Halifax police have issued a warning to the municipality's residents about the release of a woman with a history of violent criminal convictions who is considered a high risk to reoffend.
Police say Melissa Ann Shepard was released from a federal women's jail in Truro, N.S., today after completing a sentence of just under three years for spiking her newlywed husband's coffee with tranquilizers.
Melissa Ann Shepard, known as the Internet Black Widow, arrives at court in Dartmouth, N.S. on Tuesday. (Photo: Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)
Police note Shepard's other convictions — including one for manslaughter — date back to 1992, and her victims have included elderly men who were her intimate partners.
The 80-year-old, who is known as the "Black Widow,'' or "Internet Black Widow,'' has been assessed as a high risk to re-offend, and was denied parole last fall.
Earlier this week, Shepard agreed to abide by a number of conditions that include having her photo taken by police if she changes her appearance, a ban on using the internet, and not entering into any new romances without first informing police.
She is scheduled to appear in court on April 4 for a hearing on whether the conditions will be continued as part of a peace bond application.