Return of the Black Widow

Death and rumors have followed Sandra Bridewell for decades. But no one could predict the strange turn her life has taken today.

Despite Teel's findings, Dallas police refused to reopen the investigation of Betsy's death. But rumors about "The Black Widow" crescendoed in 1985 with yet another mysterious death.

Husband No. 3

Roaming the Park Cities in search of a garage apartment, Alan Rehrig slammed on the brakes when he saw a dark-haired beauty on her lawn, talking to the yard man. The former star athlete at Oklahoma University had moved to Dallas in 1984 after a failed pro golf career and had taken a job with a mortgage company.

A tangled web, clockwise from top left: Sandra married Alan Rehrig in December 1984; Alan in his office on December 6, 1985, the day before he was found dead; this photograph of Sandra and unidentified children was found among her belongings--Sandra claimed she'd ministered to kids in India, smuggled Bibles into China and hid in caves in Pakistan while handing out Christian tracts; a recent photo of Sandra, now 59.
A tangled web, clockwise from top left: Sandra married Alan Rehrig in December 1984; Alan in his office on December 6, 1985, the day before he was found dead; this photograph of Sandra and unidentified children was found among her belongings--Sandra claimed she'd ministered to kids in India, smuggled Bibles into China and hid in caves in Pakistan while handing out Christian tracts; a recent photo of Sandra, now 59.

Friends would later warn the tall, redheaded Rehrig about Sandra, but he was instantly enamored with her gentle nature and good looks. He shrugged off the difference in their ages. He was 29; Sandra told him she was 36. It was the first big lie. She was actually 40, 11 years his senior.

After Bridewell's death, Sandra had thrown herself into a frenzy of dating, sometimes using her children to woo men. She tried the technique on Rehrig, sending her daughters up to his office with flowers. "I'm pulling for you and Sandra," one daughter told Rehrig. "We need a daddy." If some of Rehrig's friends had misgivings, so did Sandra's, seeing the good-looking athlete as a gold digger impressed with her big house on Lorraine.

Rehrig's ardor had cooled by the fall of 1984, when he told a friend that Sandra was pressing him for marriage. But after Sandra informed him she was pregnant, the two wed in December at The Mansion. A few weeks later, Sandra called Rehrig from a convenience-store pay phone, saying she'd just returned from Baylor hospital. She'd miscarried twins, both with red hair. Her story would have been preposterous to any woman, but Rehrig believed her and was devastated.

Early on, Sandra had pressed the issue of life insurance with Gloria Rehrig, Alan's mother. "She asked if I didn't think it was important for a young man with the responsibility of children to have life insurance," says Mrs. Rehrig, who agreed with Sandra. Rehrig took out a policy for $220,000.

The marriage quickly soured. They fought over disciplining her children; her son Britt was getting into trouble and cutting school. Rehrig complained that Sandra had run up charges of $20,000 on his credit card and had refused to pay it. Sandra told friends that Alan was no longer sexually interested in her and hinted he might be gay. She even hired a private detective to follow him, saying she suspected Alan of gambling or buying drugs. They separated in November 1985, and Alan moved in with a co-worker, Phil Askew.

On Saturday, December 7, Alan told Askew that he was meeting Sandra at 5 p.m. at a mini-warehouse in Garland to get some of his things. Sandra later claimed he never showed up.

Four days later, on December 11, Rehrig's frozen body was found slumped in the front seat of his Bronco, parked about a mile from the Oklahoma City airport, 200 miles north of Dallas. He'd been shot in the head and torso by someone sitting in the passenger seat. The .32-caliber pistol was never found.

Almost as soon as the news reached Dallas, a woman they dubbed the "Highland Park Deep Throat" had called Oklahoma City detectives to fill them in on Sandra's past. Because of her information, Detectives Steve Pacheco and Ron Mitchell caught Sandra in several lies during her initial conversation with police.

Gloria Rehrig was furious when Sandra purchased the cheapest casket available for Alan's funeral. After the service was over, Sandra discovered she'd forgotten to bring her checkbook, forcing his friends and family to pay to close his grave.

After the funeral, instead of meeting the detectives as agreed, Sandra drove immediately back to Dallas. Refusing to cooperate further or to allow her children to be questioned, Sandra hired attorney Vince Perini to keep police at bay. (Sandra has declined all requests for interviews from the press over the years. She could not be located for comment for this story.)

At Sandra's insistence, Perini hired private detective Bill Dear to prove her innocence. The strategy backfired: Dear resigned from the case when Sandra failed two lie detector tests.

Running From Rumors

When Dennis Kuba met the beautiful black-haired woman at a dinner party in Marin County, California, the lawyer and horseman was mesmerized. She could talk knowledgeably about almost any topic--food, art, music, business, even horses. "I thought she was captivating," Kuba told me. "There was this incredible attraction there. You really do get the feeling there's no one else in the room but her."

In May 1987, writers Skip Hollandsworth and Eric Miller had published a story in Dmagazine called "The Black Widow." Fleeing the gossip, Sandra, then 43, moved to Marin County, a wealthy enclave north of San Francisco similar to Highland Park. She leased a water-front home in swank Belvedere for $3,000 a month, filling it with her expensive antiques, rugs and Limoges china, and enrolled her children in private schools.

Sandra, who'd dropped the name Rehrig in favor of the more aristocratic-sounding Bridewell, had found the perfect place to start over. Society women embraced the brave young widow, who told them both her husbands had died of cancer. If she was cloaked in an air of mystery, it was all the more intriguing.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
All
 
Next Page »
 
My Voice Nation Help
5 comments
Northrup Julia
Northrup Julia

I was in jail with camille and she confessed to the murders to another inmate. while in brunswick county.

JESS MASHBURN
JESS MASHBURN

I was completely shocked to find this out about one of my moms next door neighbors. She is still lying about her past and still claiming to have just returned from missionary work( although I have learned that she was recently released from prison in Raleigh, NC). Camille is still trying to use church going people to fund her life. This is crazy, I can't believe I have had the run in chance of meeting this woman and then find this "book" on her disturbed life.

Buffin
Buffin

would like know if there is a end to this story, live in Dallas, I have heard of some of the people in the story.Would make a good movie.

jose
jose

Wow, when is the movie going to come out. She probably can get the rights to her life story and make money while in jail!It's going to make a great movie. I definitely, will watch it.

Kelly Oneill
Kelly Oneill

The Black Widow was arrested in Charlotte, NC on 3/2/07. She is charged with forgery and false pretense.

Arrest info @ http://arrestinquiryweb.co.mec...

She was using the name Sandra Powers and is still acting religious...

 
Dallas Concert Tickets
Loading...