Notorious 'Black Widow' murder goes global

Wendy Lange leaves court after she was found guilty of her husband's murder in April 1986.
Wendy Lange leaves court after she was found guilty of her husband's murder in April 1986. Patrick Hamilton

ONE of Toowoomba's more notorious murders is the subject of a television documentary to be shown across the United States later this year.

The "Black Widow" Wendy Lange case is the subject of the documentary being made by the Sydney-based Beyond Productions company for Investigation Discovery in the United States.

The program will be screened in Australia after its release in America.

HOME INVASION LANDS BLACK WIDOW KILLER BACK IN JAIL

Beyond Productions producer Marie Mohr and camera crew were in Toowoomba on Friday to interview a number of locals about the case including barrister Frank Martin who was the Crown prosecutor in the murder trial in November, 1986.

Wendy Lange with Brian Idiens and Dennis Garner in a prison van on their way to serve a life sentence for the murder of Geoffrey Lange.
Wendy Lange with Brian Idiens and Dennis Garner in a prison van on their way to serve a life sentence for the murder of Geoffrey Lange. Patrick Hamilton

Wendy Lange, then 25, Dennis Wayne Garner, 21, and Brian Leslie Idiens, 18, were each convicted after a trial in Toowoomba Supreme Court of the murder of Lange's building supervisor husband Geoff Lange.

Mr Lange's charred remains were found inside his burnt-out utility on Old Goombungee Rd to Toowoomba's north in April, 1986.

The murder trial and subsequent convictions of the trio was the biggest story on the Darling Downs at the time.

The trial heard the attractive young housewife had planned her husband's murder and had offered her two co-offenders $10,000 to complete the job.

Lange admitted to having laced her husband's mash potato and coffee during his evening meal on the night of the murder and Garner and Idiens had arrived at her Wyalla Estate home to find Geoff Lange unconscious on the floor, his legs tied and mouth gagged.

An autopsy found Mr Lange had been shot in the head before his utility was torched with his body in the front seat.

Wendy Lange was dubbed the "Black Widow" after it was revealed in the lead-up to her husband's murder she had bought a new black dress, telling the shop attendant it was for her husband's funeral - despite the fact it was more than a week before her husband was killed.

The burnt-out ute in which Geoff Lange's body was found.
The burnt-out ute in which Geoff Lange's body was found. Bruce Mackenzie

For eight years after she was jailed for life for the murder of her husband, Lange maintained her innocence, claiming she had been set up by her two co-offenders.

However, she later admitted to the murder when she appealed the sentence, but claimed she had been a victim of spousal abuse.

She has since changed her name and is believed to be re-married and living somewhere in Queensland.

The documentary is part of Investigation Discovery's "Deadly Women" series which includes input from expert criminologists including former FBI agent and profiler Candice DeLong who offers insights into the psychological motivation of killers, and Dr Janis Amatuzio, a mid-west United States forensic pathologist.



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