Chisako Kakehi is a 70-year-old woman who has been dubbed "the black widow"

The woman who is a one-time millionairess is dubbed the "Black Widow" over the untimely deaths of lovers and a husband whom she killed.

She was sentenced to death Tuesday, in a high-profile murder case that has gripped Japan.

According to Agence France Presse, AFP, Kyoto District Court condemned Chisako Kakehi, 70, to the gallows for the murder of three men - including a husband - and the attempted murder of another, a court official said.

Kakehi has become notorious over accusations she dispatched a number of elderly men she was involved with, drawing comparisons with the spider that kills its mate after copulation.

Prosecutors said she used cyanide to rid herself of her lovers, amassing a reported one billion yen ($8.8 million) in payouts over 10 years.

Kakehi initially refused to speak when her trial began in June but later stunned the court by admitting having killed her fourth husband in 2013.

She had relationships with many men, mostly elderly or ill, meeting some through dating agencies, where she reportedly stipulated that prospective partners should be wealthy and childless.

Prosecutors have said the men perished at her hands after making her the beneficiary of life assurance policies that ran into millions of dollars.

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