Saturday, May 30, 2015Saturday, May 30, 2015

France's 'Black Widow' goes on trial for murder

Published on Apr 13, 2014 10:01 AM

GRENOBLE, France (AFP) - A woman dubbed the "Black Widow" of the French Alps goes on trial Monday for the murder of her husband, a case with troubling echoes of how four of her previous partners were poisoned, two of them fatally.

Manuela Gonzalez, 53, is accused of the 2008 murder of Daniel Cano, a 58-year-old metal worker whose charred remains were found in the back of his burnt-out car near the house he shared with her in Villard-Bonnot in the Isere region of the Alps.

Police quickly established that the fire had been started deliberately, that Mr Cano had consumed sleeping pills and that there had been tensions between the couple, both of whom were keen gamblers.

It subsequently emerged that Gonzalez had, without consulting her husband, re-mortgaged their house for 165,000 euros (S$286,000), and that, a month before his death, there had been a fire in Mr Cano's bedroom while he was sleeping alone.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!