Internet Black Widow bail hearing postponed for 3rd time
Defence said it needs more time
The bail hearing for a woman nicknamed the Internet Black Widow for her ability to persuade grieving widowers to marry her has been delayed for a third time in Sydney, N.S.
Melissa Weeks, 77, was charged with attempted murder days after her latest husband became ill at the Chambers Guest House Bed and Breakfast in nearby North Sydney.
She is also charged with trying to poison her husband under Sec. 245 of the Criminal Code, which deals with administering a noxious substance.
Weeks will be back in court for a bail hearing on Oct. 26.
The defence said it needs more time to come up with a release strategy.
"We requested an adjournment for two weeks. We do have a release plan in mind. However, we are still putting the pieces of the puzzle together with more information that we require. But I figure two weeks from today we should be in a position to present our plan to the court for my client. She definitely wants to be released, and that's what we're working towards," said defence lawyer Michael Kuna.
The Crown said it will oppose her release because they believe she is a flight risk and that there's a likelihood she could commit other crimes.
Search warrant claims quick courtship
A warrant used by police to arrest Weeks and search her home said she made several false claims about her husband's health and family links after he fell ill.
Based on police interviews with hospital staff, the document said Fred Weeks was taken to hospital in a "weak and confused state" and had no clothing on. It alleges that hospital officials also told Fred Weeks' son that Melissa Weeks said her husband had no children.
The warrant says Fred Weeks, 75, has a son and a daughter.
In the warrant request, a police constable reported that officers approached Melissa Weeks at the hospital and that she twice told them: "I am not talking to you people." It said she then left the hospital.
Hospital staff indicated to police that benzodiazepine, a type of tranquilizer, was found in Fred Weeks' urine. The warrant said Weeks told police he had only been prescribed a drug for cholesterol, but had stopped taking it.
Melissa Weeks allegedly told a neighbour at the inn where she stayed with her husband that Fred had fallen several times during a ferry crossing from Newfoundland and had struck his head.
Items seized during search
During the search of Weeks' home, police seized a number of items including two boarding passes for the ferry, various types of drugs including 144 tablets of the anti-anxiety drug lorazepam and the anti-insomnia drug temazepam, as well as three empty pill bottles with the labels removed.
An online profile of tamazepam warns that people taking it can fall asleep very quickly. Some of the drug's side effects include memory loss that can include losing any recollection of driving, eating or making phone calls.
Police also recovered documents suggesting Weeks was using five different names, including Melissa Friedrich, the name she carried when she was dubbed the Black Widow.
There were also appointment notices and prescriptions from five different doctors, at least four of whom practice in Nova Scotia.
Police seized a tub of Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia ice cream. One of Millie Weeks' surviving husbands, Alexander Strategos, reported that she used to bring him ice cream every night and it was then that his health started to deteriorate.
Florida police believe she drugged Strategos, took control of his home and stole his life savings over a two-month period.
When Canadian police searched Weeks' Pictou County home last week, they found she had kept a copy of the Fifth Estate's online report into her exploits as the Internet Black Widow.
History of crime
In 1991, Weeks, then known as Melissa Stewart, was sentenced to six years for manslaughter in the death of her second husband, Gordon Stewart, on a deserted road near Halifax. He had been drugged before she ran over him twice with her car. She told police that her husband had raped her.
After serving two years of her sentence, she travelled to Florida where she met widower Robert Friedrich at a Christian retreat.
They married in 2000 but his health faltered soon afterward and he died of cardiac arrest in 2002. No one was charged in his death, but his family believes the woman who is now known as Melissa Weeks was involved in both his illness and the sudden disappearance of his money.
Her next love affair was with Alex Strategos, a divorced man she met on AmericanSinglesDating.com. On the day they moved in together, he was taken to hospital after hitting his head.
Police say his new love had siphoned money from Strategos’ bank account. Weeks served four years in a Florida prison for grand theft and forgery. She returned to Pictou County, N.S., in 2009 and settled into a quiet life of anonymity, promising in an interview with the CBC's Fifth Estate to "try to behave myself."
Acquaintances describe Fred Weeks as a friendly, likeable man who was lonely and looking for a new partner 18 months after the death of his wife of 54 years. He enjoyed weekly games of cribbage, Friday night karaoke and Sunday night dances at the local Royal Canadian Legion branch.
He met his new bride just four doors down in the retirement residence in New Glasgow, N.S., where they both lived.
With files from the Canadian Press