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World News

Death penalty dealt for curry poisoning

The Wakayama District Court sentenced Masumi Hayashi to death Dec. 11 for murdering four people, including two children, and injuring 63 others by lacing curry with arsenic in 1998

The incident took place at a July 25 summer festival in the Sonobe district of Wakayama city

Presiding judge Ikuo Ogawa concluded that Hayashi, 41, a former insurance saleswoman, mixed arsenic into a pot of curry with the intention of killing people

Hayashi mixed about 135 grams of arsenic into the curry - enough to kill up to 1,350 people, according to the judge

"Although the motive is not clear, there is no room for reasonable doubt that the accused is the perpetrator in the case," the judge told the court

In the court's examination of the arsenic used in the poisoning, the judge said it was highly likely that the arsenic found in the pot was the same as the arsenic powder investigators collected at Hayashi's home and a relative's storage room

The judge also said Hayashi had looked after the curry pot on her own during the period of time in which it was presumed the crime took place, and so she had the opportunity to put the arsenic into the pot

On motive, the judge dismissed the prosecutors' argument that Hayashi, who was reportedly shunned by housewives in the neighborhood, was "enraged" by their attitude and decided to kill them

Hayashi has also been charged with four counts of attempted murder for allegedly trying to poison her husband, Kenji, 57, who used to run a termite extermination business, and two other male acquaintances. In addition, she is charged with three counts of insurance fraud involving her husband, who is currently serving a six-year term for the same offense.


毒物カレー事件、地裁で死刑判決

和歌山市の毒物カレー・ヒ素保険金事件で、殺人などの罪に問われた林真須美被告(41)に対し、和歌山地裁は11日、求刑通り死刑を言い渡した。



Shukan ST: Dec. 20, 2002

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