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Chronicles of crime: the crime news, as it unfolded, day by day. Based on the ongoing feature in True Crime magazine.

Chronicles of Crime: December 2007

True Crime News:
Dena Thompson

DENA THOMPSON, the woman dubbed the Black Widow, must serve at least 16 years behind bars for the murder of her husband, poisoned on his 31st birthday in 1994. The term to be served by Ms. Thompson, who hid bitter-tasting anti-depressants in Julian Webb’s favourite meal of curry and gave him drinks containing ground aspirin, was fixed by a judge at the High Court in London. It is three years more than the sentence recommended by the trial judge at the Old Bailey in 2003.
Deduction for time spent in custody means that Ms. Thompson, of Cullompton, Devon, who was aged 43 on conviction, must serve 15 years and 357 days from date of sentencing before she can apply for parole.
Mr. Webb, her second husband, died in 1994 and was buried in a family plot in Hayling Island, Hampshire. Seven years later his body was exhumed after Ms. Thompson was cleared of trying to murder her third husband. New tests showed a higher level of drugs in his body than was at first thought. She was found guilty by a 10–1 majority verdict of murdering the advertising executive at the home they shared in West Sussex. She claimed he committed suicide.
Law Lord Mr. Justice Ouseley said: “Whether she is released will be for the parole board to decide. At that stage it will consider the need for the public to be protected from Ms. Thompson. She had committed a cold and calculated murder, achieved through trickery and without remorse.” Crime news stories from True Crime Library.

True Crime Library provides a full range of crime information, including our Chronicles of Crime section, offering an insight into the minds of criminals and murderers. Buy a variety of crime publications, DVDs, books, magazines and back issues online.

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