confession

Chisako Kakehi, known as the ‘Black Widow’, who is accused of poisoning elderly men with cyanide.

A former millionaire nicknamed the “Black Widow” over the untimely deaths of her lovers admitted poisoning her last partner at her trial this week in a multiple murder case that has gripped Japan.

Chisako Kakehi, 70, has become notorious over accusations she killed a number of elderly men she was involved with, drawing comparisons with the spider that kills its mate after copulation.

Kakehi is on trial for the murders of three men – including a husband – and the attempted murder of another, all to allow her to collect on insurance policies.

Prosecutors suspect she used cyanide to get rid of her lovers, amassing a reported ¥1bn (£6.9m) in payouts over 10 years.

Her trial began in late June, but this week she stunned the court by telling judges she had murdered another man in 2013.

“I was waiting for the right timing as I wanted to kill him out of deep hatred,” the Asahi newspaper quoted her as saying on Monday.

The Fuji television network quoted her saying the crime was just “an issue of money”.

But on Wednesday, Kakehi appeared to retract her statements. “I don’t remember [what I said],” she testified, according to the Mainichi newspaper.

Kakehi’s lawyers argued she was not guilty of murdering Isao Kakehi on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Kyoto district court said last year that medical examinations found that Kakehi had early-stage dementia but was fit to stand trial. If convicted of murder she could face the death penalty.

Kakehi shrugged off the prospect on Monday, saying: “I’d be happy to die if you give me a drug now,” according to the Asahi.

Kakehi had relationships with many men, mostly elderly or ill, meeting some through dating agencies, where she reportedly stipulated that prospective partners should be wealthy and childless.

Prosecutors say the men were killed after making her the beneficiary of life insurance policies that ran into millions of dollars. Reports say she subsequently lost much of the fortune through financial trading.

Japan’s criminal justice system has come under scrutiny after Kakehi’s arrest, with critics asking why a number of her lovers’ deaths were not investigated as suspicious.

In some cases, autopsies were not carried out on the bodies, even though cyanide was found in at least one of the men.

Police who raided her home in Kyoto found traces of cyanide in the rubbish, media said. They also found paraphernalia for administering drugs and medical books at an apartment she kept south of Kyoto.

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Source By https://www.theguardian.com

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