Insurance Money Killer: Chisako Kakehi

Born on November 28th, 1946 in Kitakyushu city, Chisako Kakehi grew up in a middle-class family and although she excelled at an academic level, she wasn’t allowed to pursue higher education because her father believed that women should get married and have a family.

Kakehi married her first husband in 1969, where she was introduced to the poison cyanide because he ran a fabric printing company. After her first husband suffered a heart attack in 1994, he was released from hospital in good health but soon after being released from the hospital he died aged 54. His body was cremated. In 2006, Kakehi’s second husband who was a manager for a pharmaceutical company died after suffering a stroke, he was aged 69. His body was also cremated. Then in 2008, her third husband who was an agricultural entrepreneur died three months after they got married from a heart attack, he was aged 75. His body was also cremated. Because all three bodies were cremated, no tests were able to be conducted on the bodies so we don’t know if they were poisoned by Kakehi.

In 2007, Kakehi got engaged to Toshiaki Suehiro, a former prefectural official. He collapsed in the street not long after they got engaged and then spent the next two years on life support until 2009 when he died of cancer aged 81. Traces of cyanide were found in his blood samples. In 2011, Kakehi got engaged to Masanori Honda. He died six months later aged 71 from arrhythmia whilst riding his motorcycle.

Kakehi started casually dating retired architect Minoru Hioki but he died in 2013 aged 75. Originally his death was suspected to be due to lung cancer but further investigation showed that he had been poisoned. In December 2013, Kakehi’s fourth husband Isao Kakehi was found dead in his home a month after they married, traces of cyanide were found in his blood samples.

In 2014, Chisako Kakehi was arrested for the murder of her fourth husband Isao and she confessed that she had killed him because he had given money to lots of other women but nothing to her.

During the investigation, it was discovered that Kakehi would meet men on several match-making websites, aged between 70 and 80 years old, with no children and ideally wealthy. She would charm the men until they made her the beneficiary of their assets and life insurance policies, then she would poison them with a cyanide-laced drink.

She was found guilty of the murder of one of her husbands and the murders of two partners. She was sentenced to death by hanging in 2017.

Although she was only charged and found guilty of three murders, it is suspected that she may have murdered up to 10 men.

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