Hayashi reveals why she broke silence


Masumi Hayashi, who was sentenced to death for murdering four people with poisoned curry in 1998 in Wakayama, said Tuesday that she decided to break her silence in court because she had never expected to be facing execution.

“I had been confident that I would not face the death penalty when there was no firm evidence,” Hayashi, 43, told the Osaka High Court in response to a question by her defense counsel.

“If I am going to be executed, I thought I should leave with what I wanted to say on the record.”

The former insurance saleswoman broke a silence of more than five years in June to plead not guilty to the charges.

The Wakayama District Court sentenced her to death in December 2002, finding her guilty of killing four people and poisoning 63 others by lacing curry with arsenic at a community gathering on July 25, 1998.