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Kanae Kijima, recently sentenced to hang for killing three boyfriends, may have been arrested before the second and third murders if police had conducted an autopsy on the first victim, Takao Terada, who was found dead in his Tokyo home in 2009.

Police deemed his death a suicide and did not perform an autopsy, believing he died of carbon monoxide poisoning from charcoal briquettes he set alight in an enclosed space — a form of suicide that had become common, even for groups of strangers meeting, often via the Internet, just to kill themselves this way. They now believe Kijima drugged him and lit the coals, as appeared to be the case with the other two men she was convicted of killing, but have no postmortem evidence to support the drugging allegations, at least with him.

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