Warnings Black Widow killer could strike again ahead of prison release

A vicious killer dubbed the ‘Black Widow’ is set to be released from prison soon and the detective who investigated her fears she may strike again.

Dena Thompson is serving a life sentence for the murder of her second husband Julian Webb at their home in Yapton, West Sussex, on his birthday back in 1994.

The now 61-year-old hid anti-depressants in his curry.

His body was exhumed seven years later.

In 2000 Thompson was cleared of attempting to murder her third husband, Richard Thompson.

According to the Daily Mirror, Thompson is currently in an open prison and is expected to be recommended for release after her next parole hearing in the coming weeks.

Throughout her sentence, she has been assessed as ‘high risk’, as officials were concerned about any relationship she formed, given her history of manipulating, deceiving and grooming vulnerable men.

Sean McDonald, a former Sussex Police detective who investigated Thompson, said: “There’s a good chance she is going to come out quite soon and I think she will carry on where she left off.

"I believe she will re-offend, she won’t be able to stop herself. She has no remorse but will be the model prisoner and say all the right things. Her potential release concerns me and everybody who has been involved with her.”

Arrested in 1992 for taking money from Woolwich Building Society where she was a cashier, Dena was jailed for 18 months on 15 charges of deception.

She married British Telecom exec Mr Thompson in 1999, stole his life savings and ran up thousands on his credit cards while forging his signature to obtain loans.

He was naked and bound when she was said to have battered him with a baseball bat and stabbed him.

Charged with attempted murder, in August 2000 she told the jury at Lewes crown court she had acted in self-defence when he turned violent after discovering she had stolen from him.

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Cleared of attempted murder she was jailed for three years and nine months after pleading guilty to 15 charges of theft and dishonesty.

She was jailed for a minimum of 13 years for the murder of Mr Webb in December 2003 after a month-long trial at the Old Bailey.

This term was increased to 16 years by Mr Justice Ousely in 2007, whi said: “Whether she is then released will be for the parole board to decide. At that stage it will consider the need for the public to be protected.”

She had committed cold and calculated murder, through trickery and without remorse, he said.

Detectives traced eight previous lovers, who may have lost £250,000 between them.

A Parole Board spokesman said: “We can confirm the parole review of Dena Thompson has been referred. A decision is expected later in May.”

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