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article image'Internet Black Widow' arrested in Nova Scotia

By Arthur Weinreb     Oct 2, 2012 in Crime
New Glasgow - The 77-year-old woman faces a charge of attempted murder after her current husband was taken to hospital. The woman has previous convictions in Nova Scotia and Florida that include one for manslaughter in the death of a previous husband.
The couple, who said they were on their honeymoon, checked into a bed and breakfast in New Sydney, Nova Scotia on Friday. The Globe and Mail reports that Saturday morning, the woman came downstairs and said her husband was not feeling well. Paramedics arrived and took the 75-year-old Nova Scotia man to the North Sydney General Hospital. Doctors became suspicious of the man's injuries and called police. After going to the hospital and speaking to the man's son, police also became suspicious of the circumstances surrounding the man's condition.
Cape Breton Regional Police Staff Sgt. Mike Kennedy, is quoted by CTV News as saying, "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 the 75-year-old male was suffering."
Although police would not release the names of the parties concerned, the 77-year-old woman has been identified as Melissa Weeks, the wife of Fred Weeks. In the past, Weeks has gone under the names Melissa Stewart, Melissa Friedrich, and Melissa Sheppard, and is known internationally as the "Internet Black Widow."
Weeks was arrested at the senior citizens complex where she lives in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia and charged with the attempted murder of her husband.
CBC reports in 1991, Weeks ran over her then husband, Gordon Stewart, twice on a deserted road outside of Halifax. Stewart had been drugged before his death. Weeks was sentenced to six years for manslaughter and was released after serving two years.
The woman then went to Florida where she married Robert Friedrich. After the marriage, Friedrich's health began to deteriorate. He suffered from fainting spells and slurred speech and had to be hospitalized on several occasions. According to family members, his money began to disappear after his marriage. Friedrich died in 2002 and his body was cremated. No charges were ever laid in relation to Friedrich.
Weeks then began a relationship with Alex Strategos, 73. The couple met on an Internet dating site. The day they moved in together, the Florida man had to be taken to the hospital because "he hit his head." A drug was found in his system and his bank account had been emptied.
Weeks spent five years in a Florida prison after being convicted of several counts of theft from a person 65 or older, forgery, and using forged documents. She was released in 2009 and deported to Canada.
Neighbours at the senior citizens complex knew about Weeks' past. Fred Green is quoted by CTV News as saying, "She never caused any trouble around here that I'm aware of, but everybody here knew. They knew who it was and what was going on, you know."
Weeks is being held in custody and will appear in court today.
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