The Black Widow
August 19, 2014 3:46 AM   Subscribe

Three times she married, and all three times her husbands died. Her first husband, David Stegall, a young, talented dentist, shot himself to death in 1975. Her second husband, a popular hotelier and investor who conceived the luxurious Mansion Hotel on Turtle Creek, died of cancer in 1982. Her third husband, Alan Rehrig, a former college basketball star in Oklahoma who had come to Dallas to hit it rich in real estate, was found murdered in December 1985. posted by ellieBOA (31 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
I just read the original story from the 80s a couple of weeks ago and got lost in all the updates, which seemed to get progressively odder. Crazy, crazy tale.

(I actually know a couple of people who carry around affirmations kind of like those in their wallets to read every day and swear by it. I think it's a Tony Robbins thing? Less creepy if you're suspected of murdering your spouse I suppose).
posted by jamesonandwater at 5:40 AM on August 19, 2014


The thing is, it's a horrible story if she's guilty, and an even more horrible story if she's innocent.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:02 AM on August 19, 2014 [13 favorites]


Malibu Barbie issues?
posted by Muddler at 6:12 AM on August 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


she knew how to make flaming plum pudding. I mean, we were taking movie magazines, and she was taking Southern Living. She instinctively knew what men would want."

Flaming plum pudding?
posted by nathancaswell at 6:52 AM on August 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


I used to make plum pudding for Christmas; it's very rich and very good with hard sauce, and a dramatic way to present it is to dim the lights and set a shot of 151 proof rum on fire, then pour it over the pudding. Mind the tablecloth.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:01 AM on August 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


And more recently, she went to jail for identity theft ?
posted by k5.user at 7:04 AM on August 19, 2014


Mind the tablecloth

Mind the husband
posted by iotic at 7:04 AM on August 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


I found this confusing - was this a story? what happened next? was it all hearsay? I had never heard of the Black Widow before and it all seemed very ambiguous.

Thank god for google.
posted by kariebookish at 7:06 AM on August 19, 2014


ONE was a a plumber named Ralph! ONE was a lounge singer from Atlantic City! And ONE was a Russian martial arts student.

Wait. What are we talking about again?
posted by grubi at 7:06 AM on August 19, 2014 [16 favorites]


Head! Pants! Now!
posted by jpdoane at 7:07 AM on August 19, 2014 [10 favorites]


I just want to go on record that if we're talking Southern Living, what this man wants is pimento cheese.
posted by nathancaswell at 7:13 AM on August 19, 2014 [6 favorites]


And boiled peanuts.
posted by nathancaswell at 7:14 AM on August 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


And a lowcountry boil.
posted by Huck500 at 7:40 AM on August 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


Thank god for google.

Has anyone tried their new Google Court service yet?
posted by fairmettle at 7:41 AM on August 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


Don't forget the cream gravy.

You fancy Dallas ladies can keep your fancy plum pudding.
posted by Curious Artificer at 7:42 AM on August 19, 2014


Has anyone tried their new Google Court service yet?

With the 'I'm Feeling Lucky' button
posted by Flashman at 7:58 AM on August 19, 2014 [5 favorites]


She did not bride well.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:39 AM on August 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


I don't expect that I will ever understand Dallas.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:25 AM on August 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


Ugh, some of this stuff seems obvious she's innocent. Like the first husband - if the husband came over and found him alone pointing a gun at his head, the fact that anyone even thinks it might not be a suicide is crazy. And how do you give someone cancer, exactly?
posted by corb at 10:43 AM on August 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


Also, wow: There they learned something that would change the entire nature of the investigation: Sandra said she had already hired an attorney, and that he advised her not to talk to the police.

So they didn't start investigating her intensely until she got a lawyer? That's insane.
posted by corb at 10:48 AM on August 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


she knew how to make flaming plum pudding. I mean, we were taking movie magazines, and she was taking Southern Living. She instinctively knew what men would want."

Flaming plum pudding?


Maybe it's some kind of sex act. You know how southerners are about that kind of stuff
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:05 AM on August 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


They have gone so far as to try to find a paper that Sandra allegedly wrote in college dealing with murder, guilt, penance, and salvation.

Guess I'd better take my lit classes "Theatre and Violence" and "Crime and Power" off my LinkedIn profile, huh. Yeesh. (Crime and violence in literature are a recurring national exam subject for aspiring French lit professors.)
posted by fraula at 11:30 AM on August 19, 2014


In this week's episode of "That's So Dallas!" society guinea pigs cannibalize one of their own after she is maimed and wounded by misfortune, then meet at the country club to discuss the gory details in what can only be described as "The View" ...from hell.
posted by jph at 11:33 AM on August 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yeah, this is gross. I mean, if she murdered the third husband and/or the friend (though there's never any evidence presented as to how she could have faked a suicide so realistically) then obviously that's . . . a bad thing . . . but the rest of her story, including the other two husbands, could have happened to anybody. If you're a murderer you're a murderer, having two husbands die of other causes doesn't make you more a murderer.
posted by ostro at 11:58 AM on August 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


I think they're trying to suggest that she somehow had some illicit connection to the doctor's wife to help fake her husband's death of cancer and that's why she killed her? But that's...insane and not even possible really in this modern age.
posted by corb at 12:00 PM on August 19, 2014


Flaming plum pudding?

Pairs well with a Flaming Moe.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:37 PM on August 19, 2014


ONE was a a plumber named Ralph! ONE was a lounge singer from Atlantic City! And ONE was a Russian martial arts student.

Together, they fight crime!
posted by BrashTech at 1:00 PM on August 19, 2014


The most deeply held values in Dallas are successful social climbing and vicious back-biting. It's a delicate balance to maintain. It's also why the rest of the state loathes Dallas.*

This story is a mere shadow of the definitive Dallas society murder. There was a whole lot of social shaming heaped upon Priscilla Davis. (Her NYTimes obit headline notes and labels the "tawdry scandal," even though she was never a suspect in the murders, which included one of her own children.)

I'm pretty sure that this whole suite of links is part of an effort to create a virally lucrative narrative, echoing the Cullen & Patricia Davis model. But if you read the updates, one of Sandra/Camille's daughters says that her mother is mentally ill, which she almost certainly is, which is why the daughter cut off all contact.

S/C is misguided in all sorts of ways, not least in her maniacal focus on money and men, but I've known lots of women with the same sort of focus. They're not mentally ill.

I'm deeply grateful that S/C is not my mother, that I'll never encounter her beyond this MeFi thread. There's absolutely nothing here that suggests she's a murderer, as the "Black Widow" headline implies.

*Born and raised in Texas and seriously, Dallas is THE WORST. Prissy and pretentious, fixated on replicating the world via a blurry 10th-gen photocopy of WASP culture.
posted by dogrose at 1:56 PM on August 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh, actually more updates just make her sound desperate and deeply mentally ill, but not a murderer. I can't believe the Dallas Observer has called her a black widow in their paper for 20 years.
posted by corb at 4:07 PM on August 19, 2014


My Dad's currently married to her now.
It's okay though. She's the kind of woman he deserves.
posted by QueerAngel28 at 9:37 PM on August 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


Honestly, most of the original sounds like "Well, nobody liked her and thought she acted kinda weird and heartless" more than an actual "here's the evidence of murder." But the updates...yup, scam artist with issues.

"My mother is a schizo, bipolar freak who has shit on everyone in her life. It's a public embarrassment being her daughter. I want nothing more to do with her."

Yup.

"Benson learned that Bridwell had been celibate since her wealthy husband had died of cancer and desperately wanted to find a mate. "God is sending me my Boaz," Bridwell often told Benson. In the Bible, Boaz was the wealthy, esteemed husband of Ruth. "He's at New Birth. Have you seen anybody who looks good for me?"
"Camille, I'm tired of hearing about your Boaz," Benson finally said. "Can't it just be a husband?"


Bwahahahah.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:58 PM on August 19, 2014


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