Robert Thornhill
Lady Justice and the Black Widow


Lady Justice

and the

Black Widow

    Throughout history, men have used their wealth, power, and prestige to harass, manipulate, and coerce women to fulfill their sexual desires.

    Fed up with the ‘good ole boy’ status quo, the Black Widow appears in Kansas City to avenge the women who have fallen victim to their male predators.

    Fate throws P.I Walt Williams into the path of the Widow as she exacts her vengeance on the guilty.

    Is the Black Widow a new cult heroine or a cold-blooded killer?

    Decide for yourself!

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    Jan Morrison felt the anger, frustration, and indignation building as she watched the evening news.

    State Senator Morton Benjamin had been accused by an intern of sexual harassment. The allegations were made by twenty-two-year-old Cheryl Stokes who had worked with the senator for more than a year. According to Stokes, the senator had made suggestive remarks and touched her inappropriately several times, but it was during the heat of a campaign, so she brushed it off as a reaction to the stress of the campaign.

    The incident that had sparked the accusation had occurred when she was asked to stay late to help the senator draft a piece of legislation. Allegedly, the senator asked Stokes to perform sexual acts. When she refused, she was threatened with dismissal.

    The news cast showed a clip of the senator, surrounded by his entourage, leaving the capitol building. “Senator Benjamin categorically denies the allegations, saying they are nothing but a ploy by Stokes to generate publicity for herself. At the urging of women’s right groups, the attorney general has agreed to launch an investigation.”

    Jan flicked off the TV and shook her head in disgust.

    The scenario was all too familiar.

    She had been in Cheryl Stokes’ shoes, and her heart ached, knowing what was ahead for the young woman.

    Her humiliation had come eight years ago at the hands of Professor Frederick Lawton. She was a journalism major at the university and was doing well in all her classes except philosophy. She was barely passing and feared a low mark would jeopardize her scholarship. She approached the professor and asked if he could assign extra work to bring up her grade. He readily agreed and asked her to come by his office after hours.

    When she arrived, she discovered that in order to receive a passing grade she would have to submit to his advances.

    She fled in tears and reported the incident to the university the next day.

    What ensued, she could only describe as a nightmare.

    It was her word against that of a tenured and published professor. Lawton turned the tables, claiming she was failing his class and had offered him sexual favors to receive a passing grade.

    It was no contest.

    Humiliated and disgraced, she dropped out of school.

    Jan had no doubt that Senator Benjamin, the chairman of the senate finance committee, would prevail.

    It was encouraging that since the #Me Too movement was launched in October of 2017, and popularized by actress Alyssa Milano, several Hollywood types and a few congressmen had been forced to acknowledge their pandering ways, but Jan suspected that these few were just the tip of the iceberg.

    The ‘good old boy’ and ‘boys will be boys’ mentality was firmly woven into the fabric of American society, from the CEO of the local company to the White House itself.

    Jan knew of at least ten past presidents who were known to have a little something on the side.

    It was no secret that John Kennedy, one of the most beloved presidents of the modern era, had a steamy affair with Marilyn Monroe.

    Not to be outdone, his successor, Lyndon Johnson, once bragged that he’d “had more women by accident than Kennedy ever had on purpose.” It is even rumored that after his wife, Lady Bird, walked in on her husband having sex with one of his secretaries in the Oval Office, the Secret Service installed a buzzer system to alert the President whenever his wife was nearby.

    Then, of course, there was the much-publicized Bill Clinton, Monica Lewinsky, debacle.

    While not as flamboyant as the Democrats, Republican presidents were not immune to extramarital dalliances. Both Dwight Eisenhower and George H. W. Bush were known to have had White House romances.

    Equally distressing was the fact that more than a dozen women had accused the current president of sexual misconduct.

    Hoping to quell her bitter feelings, Jan turned on the TV and began flipping through the channels.

    She never knew whether it was an accident or fate that led her to tune into the Animal Planet which was airing a piece on arachnids.

    She sat, fascinated, watching the story of the black widow spider unfold. Her interest peaked when she learned that this particular species practiced sexual cannibalism, a behavior in which the female eats the male after mating.

    Jan was not unfamiliar with the term ‘black widow’ as it applied to her own species. When the program was over, curiosity got the best of her. She booted up her computer and Googled ‘black widow women.’

    She learned that the term was used to describe female serial killers. While the number of male serial killers far outweighed their feminine counterparts, the descriptions of the women in the accompanying articles were fascinating.

    She read about Aileen Wournos who was the first woman to fit the FBI’s definition of a serial killer. In 1989 and 1990, Wournos killed seven men in Florida. She was eventually captured, spent ten years on death row, and was executed in 2002. Charlize Theron won an Oscar portraying Wournos in the 2003 movie, Monster.

    Then there was Amy Archer-Gilligan. Between 1911 and 1916, she was suspected of killing 48 people under her care at a nursing home. Her dark history was the inspiration for the Frank Capra movie, Arsenic and Old Lace.

    Although she in no way identified with these women, or any of the dozens of others in the articles, she remained intrigued with the notion of the black widow.

    Then, her thoughts shifted back to the news story and the video footage of the pompous Senator Benjamin followed by his circle of lackeys. In her mind, it was only a matter of time until he would be forcing his attentions on another poor intern.

    She was equally certain that since she had left the university, more than one co-ed had qualified for a passing grade at one of Professor Lawton’s after-hours sessions.

    If she had learned one thing in life, it was that people don’t change. A leopard doesn’t change his spots, and a philandering male will continue with his womanizing ways.

    Life wasn’t fair. There seemed to be no justice.


    Jan thought about the lady clad in a flowing white robe holding the scales. How ironic that her eyes were covered. It seemed that through the centuries, justice had turned a blind eye to the plight of women.

    As she mulled this over in her mind, it occurred to her that if Lady Justice couldn’t get the job done, maybe The Black Widow could!