TC • Media
SYDNEY — A 77-year-old New Glasgow woman, dubbed the “Internet Black Widow,” is scheduled back in provincial court Friday for a bail hearing after being charged with attempting to murder of her new husband.
Melissa Ann Weeks is also charged with administering a noxious substance (benzodiazepine) with intent to endanger a life. Both charges relate to her current husband, 75-year-old Fred Weeks, and the offences allegedly occurred between Sept. 24 and Sept. 30 in North Sydney.
© THE CANADIAN PRESS/Vaughan Merchant
Melissa Ann Weeks, 77, of New Glasgow, also known as the "Internet Black Widow," leaves a Cape Breton Regional Police Services vehicle escorted by Const. Erin Donovan, left, and Const. Geoff MacLeod for a court appearance at the Sydney Justice Centre.
Weeks was arrested Monday at the couple’s home in New Glasgow and transported to Sydney where she was questioned by investigators with the Cape Breton Regional Police who subsequently charged her with the two offences.
She made a brief court appearance Tuesday and was remanded to the women’s provincial jail in Burnside after the Crown objected to her release.
Chief Crown attorney for Cape Breton Dan MacRury said the prior criminal record of the accused and the potential risk for her to flee the jurisdiction were two of the main reasons why the Crown immediately objected to the release. Weeks was represented by duty counsel lawyer Mike Kuna.
She covered her face as she was led from a police vehicle into the courthouse and said nothing to awaiting reporters. The bespectacled Weeks appeared in court wearing a long, navy blue coat and green pants. Absent was her usual blonde wig, making her tufts of red-orange hair and balding spots visible.
The court attached only one condition during her remand: that she have no contact with her husband. It is believed the couple has been married for about two weeks.
George Megeney, the justice of the peace who performed the ceremony, said he has known Fred Weeks his entire life and considers him a “very nice man.”
He said he never met Millie Weeks until the ceremony that took place in the Quinnway Apartments, where the couple lived.
He wouldn’t elaborate on the ceremony other than saying it was a short service with only a few people in attendance.
Cheryl Chambers, owner and operator of Chambers Guest House in North Sydney, first met the couple Sept. 28 when they arrived in the morning seeking lodging.
At the time, Chambers thought it was odd for someone wanting to check in so early but Melissa Weeks explained they had taken the overnight ferry from Newfoundland and were sick all night and didn’t sleep because it was a rough crossing.
“They just appeared to be your typical older couple. Very sweet, although she was dressed to the nines in a nice red suit for someone who had been up all night,” said Chambers.
Chambers took the couple to their room, gave them water and went about her daily business. At about 5 p.m., Melissa Weeks came downstairs inquiring about supper and requesting a medium combination pizza that they would have in the room because her husband was still not feeling well.
“She seemed very concerned and caring for him at this point,” said Chambers.
On Saturday morning, Chambers said, Melissa Weeks came downstairs for breakfast explaining that her husband was still not feeling well and that he had fallen out of bed overnight.
She further explained she was unable to get him back in bed, so she made him comfortable on the floor. She commented to Chambers that she may need to take him to the hospital but she needed to eat first in case she would be spending all day at the hospital.
While Chambers prepared herself to call for an ambulance, Melissa Weeks finished her coffee and three pieces of toast before allowing Chambers to make the call.
Chambers said Melissa Weeks did not go with her husband to the hospital but instead spent about two hours at the inn packing. Chambers said she found it odd that when she entered the bedroom, there was no evidence of blankets or pillows having been on the floor overnight.
“It is horrible to think that he may have spent the night on that cold floor without something to make him comfortable. The window was open all night and it was chilly,” she said.
A neighbour of Chambers’ drove Melissa Weeks to the hospital. She returned to retrieve the couple’s car and then drove back to New Glasgow.
Police were initially called to the hospital Sunday morning, as a result of suspicion around Fred Weeks’s illness. Police obtained warrants for the woman’s arrest and a search of her home in New Glasgow. Both warrants were executed Monday.
Fred Weeks has since been released from hospital.
Melissa Weeks, who is also known as Melissa Ann Friedrich, was sentenced in 2005 to five years in prison on seven counts of theft from a man in Florida she had met online.
Investigators in that case said she stole about $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.
Benzodiazepines are a type of tranquilizer and familiar names include Valium, Ativan, and Xanax. This class of drugs is commonly prescribed and has sedating and intoxicating effects.
The combination of benzodiazepines and alcohol can be sometimes fatal.
This class of drugs has also been reportedly used as a “date rape” drug because of the level of impairment it can produce when taken in combination with other drugs or alcohol.