The Canadian “Black Widow” pleaded guilty to drugging her husband on June 10. Melissa Ann Shepard, 78 years old, got her nickname because she preyed on widowers and convinced them to marry her.
Shepard has been known to use other names according to the Examiner. Her names ranged from Melissa Ann Fredrich to Millie Weeks.
Shepard has a criminal record that includes manslaughter after killing her second husband and charges for theft after stealing $20,000 from an 81-year-old boyfriend she met online.
USA Today reported the following:
“Shepard became known as the ‘Black Widow’ because of her prior convictions stemming from her past relationships.
“She was convicted of manslaughter in 1992 in the death of her second husband, Gordon Stewart, who she drugged and ran over twice with a car.
“In 2005, Shepard — who has gone by several other surnames — was sentenced to five years in prison on seven counts of theft from a man in Florida who she had met online.
“Alex Strategos, now 81, said she stole $20,000 from him over the month that they lived together.”
Fred Weeks was the last man to marry Shepard, and ended up becoming very ill while they were staying in a bed and breakfast.
Shepard has admit to intentionally drugging Weeks only four days after they were married according to Houston Chronicle.
“In the latest case, the prosecution read an agreed statement of facts in court, saying Shepard mixed in the tranquilizers Lorazepam and Temazepam into Weeks’ drinks while they were aboard a ferry from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia on their way to Port-aux-Basques, Newfoundland for their honeymoon.”
From there, they stayed at a bed and breakfast in North Sydney, where Weeks fell out of bed and was hospitalized.
Once hospitalized, Shepard gave hospital staff a false health history, claiming that he “had prostate problems, bowel surgery and was suffering from dementia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, the court heard. She also told hospital officials that Weeks, a father of six adult children, had no other family,” according to USA Today and the Houston Chronicle.
Shepard is to return to court today, June 11, for a sentencing hearing where she faces a maximum sentence of two years for the charge of administering a noxious thing and 18 months for failing to provide the necessities of life.
[Image via Global News]