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08 November 2017, 01:11 | Damon Campbell
Chisako Kakehi 70 had a series of husbands and boyfriends who died in mysterious circumstancesJIJI PRESS Getty
A Japanese court has sentenced a "Black Widow" who met wealthy partners via dating agencies and poisoned them with cyanide.
Sentenced to death by hanging for an old millionaire in Japan for the murders of three of his spouses and a murder attempt on a fourth.
When they trusted her enough to make her the sole beneficiary of their assets, Chisako Kakehi would move in for the kill - like the venomous black widow spider that devours its partner after copulation. The poison was found in the body of at least two of the men she had relationships with.
During her trial, Kakehi maintained her innocence until July, when she made a surprise confession to killing her husband with poison.
When prosecutors asked her whether she killed her husband by poisoning him, she replied that there was "no mistake".
She reportedly amassed one billion yen ($8.8m) in payouts over 10 years but subsequently lost most of the fortune through unsuccessful financial trading.
Kyoto District Court ruled that Chisako Kakehi used cyanide "with a murderous intention" in the four cases, and that she should be held responsible for the crimes irrespective of the face that she had been diagnosed with dementia.
Nakagawa pointed out that Kakehi "made light of human lives" as she repeatedly committed the crimes.
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Her first husband died in 1994 and the business later went bust, prompting her to take out massive loans.
Kakehi was arrested in 2014 after her fourth husband, 75, was found dead in their home a month after the couple married.
"The cases were well prepared in advance".
The court dismissed her lawyers' argument that she had dementia.
"Even if I were executed tomorrow, I would die smiling", Kakehi previously told the judges.
Although she was aware of the toxicity of the cyanide compounds, she gave them to the four men by putting the substances in capsule form so that they looked like supplements, the judge said.
It was the second-longest court case involving a jury since Japan introduced a joint judge-jury system in 2009.
While sentencing the old woman, presiding judge Akiko Nakagawa said: "It was an extremely malicious and sneaky crime borne out of greed for money".
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