FULL TEXT: Alexandria, La. – A 67-year-old woman accused of poisoning three men for their insurance money has been released on bail after three years in jail awaiting trial.
Emily Bell, facing two counts of second-degree murder and one of attempted second-degree murder, hugged her jailers and appeared to be crying as she was released on $200,000 bond.
Bell is accused of using arsenic to fatally poison Tanzy C. Reeves, who died in 1979 at age 61, and Mountville Townley, 43, whose death in Ms. Bell’s Pineville apartment in 1984 prompted her arrest.
She also is accused of trying to poison Earl Campbell, who, prosecutors say, killed himself in 1982 before the arsenic reached fatal levels.
The state contends the murders were part of a scheme by Ms. Bell to collect insurance money and the estates of the victims.
Defense attorney George Higgins said appeals and the complexity of the case had delayed Bell’s trial.
‘‘It hasn’t been dilatory tactics by either side,’’ Higgins said.
Ms. Bell took out two marriage licenses with Reeves and claimed to have been married to Campbell. Townley was living with her at the time of his death.
[“Woman Accused Of Murder Freed On Bond After Three Years In Jail,Sep. 4, 1987]
[Headline used in image from: “Accused Woman Freed After 3 Years in Jail,” Spartanburg Herald-Journal (Pa.), Sep. 5, 1987, p. A2]
For links to other cases of woman who murdered 2 or more husbands (or paramours), see Black Widow Serial Killers.