Fugitive 'Black Widow' ordered
back to Chicago

She giggles as an isle court rules she must be extradited
to serve a term for murder

By Linda Hosek

Catherine Suh

The "Black Widow" spun around in her chair, eyed several men in the courtroom and giggled loudly as her attorney suggested that the judge again may want to try to talk to her.

But Catherine Suh, who fled to Hawaii before she was convicted in absentia of murdering her fiance in 1993, only giggled again.

Circuit Judge Frances Wong yesterday approved extradition to Chicago for the 26-year-old woman, sentenced to life in prison.

"You should be back in Chicago at the outside in two weeks," Wong said to Suh, who had tied her hair in a thin, pink ribbon.

Wong previously denied a defense request for a mental evaluation for Suh, saying the information wasn't necessary for an extradition hearing.

Public Defender Phyllis Hironaka said she wished the court had approved an evaluation for Suh, who had refused on several occasions to talk to her and was unable to assist in her own defense.

"She's not stable," Hironaka said.

"Whether she has a mental problem, I don't know."

In an earlier hearing, Suh had accused Hironaka of "double-crossing" her, but said in court that she made a mistake and was satisfied with her.

Hironaka said the state presented the appropriate extradition papers, showing that Suh was indicted for the murder of Robert O'Dubaine and had fled.

She said the state also showed that she had been convicted of the murder.

Suh was convicted Sept. 20 in Illinois in absentia of the shooting death of O'Dubaine.

She was the sole beneficiary of his $250,000 insurance policy and she tried to collect on it a few weeks after his death.

She also was a suspect in the 1987 stabbing death of her mother, Elizabeth Suh.

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