"Black widow" murderer sentenced to life imprisonment
"Black widow" German woman is found guilty of enticing wealthy elderly men and murdering them for their money
Goettingen -- A 69-year-old woman who arranged for the murder of four lovers in succession -- after they had changed their wills in her favour -- was jailed on Thursday in Germany for life.
Lydia L had even married one of the four lonely elderly men before he was killed by Siggi S, a 53-year-old man who was her obedient helpmate down the years. He received 12 years' imprisonment for three murders and one manslaughter.
The German media has dubbed L the "black widow" after a species of spider where the female kills the male after mating.
A former prostitute, L used lonely heart advertisements to entice lonely elderly men and help her spot those with valuable assets such as a house or life insurance.
She feigned love, each made her heir to his fortune and was then put to sleep with over-medication and carefully suffocated, usually with a pillow, so that it would appear as if he had died of old age.
Despite her plea of innocence, a court in Goettingen, central Germany, convicted her of four murders that occurred between 1994 and 2000.
Area doctors and police did not notice the unusual succession of deaths at the time.
The court ruled that her accomplice, who later went to police and confessed the killings in court, had been less guilty because he had been psychologically in her thrall, somewhat like a smart mother ordering round a weak-willed adult son.
L's lawyer claimed in court that S had acted on his own initiative to please her and that she was not aware of the murders.