Police are not making substantial inroads in bringing murder charges against suspected “black widow” Kanae Kijima, the 35-year-old arrested for fraud and linked to the suspicious deaths of six men, reports Shukan Post (Jan. 1).
Police are presently building cases for murder around two of the deaths. Thus far, Kijima has been arrested five times for defrauding over a dozen other men, in their 40s and 50s and residing in various prefectures across the Kanto region, after posing as a prospective marriage partner on Internet matchmaking sites. All told she is believed to have collected 100 million yen from her victims.
“The police are trying to make cases for the burn death in May in Chiba Prefecture and the guy in Tokyo who died in a car in August from carbon monoxide inhalation,” a writer specializing in the legal profession tells the tabloid. “However, it is hard to gather evidence against her since she herself has remained silent.”
Kenzo Ando, an 80-year-old invalid from Noda, Chiba Prefecture, died on May 15 in a house fire. Kijima had withdrawn money from his account and served as his nurse. She was seen at the residence the day before the incident. A charcoal stove was found at the scene and Ando’s system contained sleeping pills.
The body of Yoshiyuki Oide, a 41-year-old company employee from Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward, and a charcoal burner, a common tool used for committing suicide, was discovered inside a rented car in Fujimi, Saitama Prefecture on August 6. Investigators found that he was defrauded by Kijima for 5 million yen. An autopsy revealed that he had died of carbon-monoxide poisoning and that his body as well contained the remains of a sedative. Kijima was seen with him the day before his corpse was located.
Shukan Post tracked down one of Kijima’s fraud victims, referred to as “Mr. A.” In the weekly’s Nov. 20 issue, he disclosed the contents of various mails and phone conversations.
In spite of having fallen victim to Kijima’s scheme he is still passionate about utilizing sites specializing in providing services related to konkatsu, or marriage hunting. “Going to a matchmaking business or attending a lonely hearts party is very expensive,” says the 49-year-old, “and even if you meet potential ladies there are times when you don’t have anything to talk about. On the other hand, the Internet allows me to exchange emails beforehand so I can find out about the person’s interests prior to a meeting. Because I am around 50 I don’t have much time. So the Internet is a useful tool for me to screen the girls.”
Yet Mr. A has changed his approach since dealing with Kijima.
“I was wrong to target ladies in their 30s as a possible partner. I am cautious about such girls coming after someone my age. I cannot trust their profile picture” — Note: Kijima used a modified photo — “because there is a chance that it has been altered,” he giggles. “The more attractive the girl appears the more suspicious I am.”
Indeed, the dream of attracting a young lady appears to be dead for these guys, and it is all due to Kijima, sniffs Shukan Post. (A.T.)
Source: “Rantan onna no konkatsu sagi de kyushi ni issho arafifu otoko ga dashita ‘ketsuron,’” Shukan Post (Jan. 1, pages 50-51)