Dutch Woman Jailed for Bullying Husband to Death

The "black widow" removed her husband's wedding ring to resell it before alerting authorities to his suicide

A BELGIAN court has sentenced a Dutch woman to five years in prison after she led a campaign of bullying against her husband which led to his suicide.

The 73-year old “black widow”, known as Godelieve due to strict privacy laws, was jailed after the Belgian court found she had deliberately driven her husband to suicide in order to inherit his estate.

In March 2015, 67-year old bachelor Marcel van Bouwal responded to the woman’s lonely hearts ad in a Dutch newspaper that said she was a “sweet woman looking for a sweet man”. Just one week after their first date, he had signed over his entire estate to Godelieve and the couple had moved in together.

They married in May that year, after which Godelieve launched a bullying campaign that the Belgian court later ruled “destroyed her new husband’s self-worth”. He was banned from pursuing his hobbies or meeting his daughter from a previous marriage and was reportedly encouraged to hang himself by his cruel wife.

When the unfortunate husband eventually did take his own life, Godelieve didn’t call emergency services until after she had removed his wedding ring with the intention of reselling it. The court heard that just days after his death she was in the process of withdrawing her inheritance, as well as selling off his personal possessions.

She was found guilty of criminal neglect and sentenced to five years in prison by the court in Kasterlee, Belgium.


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Written by

Oisin Sweeney

Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...

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