On July 10, a Japanese woman, who was dubbed “Black Widow”, confessed to killing her last husband using cyanide only to retract the statement two days later.
In the murder trial that has since gripped Japan, 70-year-old Chisako Kakehi is being accused of killing three partners and attempting to murder a fourth.
Although it was found that six men died soon after marrying or dating her, she was not charged for the deaths of her three other husbands.
The moniker “Black Widow,” which was derived from the infamous female spider that devours its partner after mating, was given to her by news media after her arrest in 2014. She was only brought to trial in Kyoto on June 26, the New York Times reports.
In the course of over 10 years, she has reportedly amassed a reported one billion yen ($8.87 million) in payouts.
Authorities revealed that all of the alleged victims were between 70 and 80 years old at the times of their death and met the “Black Widow” between 2007 and 2013.
The latest in a string of partners to die was Isao Kakehi, her fourth husband who was found dead at his home in Muko, a city near Kyoto.
“I killed my husband,” Kakehi told the court last Monday according to The Japan Times. “I have no intention of hiding the guilt. I will laugh it off and die if I am sentenced to death tomorrow.”
Kakehi had initially stated she would remain silent and would “leave everything” to her defense team, according to BBC.
However, when she was asked by the prosecutor if she had poisoned her husband, she immediately confessed, stating that there was “no mistake” about her part in his death.
“I wasn’t given any money after I married him,” Kakehi said. “I felt like Isao was discriminating against me in comparison to the last woman he was in a relationship with, and I got angry,” she added, according to news reports.
Kakehi said she acquired the cyanide from a business associate.
However, she would later tell the court on July 12 that she did not remember what she said two day earlier.
Her defense lawyers, who have pleaded not guilty on her behalf, claimed that the accused developed dementia and is now having trouble accurately remembering, not only the details from the time of the alleged crimes, but also “things that happened recently”.
Watch a 2014 report by CNN: