A Japanese so-called “black widow” is suspected of killing at least six elderly, well-to-do husbands, in a case that’s shocked the entire nation.
Police originally thought the death of 75-year-old retired salaryman Isao Kakehi last December was the result of heart failure, until a sharp detective grew suspicious of Kakehi’s recent marriage just a month before to a woman he had met through a dating agency.
They found traces of cyanide in the dead man’s blood, and began investigating his 68-year-old wife Chisako. Few could be prepared by what they would find. The New York Times reports that, over the last eight years, Chisako married six men, including Kakehi, who died shortly after their marriage.
All of the deceased were at least moderately wealthy, and most died just after drawing up a will naming Chisako as their sole beneficiary. Some of the deaths were spaced mere months apart. Chisako is rumored to have collected as much as $8 million from her short-lived marriages.
She was arrested last month for the deaths of Kakehi and a previous fiancee who dropped dead suddenly in 2012 while riding his motorcycle. The hospital happened to keep his blood sample, which was found to also contain cyanide. Police also found a small bag of cyanide hidden in a potted plant Chisako was trying to dispose of.
Before her arrest, Chisako firmly denied that she had anything to do with the poison or the related deaths, claiming she was “doomed by fate.” According to the New York Times, interviewers said she alternated between being warm and charming, and coldly calculating.
Read the source article for more information on Chisako and the Japanese fascination with her case.