Kanae Kijima, Japanese Lonely Hearts Serial
Killer - 2009
On April 13, 2012, Kanae Kijima, 37, was sentenced
to death by presiding judge, Kazuyuki Okuma, in Saitama district
court, for three murders of three men: Yoshiyuki Oide, 41; Keizo Ando,
80; Hideki Maruyama, 53. The judge stated that “There is no room for
leniency as the defendant committed the crimes for selfish purposes.
She reiterated irrational excuses in court and did not show any
Dubbed “Konkatsu Killer” by the media for the
konkatsu (marriage-hunting) sites she frequented, she met the men on
internet dating sites and poisoned them with carbon monoxide by
burning charcoal briquettes after giving them sleeping pills. Kijima
reportedly set up each death to look like a suicide: In the latest
case, she’s suspected of putting a sedative in one man’s beef stew
then poisoning him with carbon monoxide.
The trial featured two opposing narratives:
prosecutors said she killed the men so she would not have to pay back
the money they had given her. Kijima’s lawyer said they had either
committed suicide because broke up with them or died by accident.
In her blog and dating profiles, Kajima portrayed
herself as an accomplished cook with expensive tastes in clothes and
jewelry. She cropped and altered photos of herself to make herself
look more attractive. She’d usually pose as a prospective bride, but
sometimes she played a nurse or therapist to better lure a specific
target. In just a few years, she allegedly made $2.2 million off her
When Kijima’s apartment in Tokyo was searched on
Nov 3, 2009, police found vast amounts of medicine, including cold
remedies and drugs known to induce drowsiness, that had been
prescribed by at least 10 different doctors. Traces of different
sleeping medicines were found in the bodies of three other men who
died in similarly suspicious circumstances, and all of whom had met
Kijima through lonely heart websites.
Yoshiyuki Oide, a 41-year-old from Tokyo, was found
dead in August of carbon monoxide poisoning in his car, a common
method of committing suicide in Japan, yet unusual because the keys
were not in the locked vehicle and shortly after he had transferred Y5
million (£33,175) to his “fiancee.”
Keizo Ando, 80, was an invalid who died in May in a
house fire. Kijima had served as his nurse, was seen at his home in
Chiba Prefecture the day before the fire and had withdrawn money from
his bank account.
Four additional victims are suspected: The naked
body of Sadao Fukuyama, a shop manager, was found at his home in Chiba
Prefecture after he had loaned Kijima Y74 million (£491,000), and
another boyfriend, identified as 53-year-old Takao Terada, who died of
carbon monoxide poisoning at his home in Tokyo in February. The body
of Kazumi Yabe was discovered on the seabed in April after he
apparently died in a fishing accident, Hideki Maruyama was found
face-down in a stream in October and an unnamed journalist was run
down by a train in May 2004.
Triple boyfriend killer handed death sentence
April 14, 2012
SAITAMA — A woman accused of killing three of her
lovers was sentenced to death Friday in a high-profile lay judge trial
that was based solely on circumstantial evidence.
The Saitama District Court
ruled that Kanae Kijima, 37, killed the three men in 2009 and
attempted to disguise their deaths as suicides.
In handing down the sentence to
Kijima, the presiding judge, Kazuyuki Okuma, said: "The defendant
repeatedly committed quite serious crimes that claimed the lives of
"There is no room for leniency
because the defendant committed the crimes for selfish purposes," he
said. "She repeated irrational excuses in court and did not show any
Takao Terada, 53, and Kenzo
Ando, 80, were found dead at their homes in suburban Tokyo and Chiba
Prefecture, while 41-year-old Yoshiyuki Oide's body was discovered in
a rented car in Saitama Prefecture.
The lay judges served for 100
days, the longest period on record since the system was introduced in
2009, and the lack of conclusive evidence placed an enormous amount of
pressure on them.
Prosecutors had demanded the
death sentence, saying Kijima only dated the men for their money to
support a luxurious lifestyle, and killed all three after they
demanded she repay them.
They claimed that all three men
died of carbon monoxide poisoning from coal briquettes and stoves that
Kijima herself had prepared. She dated the men until just before they
died, they said.
"The defendant committed the
crimes so she could maintain an embellished life," Judge Okuma said.
The defense counsel, however,
argued that Terada and Oide both committed suicide after arguing with
Kijima about breaking up, and that Ando's death was accidental. They
immediately appealed to a higher court the same day.
"The evidence presented by the
prosecutors does not sufficiently prove the defendant murdered the
three men," the defense team said.
Prosecutors seek noose for alleged triple
March 13, 2012
SAITAMA — Prosecutors demanded the death penalty
Monday for a woman charged with killing three ex-boyfriends in 2009
and disguising their deaths as carbon monoxide poisonings.
In their closing arguments at
the lay judge trial presided over by Kazuyuki Okuma at the Saitama
District Court, prosecutors said Kanae Kijima, 37, has shown no
remorse over the deaths.
Kijima pleaded not guilty. She
said the men either committed suicide after arguing with her over
their breakups, or died by accident.
The prosecutors said the
defendant began dating the men because she wanted to live in luxury,
then killed them so they couldn't demand repayment. They also said she
took money from one of the men's bank accounts.
They also pointed out that all
three died of carbon monoxide poisoning, and claimed that Kijima
prepared the coal briquettes and stoves herself and would meet with
the men until just before their deaths.
Despite the absence of direct
evidence linking Kijima to the crimes, such as witness testimony or
even a confession, the prosecutors said these factors are sufficient
proof of her guilt.
The bodies were found from
January to August 2009. Takao Terada, 53, and Kenzo Ando, 80, were
found dead at their homes in Tokyo and Chiba Prefecture, while
Yoshiyuki Oide, 41, was found in a rental car in Saitama.
The indictment said Kijima used
the briquettes and stoves to disguise the slayings as suicides.
Kijima's defense team will make
its final argument Tuesday. The court will rule on April 13.
Accused killer got 100 mil. yen from elderly man
The Yomiuri Shimbun
February 19, 2012
A woman on trial for allegedly murdering three men
and faking their suicides has testified that she received nearly 100
million yen from an elderly man she had known.
Kanae Kijima, 37, on Friday told the Saitama
District Court about her past relationships with men and the amount of
money involved. Her lawyers likely will try to present Kijima as a
woman who has no objections to accepting money from men and was
seriously looking for a marriage partner who would assist her
The defense questioned Kijima mainly about her
relationship with an elderly man in Chiba Prefecture, whom she met in
"I lived a luxurious life when I was young, so I
can't lower the quality of my life," Kijima said she told the man when
he asked about her attitude toward money.
Kijima also said the man gave her "nearly 100
million yen, I think" and that she never felt the amount of money was
About her life after the man died in 2007, she
said, "I thought the best thing would be to find a man [who would help
Prosecutors claimed Kijima registered with a
matchmaking website to get money from other men after her elderly
benefactor in Chiba Prefecture died. They assert she killed three men,
including Yoshiyuki Oide, 41, to end their relationships after she
cheated them out of money.
Prosecutors pointed out that a component of
sleeping pills detected in Oide's body was also found on a mortar and
pestle police seized from Kijima's house after Oide's death.
During its questioning, the defense also touched on
the way Kijima took medicine, stating she took sleeping pills after
grinding them with the mortar and pestle. The defense is expected to
claim the presence of the sleeping pill component is irrelevant.
The following are Kijima's answers to questions
from her lawyers.
Q: You met a man from Chiba Prefecture in 2001,
A: I applied for a job he posted on the Internet,
because the salary was 200,000 yen a month. I cleaned and prepared his
meals about once a week at first.
From the second month, I received 300,000 yen in
addition to my salary. I gradually stopped hesitating, and I think I
received nearly 100 million yen in total from the man.
Q: Did the man not say anything about the
A: He told me it wasn't necessary for me to change,
as I lived according to special values and my charm was that I wasn't
aware of it.
Q: Later the man became ill and stopped sending you
A: I thought the best thing was to find a man like
him, and I joined a dating service website [before joining a
matchmaking website]. I sometimes went to a hotel and received money.
I had no compunction about taking it.
Q: You visited a psychiatrist for the first time in
March 2005, didn't you?
A: I had insomnia. I was diagnosed with depression
and prescribed sleeping pills.
Q: Have you prepared medicine by grinding it?
A: I ground the pills using a mortar and pestle. I
didn't want the staff at the pension where I often stayed to know what
kind of medicine I took.
Trial of 'black widow' killer begins
January 11, 2012
SAITAMA — The trial of Kanae
Kijima, 37, the woman who is accused of murder following the
suspicious deaths of three men in Saitama, Tokyo and Chiba in 2009,
got under way on Tuesday.
The trial, which is taking place in Saitama, began
with Kijima adamantly declaring her innocence. Observers say that both
prosecution and defense counsel are strongly contesting each point.
Because there is no evidence that directly links
Kijima to the murders, the prosecution has been focusing on details
such as the suicide paraphernalia Kijima is believed to have purchased
online and the money that her alleged victims transferred into her
According to NTV, one of Kijima’s alleged victims,
Yoshiyuki Oide, was found dead on the back seat of his rented car near
Tokyo in 2009 in an apparent suicide. The car contained a charcoal
burner of the type which had been used in a growing number of suicides
in Japan. However, investigators were puzzled to find 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,” NTV
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 ¥5m to
Kijima’s bank account.
Kijima is accused of murdering Oide and 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
According to the Yomiuri Shimbun, Kijima also
worked as a home help for Kenzo Ando, an 80-year-old man who died in a
house fire in May. An autopsy on his body revealed that it contained
traces of sleeping drugs. Kijima had visited his home the same day and
was captured by CCTV cameras withdrawing money using his cash card.
Kijima, a mother of five and nicknamed the “black
widow”, 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 US. 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.
Counsel for the defense is reportedly attempting to
convince the jury that the deaths of Kijima’s lovers could all have
been accidents or suicides. The jury’s services have been requested
for an extended period as the trial is expected to last for up to 100
days. In total 63 witnesses are to be called, NTV reported.
Suspected ‘black widow’ Kanae Kijima with
possible ties to nightclub host
Suspect linked to 6 suspicious deaths
By Kenji Nakano - The Tokyo Reporter
December 3, 2009
Documents related to the investigation of marriage
fraud suspect Kanae Kijima reveal that she had an association with a
nightclub host, reports Shukan Asahi (Dec. 11).
Saitama Prefectural Police have learned that the
34-year-old was probably supporting a male acquaintance, aged in his
30s and employed at a host club in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward. “He is the
most important person in the investigation,” says a source close the
investigation. “He is not showing up to work now. And he might be the
reason for Kijima’s crimes. The money she got from these guys was used
to feed and take care of him.”
The same documents indicate that police are
presently building cases for murder around the suspicious deaths of
six men, many of whom gave Kijima sizable sums of money. Thus far,
Kijima has been arrested four times for defrauding multiple other men,
in their 40s and 50s and residing in various prefectures across the
Kanto region, out of a total of 7.7 million yen after posing as a
prospective marriage partner. (That figure is an update by Shukan
Asahi over previous reports.) The most recent arrest occurred on
The body of Yoshiyuki Oide, a 41-year-old company
employee from Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward, and a charcoal burner, a common
tool used for committing suicide, was discovered inside a rented car
in Fujimi, Saitama Prefecture on August 6. Investigators found that he
was defrauded by Kijima for 5 million yen. An autopsy revealed that he
had died of carbon-monoxide poisoning and that his body contained the
remains of sleeping pills. Kijima was seen with him the day before his
corpse was located.
Kenzo Ando, an 80-year-old invalid from Noda, Chiba
Prefecture, died on May 15 in a house fire. Kijima had withdrawn money
from his account and served as his nurse. She was seen at the
residence the day before the incident. A charcoal stove was found at
the scene and Ando’s system as well contained a sedative.
Two other men linked to the suspected “black widow”
are also known to have died in a suspicious manner. Police have
withheld information on two additional cases for which Kijima is being
Police have scoured business cards, emails and bank
transaction records connected to Kijima. Investigators noticed a large
gap between her expenditures and the income she received from the men
whom she allegedly deceived. It is known that she collected a total of
roughly 100 million yen, but only used between 10 and 20 million yen
to purchase an imported car and other items.
Police found evidence that the Shinjuku host was
providing instructions to the suspect via email. “Based on emails,
this guy appears to have an intimate or close relationship with
Kijima,” says the same source. “These emails include him teaching her
how to use charcoal. The way they were written, it could be considered
as advice for making murder seem like suicide. In exchange for the
money he forced her to collect, he might have also been a good
listener for dealing with issues related to those guys she trapped.”
The source adds that such deception is the nature
of the host business — one in which women are known to run up bills
amounting to hundreds of thousands of yen in one evening. “I am sure
that as with with most host clubs what matters is sales,” the source
comments. “The color of the money and how you got it doesn’t matter in
The same documents also indicate that Kijima had a
regular boyfriend, who is referred to only as “S-san.” She is said to
have regularly accompanied the man, in his 40s, on fishing trips to
Shukan Asahi then visits the host club in Shinjuku.
When asked about whether Kijima frequented the club, one veteran host
quickly responds: “Although people are saying she’s been here, she has
A representative within the club’s public relations
department adds: “I haven’t heard a thing about her coming here.”
Japanese woman suspected of 'black widow' serial
Kanae Kijima accused of defrauding would-be
husbands before disguising deaths as suicides and accidents
By Justin McCurry - Guardian.co.uk
November 9, 2009
When police discovered the body of Yoshiyuki Oide
slumped on the back seat of his rented car near Tokyo this summer,
they quickly assumed he had killed himself.
The car contained the paraphernalia of a growing number of suicides in
Japan, although investigators were puzzled to find there were no keys
in the ignition.
But their bafflement turned to suspicion when it
emerged that Oide apparently had everything to live for. Less than 24
hours before his death the company worker from Tokyo had spoken of his
joy at the prospect of getting married.
"At 41, I'm actually looking forward to getting
married, and today I'll meet my partner's family," he wrote on his
"Recently, we've spent all our time looking for a
new place to live and talking about our new life together. This
evening we're going on a two-night, three-day holiday."
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 ¥5m (£33,000)
to his "fiancee's" bank account.
In a case that has gripped Japan, the woman Oide
thought he was about to marry is suspected of murdering him and as
many as five other men she befriended via online marriage sites.
The suspect, named by Japanese websites as Kanae
Kijima, allegedly squeezed millions of yen out of her would-be suitors
before drugging them with sleeping pills and disguising their deaths
as suicides or accidents.
The copious column inches and air time devoted to
the case since her arrest late last month portray the 34-year-old as a
calculated serial killer who preyed on vulnerable men aged ranging in
age from 27 to 80.
According to the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper, Kijima
also worked as a home help for Kenzo Ando, an 80-year-old man who died
in a house fire in May and whose body contained traces of sleeping
drugs. She had visited his home the same day and was filmed
withdrawing money using his cash card.
Kijima, a mother of five now inevitably nicknamed
the "black widow", would reportedly agree to marriage and then claim
to be in desperate need of cash to complete her studies before she
could tie the knot.
According to one weekly magazine, in an email to a
70-year-old lover later found dead at his home she said her parents
had been killed in a plane crash and that she needed money to complete
her music studies in the US.
The suspect, who claimed to have worked as a nurse
and a piano teacher, reportedly had multiple prescriptions for
sleeping pills of the type found in her alleged victims. There is also
evidence that she bought the items needed to cause carbon monoxide
poisoning over the internet.
Though she lived in a cheap rented flat, Kijima
reportedly wrote about her opulent lifestyle on her blog. They weren't
entirely empty boasts: she would reportedly turn up to dates at luxury
hotels in a red Mercedes.