‘Have sex with anybody, kill them after’

 

Michelle Burgess and Melissa Shaw are two Australian women who are described by police as "black widows".

Women who, just like the black widow spider, manage to draw men into their web before exploiting that relationship to the detriment of the man.

As one police officer put it, they're women who "have sex with anybody and then kill 'em afterwards".

Gold Coast woman Melissa Shaw, a wife and mum to two girls, was one of them.

Meeting at a church youth group, sheltered Beau was immediately smitten with Melissa.

The pair married only a few months after meeting and two kids followed not long after.

But Melissa, who had been a sex worker when the two met, began to pull away from Beau and demand more and more of him.

"She totally messed with every part of me," Beau told Sunday Night.

"I was a broken shell. I started off with this idea that I would help her fix her little broken wing, and I ended up far more broken than I ever thought possible."

 

Melissa and Beau Shaw. Picture: Sunday Night
Melissa and Beau Shaw. Picture: Sunday Night

 

Eventually, Beau ended things, leaving Melissa and taking their two girls. But Melissa didn't take long to move on, starting a relationship with wealthy Gold Coast businessman Sam Dhody and also continuing her affair with bodybuilder Adam Gooley through 2013.

After months of deception and coaxing from Melissa, Adam snuck into their home and bashed him with a crowbar.

Police body-worn camera vision from the night Sam was bashed showed Melissa's peculiar behaviour.

"You're the girlfriend? Can I just have a chat to you?" a police officer asked.

"I just... I just need to get a drink," Melissa tells the officer.

"Yeah, yeah, you're fine. Go grab a drink, and then come back and have a chat to me. That's fine," he responds.

Miraculously, Sam recovered from his injuries but three months later, the Gold Coast businessman wasn't so lucky.

As Sam slept in the bed he and Melissa shared, Adam struck again.

Using his father's gun, Adam shot the businessman 10 times at point-blank range in bed.

In a hysterical call to triple-0, Melissa begged paramedics to rush to their home.

"My partner is dead. I think he's been shot," she said through tears.

But police weren't as easily fooled, bugging her phone and trailing the Gold Coast sex worker.

Adam, faced with a mountain of evidence from police and only offering a weak alibi, the Gold Coast bodybuilder eventually confessed to the murder.

Melissa was arrested a short time later.

Both of them are serving life in prison - and Adam still remains loyal to his girlfriend.

Beau however, isn't standing by his ex-wife.

"She was a witch," Beau told the current affairs program.

 

Melissa and Beau on their wedding day. Picture: Sunday Night
Melissa and Beau on their wedding day. Picture: Sunday Night

 

Another woman described by police as a black widow was Adelaide woman Michelle Burgess.

In 2001, Burgess was arrested and charged with the murder of mum-of-three Carolyn Matthews.

Michelle yearned for a better life and was unhappy with her husband Darren.

When she met Carolyn's husband Kevin Matthews, Darren's boss, the pair were smitten.

Michelle told Kevin they could be happy - but the only way they could be is if their spouses were out of the picture.

She organised for the both of them to draw up murder contracts.

The pieces of paper had pictures of their respective targets and then details of where they worked, their movements during the day, their phone numbers.

Derek Pedley, a crime novelist and journalist at The Advertiser, told Sunday Night  the details of the murder were "chilling".

"Michelle made some notes, and she said, essentially, that she wanted both of the murders done that week, and that she wanted one of them done by Friday," Mr Pedley told the program.

"That was her demand, yeah, which is just chilling."

 

Michelle Burgess.
Michelle Burgess.

 

Michelle had recruited David Key and he was under her spell, so much so he agreed to kill Carolyn.

"Michelle just handed me the knife and goes, 'Alright, now kill her,'" David told police.

"I say, 'Wait a second. You f**king ing do it.' She said, 'No, you do it. If you wanna be with me, you prove to me how much you love me - kill her.'"

Carolyn's three boys came home to find their mum in the kitchen, covered in stab wounds.

The teenage boys attempted CPR but she didn't survive.

"There was no way that anything could have helped. I believe that she was definitely gone by then, anyway," Carolyn's son told the program.

"I've still got sounds and stuff from the night that makes me feel sick. It's not a nice thing to picture."

Michelle Burgess and Kevin Matthews received the longest sentences in South Australian legal history - 30 years each.

David Key, the hitman, was jailed for 20 years.

 

Kevin Matthews (L) at his former home.
Kevin Matthews (L) at his former home.