STELLARTON – Local justice of the peace George Megeney says his “longtime friend” had no idea he was marrying a woman with a reputation for harming her husbands.
The Stellarton resident, who conducted the ceremony between Fred and Melissa Ann Weeks on Sept. 25, said both he and his friend were unaware that he was marrying a woman dubbed the “Internet Black Widow.”
“When he got home, my wife and I went out and we told him we certainly had no idea (who she was) and he told me he didn’t either.”
Megeney said he didn’t realize his friend could be in harm’s way until after he received an anonymous phone call the day after he’d conducted their marriage ceremony.
“The woman asked me if I knew who I just married? She said, ‘That woman is known as the Black Widow.’”
Megeney said he’d never met Melissa Ann before the Sept. 25 ceremony that took place at the Quinnway apartment complex in front of a few witnesses.
“Fred has been a lifelong friend and he called me around a week before and told me he was getting married and asked me if I would do the ceremony,” he said. “He got the licence and I went out to the apartments on the 25th. He introduced me to his intended bride, witnesses were there and I did the ceremony.”
Following the ceremony, Megeney said Fred had mentioned to him that they were going to Newfoundland for five or six days on their honeymoon and that neither one of them had been there before.
He said he wished them well and never thought anything about it again until he received the anonymous call the next day.
Megeney said he contacted the RCMP and asked if one of their members could check the ferry parking lot for Weeks’s car so they could tell him who he’d just married.
“I was certain he had no idea who she was,” he said.
Weeks was sentenced in 2005 to five years in prison on seven counts of theft from a Florida man she met online, Alexander Strategos. Investigators said she stole about $20,000 (US).
In 2001, Weeks, then known as Melissa Stewart, was sentenced to six years for the 1991 manslaughter in the death of her second husband, Gordon Stewart, on a deserted road near Halifax where he was run over twice with her car. She told police her husband had raped her.
Megeny said the RCMP called him back about an hour later and said there was little they could do because it would be a violation of her rights.
Megeney said he checked on the couple’s apartment a few times each day throughout the weekend, hoping they had returned home, but then he received word his friend had been taken to Cape Breton hospital.
“I was very concerned, I didn’t know how seriously ill he was,” he said.
Seventy-seven-year-old Melissa was arrested at her New Glasgow apartment Monday and charged with administering a noxious substance to her husband, who fell ill at a bed and breakfast in Sydney last weekend.
She will return to court Tuesday in Cape Breton for a bail hearing.