'Black Widow' back behind bars after court appearance
A woman infamously known as the ‘Internet Black Widow’ is back behind bars after being charged with trying to kill the man she married only two weeks ago.
Melissa Ann Weeks, or Millie Weeks, covered her face as she was led into Sydney provincial court Tuesday morning.
Police in Cape Breton have charged the 77-year-old woman with the attempted murder of her husband and also with administering a noxious substance.
The charges come after an elderly New Glasgow man was admitted to the Northside General Hospital in North Sydney after falling ill at a Cape Breton inn on the weekend.
Police were called to the hospital Sunday morning, as health officials were suspicious about the nature of the man’s illness.
They say they became concerned after contacting the man’s son in New Glasgow.
“It was learned that his wife of two weeks, a 77-year-old lady who is known to police, had given a story that didn’t seem to add up to the injuries that the 75-year-old male was suffering,” says Cape Breton Regional Police Staff Sgt. Mike Kennedy.
Police say further investigation led them to discover the man’s wife had previous convictions of forgery and manslaughter.
“Our investigators worked throughout the night,” says Staff Sgt. Mike Kennedy. “This included interviews and executing a couple of search warrants – one being at her home in New Glasgow.”
Police won’t say what the substance was but they confirm searches of the woman’s home and vehicle turned up large amounts of prescription drugs.
Weeks was arrested at a senior’s complex outside New Glasgow around noon Monday.
Her husband, Fred Weeks, is now recovering at home in New Glasgow after being released from hospital.
His family declined comment Tuesday, but New Glasgow residents had much to say about the case.
“We heard about her when she was in Florida and we read up some on that at that time,” says area resident Faye Hoare. “But it was just, it’s just unbelievable.”
Weeks was once convicted of a number of crimes involving older men, including manslaughter in the death of a husband.
The woman, formerly known as Melissa Sheppard, is known internationally as the ‘Internet Black Widow’ after a number of incidents in Nova Scotia and Florida.
In 2005, when she was known as Melissa Friedrich, the woman was sentenced to five years in a Florida prison on seven counts of theft from a man in Florida she had met online.
Investigators in that case said she stole about US$20,000 from Alexander Strategos.
In 2001, she was convicted of manslaughter in the death of her husband, Gordon Stewart, who she had drugged and run over twice with a car in 1991 outside Halifax.
She served two years of a six-year sentence for that crime.
Weeks is due back in court Friday for a bail hearing but the Crown is opposing her release.
“One, there’s a likelihood she may commit other offences,” says Crown attorney Dan MacRury. “Also, we believe she might be a flight risk. Based on those two issues, we’re opposed to her release.”
Until then, she will remain in police custody in Sydney.
Weeks has also been ordered to have no contact with her husband or his family.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Dan MacIntosh, Ryan MacDonald, and The Canadian Press