'Black Widow' charged in Japan over death of husband No. 4

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A Japanese woman linked to the death of six of her partners including four husbands was charged on Wednesday with the killing of her most recent spouse, local media said.

Chisako Kakehi, 68, who was arrested last month, is accused of murdering her fourth husband, 75-year-old Isao, a year ago with cyanide, according to major media outlets.

She is reportedly denying the charge from Kyoto district prosecutors, who declined to comment on the indictment.

In a case that has gripped Japan, Kakehi reportedly amassed one billion yen (S$11 million) in insurance and other payouts over 10 years as a result of the death of a string of husbands and lovers.

She has been nicknamed the Black Widow after the spider that kills its mate after copulation.

Untimely deaths

Authorities have found traces of cyanide in her homes and inside a plant pot she discarded after Mr Isao’s death, local media said.

Police in a neighbouring prefecture are also investigating the 2012 death of her then 71-year-old boyfriend Masanori Honda, whose blood also showed traces of the poison, Jiji Press said.

Japanese media recorded interviews with her months before her arrest, in which she said she had no idea why so many of her partners had met untimely deaths.

“I want to know why all these things happened.

“I want to make it clear. I am not the type of woman who wishes to remarry. As it happens, people that I met happened to have a strong desire to marry,” she said.

Dating agencies

Since the death from illness of her first husband in 1994, Kakehi has reportedly been involved with more than 10 men, of whom six have perished. She was married a total of four times.

Most of her partners were elderly or ill.

She had met many of them through dating agencies, where she reportedly stipulated that prospective partners should be wealthy and childless.

Media have suggested that she frequently had more than one lover at a time.

Source: AFP