Why did this 70-year-old woman murder her elderly husband and a string of lovers?

During her trial, Chisako admitted that she would face death with a smile if she was going to be hanged.

                            Why did this 70-year-old woman murder her elderly husband and a string of lovers?

When the Kyoto District Court announced death sentence for 70-year-old Chisako Kakehi, the one emotion that was writ large on her face was cold-hearted remorselessness.

She told the court that she would laugh in the face of a death sentence. “Even if I were executed tomorrow, I would die smiling,” Chisako said to the judges during her trial held in July, as per reports published in Agence France-Presse. 

Chisako Kakehi, who's known by the alias 'black widow'—synonymous with the poisonous 'black widow' spider that kills its mates—was sentenced to death by hanging for the murder of her husband. She has been found guilty of murdering her husband and two other partners, as well as the attempted murder and robbery of another boyfriend, who later died of cancer between 2007 and 2013.

According to the Japan Times, Chisako had tricked her partners into consuming cyanide by telling them that it was a health cocktail. Kakehi had meticulously planned the murders of each of the victims and had taken all the necessary steps that included creating the documents to ensure that the men made her the ultimate beneficiary of their wealth. The prosecutors described the crimes as 'heinous'—all of which were driven by greed for money.

All the victims were aged 70 years and above and belonged to affluent, wealthy backgrounds whom Chisako had met through dating sites. As per Agence France-Presse reports, it is estimated that the 'black widow' had earned more than $8.8 million through insurance payouts, but she lost most of the wealth through trading in the stock market.

She was arrested in 2014, after her fourth husband was found dead in his home near Kyoto on December 28, 2013, a month after their marriage. Her other three husbands had also died, but according to a report published in BBC, she wasn't arrested for those.  

During the initial phase of the trial that had begun in June, Chisako had maintained a stiff lip about her involvement in the murders while her lawyers fought tooth and nail to get her acquitted of all charges. But things took a shocking turn in July on the 135th day of the trial when Chisako admitted to having killed her fourth husband in open court, according to Washington Post

On being asked whether she had killed her husband by poisoning him or not, she replied that there was 'no mistake.' Furthermore, when she was questioned whether she was aware of the consequences pertaining to her admission in court, Chisako gave a resounding 'yes' as an answer. She told the court that her husband had treated her unfairly when it came to money matters and allegedly gave more money to the women he had been dating before her. “I got angry,” she said, as Mainichi reported.

However, she later withdrew her statement in the same week and said that she did not remember admitting to the killing, according to Mainichi. Chisako's lawyers took full advantage of the reverse gear and pleaded not guilty, citing lack of physical evidence. They also cited medical reasons where her lawyers stated that she had begun showing signs of early stages of dementia at the time of her husband's death, as per the report published in Japan Times.

The trial was nicknamed 'The Marathon Trial' that lasted for 135 days. (Getty)

Nonetheless, judge Ayako Nakagawa did not budge and awarded death sentence to Chisako justifying the sentence as Chisako showed little or no respect for human lives and gave 'almost no words of apology.' "The cases were well prepared in advance. They were cunning and malicious. I have no choice but to impose the ultimate penalty," Judge Ayako Nakagawa stated.

Soon enough, Chisako’s lawyers filed an appeal against the order. Her execution could take a long time before it becomes a reality. 

It may be a long time before her execution comes into play. However, prosecutors have called her actions 'shrewd and despicable' and are looking to bring an end to Japan's most scandalous murder case soon.

Watch the news report here:


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