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Notorious ‘Black Widow’ Murderer Set To Be Released From Prison Despite Being ‘High Risk’

Notorious ‘Black Widow’ Murderer Set To Be Released From Prison Despite Being ‘High Risk’

61-year-old Dena Thompson's next parole hearing is in a matter of weeks but there are fears she could kill again.

An infamous killer dubbed 'the Black Widow' is set to be released from prison, despite being viewed as 'high risk' for reoffending.

Thompson is currently serving a life sentence for murder after after hiding antidepressants in second husband Julian Webb’s curry at their home in Yapton, West Sussex, on his birthday in 1994.

Webb's body was exhumed seven years later, only after Thompson was cleared in 2000 of trying to kill her third husband, Richard Thompson.

Currently in open prison, the Daily Mirror reports that Thompson is now expected to be recommended for release after her next parole hearing, which is likely to happen in the next few weeks.


With a history of manipulating, deceiving and grooming vulnerable men, Thompson was already considered a high risk even before her conviction for Webb's murder.

Sean McDonald is the former Sussex Police detective who investigated Thompson, and he 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 reoffend, 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.”

Thompson's catalogue of serious misdemeanours began in 1992 when she was arrested in 1992 for taking money from Woolwich Building Society when she worked there as a cashier. She was jailed for 18 months on 15 charges of deception.

Then, in a portent of what was to come, she married British Telecom executive Richard Thompson in 1999, going on to steal his life savings and running up thousands on his credit cards while forging his signature to obtain loans.


She then allegedly was said to have battered him with a baseball bat and stabbed him after he was found naked and bound. However, Thompson claimed self-defence after being charged with attempted murder in 2000, telling the jury at Lewes Crown Court that he had turned violent after finding out she'd stolen from him.

She avoided the murder charge but was jailed for three years and nine months after pleading guilty to 15 charges of theft and dishonesty.

Then came her minimum 13-year jail sentence for the murder of Webb in December 2003 following a month-long trial at the Old Bailey. The term was increased to 16 years by Mr Justice Ousely in 2007.

At the time, he 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.”

Detectives tracked down eight of Thompson's previous lovers, who lost an estimated £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.”

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Crime, Black Widow