Guest Author - Vance R. Rowe
Melissa Ann Shepard has earned the moniker of the Internet Black Widow .
The 80-year-old woman was arrested for trying to kill her husband, Fred Weeks. Shepard was arrested for attempted murder but was later convicted on a lesser charge of “administering a noxious substance.” It was reported that she was using sedatives to slowly kill Weeks and it wasn’t until he fell off of the bed and was taken to a hospital and the drugs were found in his system.
This wasn’t the first time she was in trouble for this. Before the Fred Weeks case, Melissa Ann Shepard found a man on the internet on a dating site. Alex Strategos is the man’s name and he lived in Florida, while she resided in Canada. The two hit it off and Shepard moved to Florida to be with Strategos.
Alex Strategos eventually wound up in the hospital and believes that Shepard drugged his ice cream every time she got some for him. Shepard was also accused of stealing more than 20,000 dollars from Strategos during the short time that they were together. In 2005, Shepard was convicted of forgery, grand larceny and a host of other charges as well. She was sentenced to five years in prison.
It was after she was released and moved back to Canada when she met Fred Weeks, who was a neighbor of hers. She served just shy of three years for the later crimes. Neither man knew of her prior convictions either. Oh yes, this wasn’t her first time at the rodeo. In 1992, Melissa Ann Shepard was convicted of killing her second husband, Gordon Stewart. Shepard claimed that Gordon Stewart was raping her at the time and she was defending herself. She was sentenced to five years but only served two.
In 2001, Melissa Ann Shepard was convicted of killing her third husband, Robert Friedrich. Shepard met Friedrich on an online Christian dating site and he died fourteen months into their marriage. She was left tens of thousands of dollars by her husband and his children accused her of killing their father with prescription medicines. The children were eventually awarded 15,000 dollars but she was not convicted of any crime this time. Friedrich was 84 when he passed.
Melissa Ann Shepard has a history of crimes dating all the way back to 1977. As a matter of fact, between 1977 and 1991, she has served prison time for 30 separate convictions of fraud. After her latest release from prison, Melissa Shepard has some strict rules that she must adhere to in order to keep her freedom. They include having the police photograph her if she ever changes her appearance, she is not allowed to own a computer or any device that can receive internet capabilities, and cannot go online at all. She must also inform police if she starts dating again so the police can notify the potential suitor and inform him of her background.
It is hard to believe after all of her arrests and all the harm she has done, that she is not in jail serving multiple year sentences.