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Supreme Court upholds death penalty ruling for ‘black widow’

Kanae Kijima
Kanae Kijima

TOKYO (TR) – The Supreme Court has upheld a death sentence handed to a 42-year-old woman over the killing of three men she met on dating sites nearly a decade ago, reports NHK (Apr. 14).

On Friday, the court ruled against that the guilty verdicts handed to Kanae Kijima in her previous two trials “was just,” said presiding judge Yoshinobu Onuki. “The crimes were committed carefully and through extremely malignant means,” the judge said, “and the defendant does not seem to have any remorse.”

Dubbed a “black widow,” Kijima met her victims on dating sites and then proceeded to defraud them of money and valuables prior to their deaths.

The body of Yoshiyuki Oide, a 41-year-old company employee from Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward, and a charcoal burner were discovered inside a rented car in Fujimi City, Saitama Prefecture on August 6, 2009. Investigators found that he had been defrauded by Kijima of roughly 5 million yen. An autopsy revealed that he had died of carbon-monoxide poisoning and that his body contained the remains of sleeping pills.

Kijima also faced murder charges for the deaths of Takao Terada, a 53-year-old from Tokyo, and 80-year-old Kenzo Ando, a resident of Noda City, Chiba Prefecture, who perished in a house fire, earlier that same year.

The conviction was based primarily on circumstantial evidence. The defense argued that it was likely the victims, all of whom died due to carbon monoxide poisoning, committed suicide or were involved in accidents.

In March 2012, the Saitama District Court found her guilty of murder and handed her a death sentence as sought by the prosecution. The Tokyo High Court upheld the ruling two years later.