TOKYO (TR) – The Supreme Court last week upheld the death sentence for a 74-year-old woman who poisoned several men, including her former husband.
On June 29, the court rejected the appeal by Chisako Kakehi, who fatally poisoned or sickened three men in 2012 and the year after.
“Getting acquainted with elderly victims one after another using a dating agency and gaining their trust to drink poison is clever and ruthless,” said presiding judge Yuko Miyazaki.
In 2013, Kakehi’s former husband, 75-year-old Isao, died after collapsing in his home in Muko City, Kyoto Prefecture. His body was found to contain a lethal dose of hydrocyanic acid. Kyoto Prefectural Police first arrested Kakehi over his death the following year.
The other persons killed by Kakehi via lethal doses of cyanide include boyfriends Masanori Honda, 71, and 75-year-old Minoru Hioki. She attempted to kill acquaintance Toshiaki Suehiro, 79, also with cyanide.
Suehiro had loaned Kakehi about 40 million yen. He survived after drinking the cyanide but died two years later.
In 2017, the Kyoto District Court handed Kakehi the death sentence. That ruling was later upheld by the Osaka High Court.
The defense has claimed the case lacked physical evidence to convict Kakehi and said she suffers from dementia.
Described as a “black widow,” Kakehi has been married four times. During the investigation, police speculated Kakehi had been romantically linked to more than 10 men and played a role in the deaths of eight of them.
Police suspected that money was her motive. News outlets have reported that Kakehi had received up to 1 billion yen in inheritance following the deaths of the various men. The money is believed to have been squandered on poor investments.