By Erin Eaton
Police in Cape Breton have charged a woman known as the “Internet Black Widow,” in connection with the suspected attempted murder of her husband.
Millie Weeks, 77, formerly went by the names Melissa Friedrich and Melissa Ann Stewart, according to media reports.
Her current husband, Fred Weeks, was hospitalized Sunday, after becoming violently ill just days after the couple’s wedding, said a CBC report.
She faces a bail hearing in Sydney, N.S., on Friday.
In 2001, Weeks was convicted of manslaughter after running over her husband, Gordan Stewart, with a car outside Halifax. She served two years of a six-year sentence for this crime.
Weeks then spent time in prison in Florida for stealing about $20,000 from Alexander Strategos, a man she met online. Strategos was hospitalized eight times during the two-month period he was involved with Weeks, said media reports.
A black widow killer is a woman who kills her husband, partner, family members or children, Dr. Peter Vronsky, an expert on homicide who teaches at Ryerson University, told Humber news Thursday.
“Often black widows collect property in a sort of psychopathological way,” he said.
“But there are a lot of easier ways to steal money than to marry someone and actually kill them —that takes a lot of work. There is something else that is gratifying the so-called black widow. I think that it’s very likely the need to control.”
Vronsky compared real-life black widow killers to the supernatural villains of television entertainment. He said society’s interest in these killers is a connection to our fascination with fictional monsters.
“As we live in a rational society, we need to recognize that monsters actually take on certain forms. When something taps on your window at midnight, usually your first thought is not that it is a vampire or supernatural creature, but a human threat or predator,” he said.
“I think we’re really fascinated by this threat that really exists, and the edge that we live on. This notion of somebody horribly killing people over and over — what could be more monstrous than that?”
Humber reporter, Laura Booth spoke with Peter Vronsky, Tuesday. You can listen to the interview here.