Kanae Kijima Japan’s Black Widow to be hanged after losing death penalty appeal. How a former lover’s murders of three men gripped a nation and unnerved death execution opponents.
Japanese woman, Kanae Kijima otherwise known as Japan’s ‘Black Widow’ has lost her bid to have her death sentence overturned after murdering three former lovers.
The verdict comes after Japan’s supreme court rejected the 42 year old woman’s final appeal after being sentenced to death in 2012 for the for the murders of Takao Terad, 53, Kenzo Ando, 80, and 41-year-old Yoshiyuki Oide.
Kijima is now expected to be executed by hanging.
The court’s decision comes as Kijima — who changed her surname to Doi while on death row continued to maintain her innocence.
According to the the Japan Times, the death row inmate still disputes the guilty charges, with her defense team claiming the trio of men took their own lives.
Her death sentence was upheld two years after the initial ruling by a Tokyo High Court and again by the Supreme Court on Friday.
The murders of the three former lovers argued the prosecution was motivated by financial greed, with the former girlfriend seeking out the wealthy suitors online, all of whom died from carbon monoxide poisoning within a span of eight months in 2009.
According to the 2012 ruling, Kijima burned coal briquettes after drugging her victims with sleeping pills.
Prosecutors, who relied mostly on circumstantial evidence, claimed she murdered the men so she wouldn’t have to pay back money they gave to her, BBC reported.
In her defense, the woman claimed all three men had killed themselves after telling them that she was leaving them. The claim led to commentators noting the woman’s plain, thick-set appearance being at odds with her assertions.
Kijima was convicted without the witness testimony or confession often relied upon in Japanese prosecutions.
The case would spawn the nickname, ‘Black Widow’ from from the species of female spider that eats its partner after mating.
Of note, the woman has married twice since she was detained in 2009.
Prior to Friday’s hearing, Kijima, in a blog she writes from her detention center, wrote: ‘I hope to see you again someday.’
Japan’s death penalty, which is supported by the majority of citizens, is exclusively achieved by hanging and typically takes years carry out. In the interim, the woman’s death sentence continues to unnerve human rights activists and death opponents….