Thursday, September 22, 2011

Roberta Elder, Georgia Serial Killer - 1952

FULL TEXT (Article 1 of 2): Atlanta – Police sought today to determine whether a 43-year-old Negro woman, jailed for the poison death of her husband and a step-child, also did away with 10 other relatives for insurance money.

Roberta Elder was charged with murder yesterday by order of a coroner’s jury after a state expert testified that her husband the Rev. William Elder, died of arsenic poisoning Aug. 21.

The woman’s step-daughter, 9-year old Pearl Elder, also died of arsenic poisoning Jan. 11 1951, City Detective J. E. Helms said.

The other deaths in her family since 1948 include her mother, two previous husbands, three of her children and another step-child.

Helms told the coroner’s jury that the woman took out insurance policies ranging from $50 to $3,000 on most of the persons whose death is being investigated.

[“Negro Woman Jailed For Poison Deaths of Husband, Child,” syndicated (AP), Waycross Journal-Herald (Ga.), Sep. 20, 1952, p. 2]


FULL TEXT (Article 2 of 2): Atlanta – Roberta Elder faces life imprisonment for the poison murder of her husband, the Rev. William M. Elder.

Police said 14 members the 45-year-old Negro's family have died under mysterious circumstances in 14 years. She still is to be tried on murder charges brought for the poison deaths of two step-children.

A Superior Court jury yesterday convicted her of murdering her husband but recommended mercy and made a life sentence mandatory. Witnesses testified that the woman, treasurer of the religious organization, was short in her accounts and had a $500 insurance policy on her husband at the time of his death.

[“Roberta Elder Faces Life Imprisonment For Husband's Death,” syndicated (AP), Thomasville Times-Enterprise (Ga.), Oct. 2, 1953, p. 7]


Photo from: [“13 Dead, Call Woman ‘Bluebeard’ – Admits Insuring All Dead Kinsmen,” Chicago Defender (Il.), Sep. 27, 1952, p. 1]



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



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