Number of possible victims in Kyoto ‘black widow’ case continues to rise

Shukan Post Mar. 6
Shukan Post Mar. 6
The number of potential victims of Kyoto’s “black widow” continues to climb.

Last week, Chisako Kakehi, 68, who has been arrested twice since November for allegedly poisoning a former husband in Kyoto and boyfriend in Osaka, implied that she participated in the deaths of a number of other elderly men.

Kakehi has been married four times. She has had relationships with a total of six men who died under mysterious circumstances over the past decade. News reports have indicated that she received up to one billion yen in inheritance following the deaths of the various men.

According to Shukan Post (Mar. 6), there may now be a seventh, a 68-year-old who died in Osaka two years ago.

“On May 5, 2013 at about 7:40 p.m., a call came in to emergency services from an apartment in Sakai City,” says an investigator. “It was a woman claiming to be a man’s wife calling to say that her husband had stopped breathing. He was subsequently transported to a hospital. He died the following day at around 4:30 p.m.”

The date falls between the time of death of the two victims for which Kakehi has been arrested. Police have charged Kakehi with killing her fourth husband, Isao Kakehi, 75, in December of 2013 and her 71-year-old common-law husband, Masanori Honda, in March of 2012. Both victims were found to have cyanide compounds in their blood.

According to Shukan Post, the other four potential victims, for which charges have not yet been filed, died between 2006 and 2013 due a variety of ailments, including a heart problem and a stroke, and ranged in age from 69 to 75.

As to the possible seventh, in spite of him suffering from chronic diabetes his death came about abruptly. Without reason to suspect foul play, an autopsy was not performed.

Chisako Kakehi
Chisako Kakehi
However, Kakehi has emerged as likely being the “wife” who made the phone call to emergency personnel on that day two years ago.

“He moved into his apartment at the start of 2013,” says a neighbor. “I saw a woman carrying detergent one day and we exchanged greetings. I thought she was his wife but, amazingly, (now I realize that) it was Chisako, the suspect.”

Shukan Post is skeptical that Osaka police will be able to pursue an investigation against Kakehi regarding this latest development given that there is no longer a body to examine. (A.T.)

Source: “Kansai renzoku fushin-shi Chisko yogisha to kurashita 7 hitome no fushin-shi joho,” Shukan Post (Mar. 6, page 59)

Note: Brief extracts from Japanese vernacular media in the public domain that appear here were translated and summarized under the principle of “fair use.” Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy of the translations. However, we are not responsible for the veracity of their contents. The activities of individuals described herein should not be construed as “typical” behavior of Japanese people nor reflect the intention to portray the country in a negative manner. Our sole aim is to provide examples of various types of reading matter enjoyed by Japanese.

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