crime

'Black widow' sentenced to death for murder of 3 men

36 Comments

Kanae Kijima, 37, the woman accused of murder following the suspicious deaths of three men in Saitama, Tokyo and Chiba in 2009, was sentenced to death by a panel of lay judges at the end of her trial at the Saitama District Court.

Kijima, who has been dubbed the "black widow" killer, is also suspected of killing as many as five other men she met via online marriage sites, by drugging them with sleeping pills and disguising their deaths as suicides or accidents.

Kijima, who has a past as a paid-for mistress, killed the three men by poisoning them with carbon monoxide from burning charcoal briquettes after giving them sleeping tablets.

The court heard how she had wanted to stop them from demanding back money she had taken from them over the course of brief relationships.

"Three times she carried out extremely serious and vicious crimes," presiding judge Kazuyuki Ohkuma said.

The thick-set Kijima, who according to media reports appeared in court wearing a short skirt, committed the crimes "in order to maintain her luxurious life full of vainglory without working," the judge said.

More than 1,300 people queued up for the 49 seats available to the public for the hearing.

She was convicted of killing Takao Terada, 53, and Kenzo Ando, 80, in Tokyo and nearby Chiba Prefecture in January and May of 2009, by leaving burning briquettes in their homes, a fairly common method of suicide in Japan.

Yoshiyuki Oide, 41, died in a rented car, also from the fumes from briquettes, in neighboring Saitama Prefecture in August 2009.

Kijima's plain appearance seemed to commentators at odds with her defense that two of her victims had killed themselves because they were distraught at the idea of her leaving them.

She was also convicted of seven other lesser crimes, including fraud and theft.

Because there was no evidence that directly linked Kijima to the murders, the prosecution focused on details such as the suicide paraphernalia Kijima purchased online and the money that her victims transferred into her bank accounts.

Kijima worked as a home helper for Ando and had visited his home the same day. She was captured by CCTV cameras withdrawing money using his cash card. Kijima testified that Ando asked her to withdraw the money for him.

In Oide's case, he was found dead in the back seat of his rented car in an apparent suicide. The car contained a charcoal burner. But there were no keys in the ignition.

Suspicions were further aroused when it emerged that less than 24 hours before his death, Oide had written about Kijima on his blog, writing, “At 41, I’m actually looking forward to getting married, and today I’ll meet my partner’s family.”

An autopsy showed that Oide had died from carbon monoxide poisoning, but that his blood also contained traces of sleeping pills. Just before his death, he had transferred 5 million yen to Kijima’s bank account.

The third victim, Terada, died of carbon monoxide poisoning in his home.

Prosecutors said that Kijima, a mother of five, would reportedly agree to marriage and then claim to be in desperate need of cash to complete her studies before she could go through with the marriage.

According to one weekly magazine, in an email to a 70-year-old lover, she claimed that her parents had been killed in a plane crash and that she needed money to complete her music studies in the U.S. The man was later found dead at his home.

Police say that Kijima, who claims to have worked as a nurse and a piano teacher, possessed multiple prescriptions for sleeping pills of the type found in her alleged victims. According to police, there is also evidence that she bought the items needed to cause carbon monoxide poisoning over the Internet.

Though she lived in an inexpensive rented apartment, Kijima was known to write about her extravagant lifestyle on her blog and was reportedly seen turning up to dates at luxury hotels in a red Mercedes.

Kijima's lawyer argued that the deaths of Kijima’s lovers could all have been accidents or suicides. The trial lasted 100 days and 63 witnesses were called.

© Japan Today/ AFP

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

36 Comments
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The thick-set Kijima

Being thick set certainly isn't going to do her any good when the trap door opens up from underneath her.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They must have been too naive to know who she really is. Seems like a typical psychopath because of the way she behaves, cruel, callous or whatever. She scares the devil out of me.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That's it... I'm never meeting a Japanese woman online again...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The great fear men have, a woman who kills, it's funny. You want to Burn the Witch like it's the most evil thing youve ever heard of in your life but when a man does worse, every other week, it's just another day and you debate stuff or move on to the weather. Typical. All who kill must face death for balanced justice and to protect the populace from any possibility of future violence. Gender is irrelevant.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Carcharodon: " I feel deep pity for her 5 children (5!) " I never read anywhere that she had children. Where did you read that?

it was in the story

Prosecutors said that Kijima, a mother of five, would reportedly agree to marriage and then claim to be in desperate need of cash to complete her studies before she could go through with the marriage.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Not to defend the general style of writing, but if she was wearing a short skirt then she must have deliberately chosen to wear it, for whatever reason.

I think it gives us a hint of the workings of her mind and is thus newsworthy, for female as much as for male readers.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

kowai oba san... hope she gets what she deserves!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

She was a nurse?? Scary!! I do hope she hangs ASAP!! RIP poor victims of this selfish fat sow.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

hahaha HER??

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/images/photos2012/nn20120111a2a.jpg

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What an insensitive woman she is. This woman will do anything for money but not love. Let the world beware. There is a fresh breed of bad girls around and no man is safe.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Charcharodon:

Oops, sorry, yes the article says "mother of five". Mind-boggling...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Carcharodon:

" I feel deep pity for her 5 children (5!) "

I never read anywhere that she had children. Where did you read that?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is a purely circumstancial case, but I´d put it this way: If it is pure coincidence that this long string of guys committed suicide after meeting her and putting her in her will, then that is such a heck a statistically almost impossible string of bad luck that she should be kept behind bars simply to protect society from more of this bad karma...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Come into my parlor said the spider to the fly"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think the curry poisoning case is much less clear than this one..... Kijima left such a long trail of mysterious deaths in her wake, that it became so obvious she was a serial extortionist-killer.I don't think I have read or seen anywhere about her having five children though.....between all these lovers , where did she find the time???

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Where are the fathers of those kids?? What will happen to them?

Agree that the writing is sexist. Agree that this women is evil. Disagree with the death penalty. Have to say though, those victims were fools to fall for the "Poor me, I need to finish school line".

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

@Yubaru -- Yes, one of the first to be sentenced to hang on circumstantial evidence. A notable precedent was set by the curry poisoning case in the 90s in which Mayumi Hayashi was convicted largely on the basis of arsenic in her garage and hearsay by neighbors. These are tricky cases, and in my opinion not ones in which the death penalty should be meted out.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I just feel sorry for her 5 children. What is going to happen to them now? Were they even with her in the first place?

I agree with Konpeito - extremely unprofessional writing.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

In my book circumstantial evidence is never enough to kill a human in retaliation for a suspected crime, but I don't write the laws allowing that, do I?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

now i want to see what this lady looks like... time for a google search

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They didn't prove guilty beyond a reasonable doubt so should have been life.

If you truely believe that, she should have been aquitted. What you are suggesting is a "maybe she did it" life sentence.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

so·ci·o·path  noun Psychiatry . a person with a psychopathic personality whose behavior is antisocial, often criminal, and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.

I remember this case when it first came to light. She is pure evil and she deserves to swing. She must be quite a piece of work to have fooled so many over the years. I feel deep pity for her 5 children (5!), how must they feel knowing their mother is one despicably evil, sick (insert unmentionable word here)

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Why does everyone keep going on about her plain looks or 'thick set' figure....not every chap in the world is attracted to anorexic stick-insects or AKB types.

Not defending the guilty, of course.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

"vainglory" - when will Japan rise above 1950s English?

I'm surprised anyone would use her as a mistress, if you've seen how ordinary she looks.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

According to one weekly magazine, in an email to a 70-year-old lover, she claimed that her parents had been killed in a plane crash and that she needed money to complete her music studies in the U.S. The man was later found dead at his home.

What a selfish woman, die die die I say.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

She won't hang -- Japan hasn't executed a woman since 1965.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Worse than a parasite. At least a parasite doesn't usually kill its host.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Don't agree with the death penalty, but since it's a country with the death penalty I'm not sure what other sentence she could have expected. Makes you ponder life sometimes... here's this absolute scumbag woman taking all sorts of efforts to dupe men, kill them (purportedly, anyway), take their money in order for short term creature comforts, and now she gets to spend the rest of her short life in hell. Was it worth it? We all end up dead anyway, and in the end, as such, it may all mean nothing once we get there, but I'd like to think that while you're here, the ride is important and we should help each other through it as best as we can, not take from others so that your ride's more comfortable in the short term.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If this had been a male killer, the article would not mention how revealing his clothing was or his physical attractiveness being "at odds with his defense". This writing is unprofessional and sexist.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

They didn't prove guilty beyond a reasonable doubt so should have been life.

Kijima’s plain appearance seemed to commentators at odds with her defense that two of her victims had killed themselves because they were distraught at the idea of her leaving them.

Looks is not all. She could be a killa in other ways...:D

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I think she becomes the third woman on Death Row, but I've never read about a woman being executed?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I recall hearing about this woman and seeing her on tv. My sister-in-law and everyone else around us marveled about this plain Jane charming all those men into giving her money. Inner beauty (?!?!!!)...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This case has set a precedent here in Japan as if I recall correctly she will be one of the first to be convicted of multiple murders, and sentenced to death purely on circumstantial evidence.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The thick-set Kijima, who according to media reports appeared in court wearing a short skirt

Curious as to why JT would highlight this point, but yeah...short skirt at murder trial is pretty poor fashion sense and shows how oblivious she is to the seriousness of the charges and its consequences.

More than 1,300 people queued up for the 49 seats available to the public for the hearing.

What a bunch a busy bodies...don't they need to be somewhere? Like work? School? Tending to families??

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Evil women. I hope she spends every day feeling guilt for her cruel and selfish acts..

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The thick-set Kijima, who according to media reports appeared in court wearing a short skirt

Wearing the short-skirt wouldn't have helped her cause, that's for sure and certain. Look, no sympathy here when she swings - and I don't expect any tears anywhere will fall. I just have sympathy for the countless victims of her crimes.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

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