HeadLine: The Black Widow: I SURVIVED BLACK WIDOW
The People, 20/08/2000, p6&7
by SHAUN MILNE
THE husband who miraculously survived a savage attack by sex-crazed
“Black Widow” Dena Thompson today reveals the full horror of what he
Richard Thompson, speaking exclusively to the Sunday People, told how
LURED him into a kinky bondage session with the promise of
BOUND, gagged and blindfolded her trusting hubby.
SMASHED a baseball bat down on his head.
RAMMED a knife blade into his shoulder as his blood streamed on to
SNEERED that he would never dare go to the police because of the
Richard, 42, who has agreed to speak to the Sunday People about his
ordeal to warn any future potential victims of the calculating Black
Widow, said: “I thought I was a dead man.
“I have no doubt she wanted to finish me off. It’s only sheer luck that
“I have no doubt she is capable of killing someone. She is pure evil.
“Even now I am afraid. I can’t go into a shower because the water in my
eyes reminds me of all the blood running down my face.”
To the astonishment of Richard and a team of 15 detectives who spent
six months trying to bring Dena, 40, to justice, she was cleared at
Lewes Crown Court last week of attempted murder.
Last night she was starting a jail sentence of three years and nine
months for ripping off the life-savings of Richard and two previous
And there is no doubt in Richard’s mind that his bride of nine months
launched the brutal attack last January because he was about to
discover she had cleaned out his bank account.
The former BT engineer was wary at first when Dena suggested the
bondage session at their cottage in Rustington, West Sussex.
But he went along with it because – like the Black Widow’s previous
husbands and boyfriends – he was mesmerised by her bubbly personality
and huge sexual appetite.
Richard says: “I woke up about 8am and she said she wanted us to have a
“We sat in the tub, fondling each other, washing each other, when she
got up and went to the bedroom.
“She came back with a big pile of towels and laid them on the floor
tiles and said, ‘I’ve got a surprise for you’. If only I knew how big a
surprise. She got me to lie down on my back and she performed a sex act
on me. It was great.
“Then she said she wanted to tie my hands behind my back. I wasn’t very
keen but I agreed.
“She used a belt to bind my wrists but I’d secretly flexed my muscles
so when I relaxed the belt was still loose.
“Then she cut some packing tape and used it to bind my ankles and knees
“She asked what I could do to protect myself the way I was and I said
all I could do was kick up at 45 degrees. I used to do martial arts so
showed her what I’d do.
“Never at any point did I think I was in any danger – she was my wife
whom I loved and trusted, we had just performed intimate acts, I was
totally relaxed in her presence.”
Then came Richard’s moment of hell.
He says: “She put a towel on my face and asked if I could see anything
and I said ‘No’ and she performed a sex act again.
“Then she lifted off the towel and placed tape over my mouth. I thought
it was strange, I’d never done this before but it was exciting and I
trusted her, even when she put the towel back so I couldn’t see again.
“All of a sudden it went silent and I wondered what was going on, what
she planned next.
“Then Pow! I felt the most excruciating pain of my life on my forehead
and was dazed.
“I was still trying to work out what had happened when I was hit for
the second time.
“I could hear a ringing sound of metal and figured it was our metal
baseball bat. I thought, I’m really in trouble here. I was so scared.
“All the while I was trying to figure out what the hell was going on,
why this was happening to me.
“I couldn’t see a thing, blood was pouring out my head and into my
eyes, my head was buzzing.
“All the time I was trying not to pass out. I was still bound but tried
to sit up. Because the belt was loose I pulled my hand free and wiped
my eyes and saw Dena standing at the door with the bat.
“I was screaming at her, ‘What are you doing?’ and the floor was
getting wetter with my blood, it was pooling.
“She had a knife and stabbed me in the shoulder but I somehow pushed
her back. I was fighting for my life.
“I tried to struggle up and she slipped on the floor, either because
she slipped on the blood or because I caught her with my feet, I’m not
“I saw the glint of steel in her left hand and thought if she gets up
before I can get to the knife then I’m dead.
“I knew I couldn’t reach it so I lunged at her instead, I put my right
thumb in her left eye and pressed hard.
“I shouted ‘Drop the knife!’ and kept pressing until she gave up. Then
I put my weight on her until I knew I had control of her.
“I freed myself and we got up – me making sure the bat and the knife
were well out of her reach first.
“I couldn’t think straight, I couldn’t understand what had just
happened here, I just screamed at her, ‘What the hell are you doing?’.
“She said, ‘I just wanted to make it more thrilling, darling’ and I
“Her eyes were wide open, crazed. She just gave me this cold, icy stare
but said little. We were covered in my blood. It was like something
from the film Carrie when she gets covered with a bucket of blood at
“I was just pacing about, watching her, trying to decide what to do.
“There was blood everywhere. I shouted at her to clean it up and I put
a cold compress on my head to stop the bleeding. I was shaking like a
“Her eyes were still wide open, wild eyes, and she wasn’t saying
“She just sat wearing her panties, and covered in my blood.
“Eventually I told her to get her parents over to take me to hospital.
“I wasn’t thinking straight, I just knew I couldn’t tell people about
the bondage. She said, ‘You know you will never be able to tell anyone
about this. You’ll be too ashamed’. And for the next couple of days she
“I was in shock, but how could I tell my friends what we had been doing?
“She said, ‘Don’t report it, I don’t want to go to Holloway jail’. Of
course what I didn’t know was she’d been there before.
“I didn’t know I’d married a convicted fraudster.
“Eventually I confided in one really good friend who told another and
they said, ‘You have to go to the police.
“After a lot of soul-searching that’s what I did.
“When the detective sergeant heard what I had to say he looked me in
the eye and said, ‘I believe everything you’ve just told me’.
“That’s when I started to find out about the other men she had ripped
Sussex police have now re-opened the investigation into the mysterious
death of Dena’s second husband Julian Webb, 31, who died from a
painkiller overdose six years ago at their home.
The coroner recorded an open verdict after saying he did not believe
Julian had committed suicide.
Detective Constable Sean McDonald, one of 15 officers who spent six
months tracing other fraud victims of the Black Widow both here and in
the US, told the Sunday People: “Dena Thompson is one of the most
dangerous women I have met in 15 years of police work.”
But for Richard, that knowledge has come too late.
He says: “She has ruined my life. I felt suicidal with the shame of
what happened and I have had to have counselling.
“My life was so low. I’d lost my job, my wife, my dreams.
“And now I’m scared that when she gets out she will come looking for me
“I’ve got to try and get on with my life now but I can’t do it here in
Britain if I’m constantly looking over my shoulder.
“I don’t want her to find me. I’ve no option but to go abroad.
“It’s not just for me. I’ve met another woman and she’s been fantastic
– I would never have made it through this nightmare without her
support. But I can’t put her safety at risk.
“As far as I’m concerned Dena is a threat and always will be unless she
Richard added: “I have no doubt in my mind she would have killed me
that day if she could.
“I am embarrassed about the circumstances, about how it happened, I
feel a complete fool.
“But I have to warn other men about her. She is evil and by speaking
out I hope people realise that.
“I just wish to God that I’d never met the Black Widow.”