NOELENE Anderson strangled her third husband Bob Grosse with a piece of gardening twine in July 1995, dragged his body under the house, buried him in a hole she’d asked him to dig a few months earlier, and threw lime over the top.
‘‘For the smell,’’ she said a few years later.
Then she headed to Goulburn to spend the first night with a new man in a relationship that started with their mutual love of Persian cats. But it was not to be.
They kept loving the cats, and she had murdered her husband, but her new lover was gone a few weeks later without knowing he’d been sleeping above a dead man.
Bob Grosse stayed in a shallow grave beneath his wife’s bedroom at their Rocky Point home on the Central Coast for more than two years until police dogs made a gruesome discovery.
And in three trials in Newcastle that included the shock disclosure of a fourth husband, and evidence from a second husband about a marriage to Anderson that only lasted two weeks, she became known as the Black Widow, who nearly got away with murder.
She parked a lawnmower on her husband’s grave and told the court she talked to him every night, but Anderson refused to accept she had done wrong.
‘‘I am not guilty,’’ she wrote to a journalist after she was sentenced to a minimum 11 years’ jail.
‘‘To hell with people who assume and lie about me.’’
She ended up spending more than 13 years in jail after the NSW Parole Authority twice refused parole when she became eligible for release in 2010.
But yesterday it decided Anderson, 72, had done her time, after a private meeting that ended with a media release saying the authority had formed an intention to grant parole.
If she’s released it will be on 17 strict conditions including banning her from contacting Mr Grosse’s family and ordering her to submit to psychological and psychiatric counselling, the authority said.
‘‘The state and interested parties can now make submissions before a public hearing (in February),’’ it said.
Donnitta Seckold, Bob Grosse’s only daughter who met him in the final three years of his life, is an interested party.
She always thought Anderson, who the authority said yesterday had ‘‘health issues’’, would die in jail.
‘‘It hasn’t been a good afternoon at all,’’ she said from her home in Tamworth after the authority rang with the news.
‘‘But at least I’ve stopped crying.’’
A shoebox of bills, pay slips and receipts handed to her by a detective is all that is left of her father. Most of the photos she has of him are of his wedding to Anderson. Mrs Seckold had to buy them from a newspaper.
She said her father’s share of the Rocky Point home was lost after Anderson forged documents to secretly divorce Mr Grosse and re-arranged their home loan in her name only.
Mrs Seckold will make a submission to the public hearing and object to Anderson’s release.
She said her father’s killer had shown no remorse for a murder that was about expediency, and a burial without dignity.
‘‘I just don’t understand why people do this stuff. If you don’t want someone in your life, walk away,’’ she said.
‘‘I made a submission in 2010 that I didn’t want her released. I’ll object again. I said I didn’t want her living in the Hunter region. The Parole Authority has told me the plan is for her to live in the south of the state.’’
In a three-page letter written from jail in 2000, Anderson criticised Mrs Seckold for having a relationship with Mr Grosse after spending most of her life without him.
Mrs Seckold said she blamed herself for years for her father’s death, because Anderson resented the love he showed for his daughter.
‘‘That’s what hurts me, that I didn’t have Dad for long enough,’’ she said.
‘‘I don’t hate her. I just hate what’s happened, but I’ll be at the public hearing.
‘‘Dad’s not here, but I owe it to him to see this through.’’