A 67-year-old woman was arrested in Japan Wednesday on suspicion of poisoning her husband with cyanide, in what local media described as the nation’s latest possible “black widow” case.
Chisako Kakehi was detained as it emerged that six of her former partners had also died under suspicious circumstances over the last two decades.
Kakehi is said to have been the beneficiary of a combined 800 million yen (US$6.8 million) in insurance money and other assets after the death of her seven partners.
Husband number four Isao Kakehi fell sick suddenly at home and was confirmed dead at a hospital in December last year, less than two months after the couple married, Agence France-Presse reported.
An autopsy found highly toxic cyanide compounds in his blood.
That came after the September death of a 75-year-old boyfriend, who fell suddenly ill after the couple ate together at a restaurant.
Kakehi’s dalliance with death is said to have begun in 1994 when her first husband passed away at the age of 54.
Kakehi was arrested Wednesday by police in Kyoto on suspicion of murdering her latest husband. She has denied any involvement in his death.
“We suspect she did it for money,” AFP quoted a police investigator as saying.
Police are now working on the theory that she could have been behind the deaths of at least some of the other six.
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