Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mary T. Godau, Alabama Black Widow - 1912



FULL TEXT: Mobile, Jan. 1. – Mrs. Mary T. Godau is in one cell, her son, Willie Green, in another, and her daughter, Theresa Virginia Wasserleben, is in still another at the county jail, charged with murder, the victim being Fred Wasserleben, husband of the latter, and for some time a member of the Mobile police department. The body in police uniform was found in a pond some distance from the house in Mohawk avenue, where it had been hauled and thrown after the crime was committed on Saturday night during a heavy rainfall. Inspection of the home after the crime disclosed blood marks in the floor of the room the man had occupied and signs of a struggle. In the bath room was found freshly washed clothes with bloodstains, and beneath the house in a fresh made hole, bloody effects in which the body had been wrapped before removal. Arrest of the three name followed.

This morning Mrs. Godau confessed to killing her son-in-law, claiming he tried to assault her in his room, and after she beat him off, he fired at, but missed her. he then threw his pistol on the bed, and failing on it, told her he didn’t care if she killed him. Seizing the weapon she fired a bullet into his forehead. When the body fell on the floor she sent two other bullet into his body. She then claimed, after her children had gone to bed, to have tied a rope around the man’s neck, dragged the boy down stairs, placed it in a wagon, carted it to the pond, and threw it in.

Returning, she tried to wash away the tell-tale blood stains. Nine years ago Mrs. Godau’s husband was killed on a rainy night in his home at Cottage Hill, and his body was found in a lot nearby. His life was insured. A previous husband, Charles Stein, was mysteriously killed, as was a son-in-law, all at the homes of Mrs. Godau. Wasserleben has $75,000 insurance. It looks like a second Gunness farm tragedy.

[“Woman Conducts Murder Farm – Two Husbands and Two Sons-in-Law Are Mysteriously Slain. – All Were Insured,” Trenton True American (N.J.), Jan. 2, 1912, p. 2]

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For links to other cases of woman who murdered 2 or more husbands (or paramours), see Black Widow Serial Killers.

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