Saturday, November 16, 2019

Jessie Findley, Serial Killer Outlaw – Oklahoma, 1896


FULL TEXT: Jessie Findlay, the woman outlaw, has been released from the United States jail in $10,000 bail. She has killed four men and been the leader in a dozen hold-ups.

[“Such a Thing as Being Too Gallant,” The Sterling Evening Gazette (Il.), Aug. 29, 1896, p. 2]

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FULL TEXT: Jessie Findlay, the noted woman outlaw was released from the United States jail last week on $10,000 bail. This was probably done on the theory that an Oklahoma outlaw gets justice quicker on the outside of a prison. Bill Doolin had been in jail for months with prospects of many months more delay in his trial and possibly his final escape from the law. He escaped from prison and within six weeks was shot dead. Jessie Findlay has killed four men and been the leader of a half dozen hold-ups. Her next effort may be her last.

[Untitled, The Lincoln Republican (Ne.), Sep. 24, 1896, p. 2]

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FULL TEXT: Jessie Findlay, the female bandit imprisoned at Oklahoma City, has captured the hearts of her captors, if reports are true. Coming as this report does, from the land of the bloody fake and the guilt-stained exaggeration, one is licensed to doubt it but for one thing.

In Oklahoma City, where the charming bandit is temporarily residing at the earnest solicitation of the authorities, lives Mrs. Alberts. Mrs. Alberts edits the Oklahoma City Star and the editorial page thereof is bright with many a turn of fantastic wit, and ponderous with many sagacious editorials.

And it is Mrs. Alberts who gives out the news in regard to the winsome characteristics of the Siren Jessie, who was brought in by the deputy marshals in her bare feet charged with effecting the escape of her lover from the Oklahoma City jail.

Mrs. Alberts says that Jessie not only reads novels and smokes cigarettes, but she goes "to the Saddle Hock restaurant chaperoned by some of the handsome under sheriffs and deputy marshals, and thoroughly enjoys herself. She is supplied with the sweetest dresses, a duck of a hat and everything she wants."

And then Mrs. Alberts, supposedly placing her hand on an editorial charging the government with treason because of the tariff schedule on wool, looks off in the distance, and with a sigh that is born of a dream, adds to the above, "It's a sweet thing to be a girl bandit"

This report of the divine Jessie Is certainly unique. The sight of the fair prisoner doing up her Lair, touching a piece of lace into unspeakable grace about her fair young throat, buttoning her glove around a wrist bursting with plumpness and whiteness, snugging that dainty foot into a boot of infinite fineness, tossing her pretty head coquettishly, and, then tripping lightly off to the Saddle Rock with a half dozen deputy marshals, dazzled into that comatose condition best productive of intense infatuation, following her with loving fear, and gazing on her buxom form with parched throats this is a sight that every citizen of Oklahoma City should look upon now while all the fleeting opportunity is at hand. This for the citizen of Oklahoma.

As regards the sheriff, it is another matter. Caution, discretion and official foresight on ids part should suggest a change of jailors once a week, or even at briefer intervals, guaged to sweet little Jessie's capacity to throw the violet-light of her dancing eyes around the average deputy, ensnare, entangle and trip him completely.

[“Sweet Girl – But Dangerous.” The Wichita Daily Eagle (Ks.), Jul. 26, 1895, p. 4]

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For similar cases, see: Female Serial Killer Bandits

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Lizzie Harris, Serial Killer Bandit – West Virginia & Kentucky, 1895


NOTE: Although we prefer to define a serial killer as one who commits three murders in three distinct incidents, Lizzie Harris’s record of three murders in one day, another murder and a knife attack, does indeed suggest we have a serial killer at hand here.

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FULL TEXT: Frankfort, Ky., Sept. 21 – A recent arrival in the penitentiary here is Lizzie Harris. She is from Knox county and was brought down by Sheriff Jarvis to do two years’ time for cutting a woman.

In a talk the Harris woman said she had spent three years in the Moundsville, W. Va., penitentiary. She admitted she had killed four men, three in one night. The fourth was her sweetheart, who kissed another girl. An attorney named Black cleared her. She was in Moundsville for arson.

Her husband deserted her and she cut the sister of the woman he went with for revenge. She says she likes it here and has met several very nice men.

[“Lizzie Harris A Tough Convict. – She Says She Has Killed Four Men, Including a Lover.” The Pittsburg Press (Pa.), Sep. 22, 1895, p. 1]

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FULL TEXT: Sheriff Jarvis, of Knox county, passed through the city late yesterday afternoon having In charge five or six prisoners on the way to Frankfort. The prisoners were placed in the watch house until the six o'clock train left. "

Among the prisoners was a young woman from Knox county, apparently about 25 years old, and a typical Eastern Kentucky mountain girl. Her hair Vos cut short and hex dress was of calico, made in mountain style. She was going to Frankfort for housebreaking. She was placed in a cell by herself at the station house.

She was quite talkative, and when asked her age and home said: “I am jus’ 34 and live in Knox county. My name is Lizzie Harris. Used to live in Wes' Virginny, but got in trouble and left there. Ise going to Frankfort now for a couple of years, but I don't care."

"Did you ever kill a man?" was asked.

"Yes, Lord, killed four. I waylaid the highway 0110 night in Wes'  Virginny and propped three men. I stayed in the pen in that state three years. I shot my sweetheart, too, and killed him, but a lawyer named Black pleaded me out of it."

"Did you ever commit any other crime?"

"Guess I have. Broke into one or two houses, but have had luck and got out. I think I will have a nice time at Frankfort. Some nice men there, I hear. My husband left me some time ago, and I am grieving over it.”

[“A Kentucky Belle. – She Was a Nice Woman and Owned Up to Killing Four Objectionables.” Western Newspaper Union (Wichita, Ks.), Oct. 12, 1895, p. 2]

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For similar cases, see: Female Serial Killer Bandits

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Theresa of Sicily, Serial Killer Prostitute – Turkey, 1861


FULL TEXT: A letter from Constantinople of the 12th, in the Wanderer of Vienna, states that a woman named Theresa, a Sicilian by birth, and the keeper of a house of ill-fame, was some time ago arrested for murdering a young man. During the enquiry that followed her arrest, it was ascertained that she had murdered at least fourteen other persons. She was sentenced to be strangled in front of her own house.

[Untitled, The Birmingham Daily Post. (England), Aug. 31, 1861, p. 3]

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FULL TEXT: Eine Sizilianerin, einem unter den Namen Theresa bekannte Kupplerin, wurde vor einigen Monaten in Konstantinopel wegen Verdachts, einen jungen Menchener mordet zu haben, gefänglich eingezogen, ihr Haus durchucht und durchwühlt. Die Reste von Menschen, welche man dabei gefunden, sollen ihr das Leugnen un möglich gemacht haben, so daß ie gefanden, sie habe nach und nach14 Personen mit ihren Helfershelfern umgebracht. Die Menge der Reste soll aber auf eine größere Zahl schließen lasen. Die Mörderin ist nun verurtheilt worden, vor ihrem Hause öffentlich gehängt zu werden, was in den nächsten Tagen geschehen soll.

[“Eine gemüthliche Frau.” Werschetzer Gebirgsbote. (Vršac, Serbia), 15. September 1861. P. 2]

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Saturday, November 9, 2019

Catherine Birnie, Half of a Serial Killer Couple – Australia, 1986


From Wikipedia, with additions:

David John Birnie (16 February 1951 – 7 October 2005) and Catherine Margaret Birnie (born 23 May 1951) were an Australian husband and wife pair of serial killers from Perth, Australia. They murdered four women ranging in age from 15 to 31 in their home in the 1980s, and attempted to murder a fifth. These crimes were referred to in the press as the Moorhouse murders, after the Birnies' address at 3 Moorhouse Street in Willagee, a suburb of Perth, Western Australia.

~ David Birnie ~

David Birnie was the eldest of five children. In his formative years, he lived in the semi-rural suburb of Wattle Grove, east of Perth.

School friends and parishioners from the Wattle Grove Baptist Church of the period remember the family as particularly dysfunctional. Rumours abounded about the family's promiscuity, alcoholism and that they engaged in incest.

When Birnie's parents had asked the local priest to conduct their wedding ceremony, he expressed concerns about them as individuals and as a potential couple, broadly stating that he felt theirs was a union that could never lead to any good; an unusual and seemingly unsuited pairing, the father was a man of very small stature and unattractive appearance, while the mother was known for her coarse manner, language and behaviour, often exchanging sexual favours with taxi drivers as payment for fares.

David Birnie's school friends also commented on the family home, stating that it was unkempt and filthy, with the family never having regular meals together. Nor were meals prepared for the children by their parents.

One school friend stated that the door of the Birnie fridge was always left wide open, so the children and the family dog could eat at will whenever hungry.

In the early 1960s, Birnie's parents decided to move the family to another Perth suburb, where he had met Catherine through mutual friends. At 15, David left school to become an apprentice jockey for Eric Parnham at a nearby Ascot race course. During his time there he often physically harmed the horses and developed the tendencies of an exhibitionist. On one particular night, David broke into the room of an elderly lady where he was boarding, naked with stockings over his head and attempted to commit his first rape.

By the time he was an adolescent, he had been convicted of several crimes and had spent time in and out of jail for misdemeanors and felonies. As an adult, he was a known sex and pornography addict, and paraphiliac. He was married to his first wife during his early 20s and had a baby daughter.

In late 1986, David Birnie was employed at a local car wreckers. For more than a year David and Catherine had practiced how to make their sexual fantasies of rape and murder come true; he was weeks away from committing his first horrific crime.

~ Catherine Birnie ~

Catherine Birnie (nee Harrison) was also born in 1951. She was 2 years old when her mother, Doreen, died giving birth to her brother, who died two days later. Unable to cope with her, her father Harold had sent her away to live with her maternal grandparents. At the age of ten, there was a custody dispute which ended in Catherine's father gaining sole custody of Catherine.

At the age of 12, she met David Birnie, and by the age of 14 she was in a relationship with David. Harold had begged Catherine on several occasions to leave David due to the fact that she was often getting in trouble with the local police. But the disapproval of their relationship only strengthened their union.

Her time in prison throughout her adolescent years offered Catherine the chance to break away from David Birnie. Encouraged by a parole officer, Catherine began working for the McLaughlin family as a house keeper. She married Donald McLaughlin on her 21st birthday.

She and McLaughlin had seven children; their firstborn, a son, was struck and killed by a car in infancy.

Four weeks after the birth of her seventh child, she abandoned McLaughlin and began cohabiting with Birnie, who had tracked her down in hospital after she had had a hysterectomy. She had her surname legally changed by deed poll to match his, and reportedly was emotionally dependent on him.

~ Crimes ~

David and Catherine Birnie murdered the following women:
Oct. 6, 1986 – Mary Neilson (22), murdered.
Oct. 20 (circa), 1986 – Susannah Candy (15), murdered.
Nov. 1, 1986 – Noelene Patterson (31), murdered.
Nov. 5, 1986 – Denise Brown (21), murdered.
Nov. 10, 1986 – Kate Moir (17), survived.

(In Feb. 2017, 4 additional names, Cheryl Renwick and Barbara Western, were added as possible victims)

1) Mary Neilson

On 6 October 1986, 22-year-old student Mary Neilson turned up at the Birnie house to buy some car tires. On arrival, she was gagged, chained to the bed and raped by David while Catherine observed. Catherine asked David what turned him on the most knowing that soon enough, Mary would have to die. She was taken to Gleneagles National Park near Albany Highway in Bedfordale and as she begged for her life, she was raped again and strangled with a nylon cord, dropping dead at David's feet. He then stabbed her through the body, knowing that would speed up the decomposition, as he had "read that in a book somewhere". They buried her in a shallow grave. The year after, she would have received her degree for psychology from the University of Western Australia. This murder was apparently unplanned.

2) Susannah Candy

The second killing took place two weeks later when they abducted 15-year-old Susannah Candy as she hitchhiked along Stirling Highway in Claremont. An outstanding student at the Hollywood High School, Susannah lived at home in Nedlands with her parents, two brothers and a sister.

Her father is one of the top ophthalmic surgeons in Western Australia. After she went missing the Birnies forced her to send letters to her family to assure them that she was all right. But the family feared for her life.

The Birnies had been cruising for hours looking for a victim when they spotted Susannah. Within seconds of being in the car she had a knife at her throat and her hands were bound. She was taken back to the Willagee house where she was gagged, chained to the bed and raped.

After Birnie had finished raping the girl, Catherine Birnie got into the bed with them. She now knew that this turned her lover on. When they had satiated their lust, Birnie tried to strangle the girl with the nylon cord, but she became hysterical and went berserk. The Birnies forced sleeping pills down her throat to calm her down. Once Susannah was asleep, David put the cord around her neck and told Catherine to prove her undying love for him by murdering the girl.

Catherine obliged willingly. She tightened the cord slowly around the young girl's neck until she stopped breathing. David Birnie stood beside the bed watching. Asked later why she had done it, Catherine Birnie said: "Because I wanted to see how strong I was within my inner self. I didn't feel a thing. It was like I expected. I was prepared to follow him to the end of the earth and do anything to see that his desires were satisfied. She was a female. Females hurt and destroy males."

They buried Susannah Candy near the grave of Mary Neilson in the State Forest.

3) Noelene Patterson

On 1 November, they saw 31-year-old Noelene Patterson standing beside her car on the Canning Highway; she had run out of petrol while on her way home from her job as bar manager at the Nedlands Golf Club. Once inside the car, she had a knife held to her throat, was tied up and told not to move. She was taken back to Moorhouse Street where David Birnie repeatedly raped her after she was gagged and chained to the bed. They had originally decided to murder her that same night but David Birnie kept her prisoner in the house for three days and there were signs that he had developed emotional feelings for Patterson. Quick to notice, a jealous Catherine made an ultimatum: David would have to kill Patterson or she would kill her herself. He immediately forced an overdose of sleeping pills down her throat and strangled her while she slept. They took her body to the forest but buried it away with the others. Catherine Birnie reportedly got great pleasure in throwing sand in Patterson's face.

4) Denise Brown

On 5 November, they abducted 21-year-old Denise Brown as she was waiting for a bus on Stirling Highway. She accepted a lift from the Birnies; at knife point, Denise was taken to the house in Willagee, chained to the bed and raped. The following afternoon she was taken to the Wanneroo pine plantation. Safely in the seclusion of the forest, David Birnie raped Denise Brown in the car while the couple waited for darkness. As they dragged the woman from the car, David Birnie assaulted her again and plunged a knife into Denise's neck while he was raping her. Convinced that the girl was dead, they dug a shallow grave and lay her body in it, but Brown sat up in the grave; David Birnie then grabbed an axe and struck her twice at full force on the skull with it before burying her body in the grave.

5) Kate Moir

Their final victim, and the only victim to survive their attacks, was seventeen-year-old Kate Moir. She ran naked and weeping into a grocery store on 10 November 1986 and insisted on seeing the police. When the police arrived, she alleged that she had been abducted at knife point by a couple who had taken her back to their house and chained her to a bed, and that the man had repeatedly raped her while the woman observed. The next morning, while the man was at work, the woman unchained her and forced her to telephone her parents to say she had spent the night at a friend's house and was okay. The woman then led her back to the bedroom, but left to answer the door before securing her; the girl then escaped out the window. She told the police the phone number and address of the couple who had abducted her.

When the girl and the police arrived at the Birnies' residence, Catherine Birnie admitted that she recognized the girl but refused to answer any more questions without her husband. When the police brought David Birnie home in handcuffs, the couple claimed that the girl had not been abducted, but had willingly come to the house to share a bong with the Birnies, and that all sexual activity had been consensual.

~ Four Other Possible Victims ~

Reported in 2017 by Australia’s Channel Seven's Murder Uncovered:

“Cheryl Renwick, a Perth single mother of two vanished at the age of 33 in May 1986 after being stalked by an unknown couple. Daughter Michelle Renwick and a friend described seeing a woman who looked like Catherine Birnie come to the house on several occasions. She said that police recovered some of her mother's possessions when looking for evidence to prosecute the Birnies. However, the couple were never charged with her murder.

The second newly-named potential victim, Barbara Western, was last seen leaving a Perth tavern on June 27, 1986. Her remains were later found, with the killer having removed her jewelry and other items and placed them beside the body. This was one of the Birnies' trademarks.

A seventh possible murder victim of David Birnie, 12-year-old Lisa Mott, was last seen getting into a yellow panel van in the West Australian town of Collie on October 9, 1980. David Birnie had worked in the area and was said to have owned a similar vehicle at the time. However, the program interviewed his first wife, who gave him an alibi for the day that would have made his involvement in the murder impossible.

Another woman described being stalked by David Birnie and how she now believes she was to be the couple’s first victim. In October 1985, Birnie repeatedly harassed Audrey Schofield, the receptionist in a small real estate agency near where the Birnies lived. "He came back every day for at least a week. He was making suggestions like 'I only like brunettes with brown eyes'," Ms Schofield said. "As soon as I was alone he came in." She said she eventually got rid of him when her husband confronted him. [excerpt from: WA Today, Feb. 8, 2017]

~ Apprehension and sentencing ~

The Birnies were detained by police, who tried to trick them into confessing to the crimes by intense interrogation. Around dusk, Detective Sergeant Vince Katich said in a joking manner to David Birnie, "It's getting dark. Best we take the shovel and dig them up." Birnie replied, "Okay. There are four of them." The Birnies were reportedly very excited, even proud, to show the police the locations of the graves of their four victims.

When sent to trial, David Birnie pleaded guilty to four counts of murder and one count each of abduction and rape. When asked why he pleaded guilty, he gestured toward the victims' families and said, "It's the least I could do." He was sentenced to four consecutive sentences of life imprisonment. After being found sane enough to stand trial, Catherine Birnie was also sentenced to four consecutive sentences of life imprisonment by the Supreme Court of Western Australia; under law at the time, both were required to serve 20 years before being eligible for parole.

Initially David Birnie was held at the maximum security Fremantle Prison, but he was soon moved to solitary confinement to keep him from coming to harm from other prisoners. The original death row cells were converted for him and he stayed there until the prison was closed in 1990. The cell can now be viewed on the Great Escape Tour held daily at Fremantle Prison. While incarcerated, the Birnies exchanged more than 2,600 letters but were not allowed any other form of contact.

David Birnie was found dead in his cell at Casuarina Prison on 7 October 2005. He had committed suicide by hanging; he was due to appear in court for the rape of a fellow prisoner the next day.

Catherine Birnie is imprisoned in Bandyup Women's Prison, where she was formerly the head librarian. She was barred from attending David's funeral; an application for parole in 2007 was rejected, and the then Attorney-General of Western Australia, Jim McGinty, said that her release was unlikely while he remained in office.

Her case was to be reviewed again in January 2010; however, on 14 March 2009, new Western Australian Attorney-General Christian Porter revoked Catherine Birnie's non-parole period, making her the third Australian woman (after Katherine Knight and Patricia Byers) to have her papers marked "never to be released." Her appeal of this decision was turned down in March 2010 by Porter.

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CHRONOLOGY
Feb. 16, 1951 – David Birnie born.
May 23, 1951 – Catherine Margaret Harrison, born. Perth, Australia. She changed her name by deedpoll to Birnie, though the couple were never to marry.
Jun. 11, 1969 – David and Catherine faced Perth Police Court, charged with 11 counts of break and enter and stealing of goods worth $3000.
Jun. 21, 1970 – David broke out of jail and teamed up again with Catherine. They were apprehended on July 10 after a crime spree which netted another 53 counts of break enter and steal, and motor vehicle offences.
May 31, 1972 – marries Donald McLaughlin on her birthday.
1972 – leaves husband and 6 children to cohabit with David Birnie.
Oct. 6, 1986 – Mary Neilson (22), murdered.
Oct. 20 (circa), 1986 – Susannah Candy (15), murdered. Willagee.
Nov. 1, 1986 – Noelene Patterson (31), murdered.
Nov. 5, 1986 – Denise Brown (21), murdered.
Nov. 10, 1986 – Kate Moir (17), survived.
Nov. 11, 1986 – David and Catherine arrested.
Nov. 12, 1986 – Birnies charged with 4 counts of murder and one count of abduction and rape.
Feb. 10, 1987 – Both pleaded guilty. Catherine convicted of four murders, sentenced to 4 concurrent life terms, eligible for parole in 2007. David convicted of four murders, sentenced to life without parole. Supreme Court of Western Australia.
Oct. 7, 2005 – David dies; committed suicide by hanging.
2007 – parole rejected.
Feb. 8, 2017 – Australia’s Channel Seven TV show,  Murder Uncovered.

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[Marika Dobbin-Thomas, “Murder Uncovered reveals more possible victims of David and Catherine Birnie,” WA Today (Perth, WA, Australia), Feb. 8, 2017]
[Khaleda Rahman, “'I managed to become friends with her': How victim Kate Moir watched Rambo and listened to Dire Straits to gain the trust of serial killers David and Catherine Birnie and escaped,” Daily Mail (London), Feb. 8, 2017, updated Feb. 9]

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http://unknownmisandry.blogspot.com/2012/07/serial-killer-couples.html


Links to more Serial Killer Couples

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Maxine Robinson, Serial Killer Mom – England, 2005


Maxine Cope (later Robinson), living at White Hill Crescent, Pelton separated from her 9-month-old daughter Vicki's father Les Cope after the child’s June 1969 death. As was so common at the time, Vicki’s demise was attributed to the vague non-diagnosis SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, commonly known in England as “cot death.”

After Maxine and Les they divorced, she married Peter Robinson, the father of Anthony and Christine, who, like their half-sister, were not long for this world. Anthony survived a mere 5 months, Christine did much better, living well past her first birthday, perishing at the age of 19 months. “Cot death” explained the tragedies away, or so it seemed. Police arrested both parents for questioning, but with no evidence or confession there could be no charges levied. Neighbors were convinced the babies had been murdered and hounded the Robinsons from the neighborhood. Peter was sure his wife had done it, too, but could not prove it. The marriage ended.

Years later, Warren Cope, Peter’s brother, disclosed that "Les doted on his little girl. She was rushed to hospital and they said it was cot death. He came home afterwards and he was absolutely broken-hearted. He went on to have a nervous breakdown."

Currently accessible reports do not explain what led to the final arrest of Maxine Robinson. But she was, indeed, again arrested and formally charged. She claimed innocence, but her

The 1995 trial of the killer mom offered chilling details of Maxine’s ice-hearted methodical crimes.

Their father, Peter, had carried the sleeping children to bed in their different bedrooms on June 29, 1993, after they had spent a ''gloriously sunny day'' playing in a paddling pool in the garden. Robinson had gone into each bedroom in turn and placed a pillow over the faces of the children. She had then calmly gone downstairs and watched television and later gone into the garden with her husband. Later in the evening, she contrived a way of pretending to discover the children had died by claiming she had heard her little boy crying. [The Herald (Scotland), Apr. 11, 1995]

She announced her faux discovery to her husband, by telling him, without emotion that “I think the bairns are dead.”

Peter, a former security guard, and “neighbours made frantic efforts to revive the children, Robinson had sat motionless downstairs and made no attempt to help. . . . The efforts to resuscitate the youngsters were doomed to failure because they had died two and a half hours earlier.”

It was a three-week trial, ending with two guilty verdicts and a sentence of life in prison. The prosecutor “said there were no plans to look any further into the cot death of Robinson's first daughter,” since there was no evidence to suggest that was anything other than a tragic cot death.”

~ Maxine in Prison ~

Maxine was sent to high-security Durham Prison, presumably to protect her from other inmates, a population known to have lethal hostility to child abusers.

It was during a mandatory rehabilitation therapy session, in January 2003, that Maxine finally let down her guard and confessed to the two murders. When later interviewed by police, she shocked them by also admitting that she had murdered Vicky too, by choking her to death with a deflated balloon he had gotten at a “fun fair.”

Overnight, Maxine went from being a cold cucumber pretending innocence to being hotly repentant. She stated she wanted to be properly punished for her deeds.

During the three-week trial for the 1993 murder it was learned that Maxine had a troubled relationship to her own mom -- Ann Leggett, a former Nanny – and felt supplanted as a parent to her babies, stating: "I felt she was the mother and I was only allowed to be there, and even then it was begrudgingly."

The judge stated, when ordering a three-year extension to Mazine’s standing sentence by three years, that the case was a "timely" reminder that "not all mothers in prison for killing their children are the victims of miscarriages of justice,” referring the efforts by gender theory activists to treat female criminals as unaccountable subjects of social oppression.

[Robert St. Estephe, Nov. 9, 2019]

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CHRONOLOGY
June 16, 1989 – Victoria (Vicki) Cope (9 mo) murdered, suffocation with deflated balloon bought at a “fun fair”; Pelton.
1989? – divorces Les Cope.
Jun. 29, 1993 – Anthony (5 mo), Christine (19 mo) murdered, suffocation in both cases; Ouston, County Durham. MR is 21.
1993? – divorces Peter Robinson.
Jan. 27, 1993 – MR arrested.
Mar. 1995 – 3-week trial, Sheffield Crown Court.
Apr. 11, 1995 – Maxine Robinson was convicted of murdering Anthony and Christine. Sheffield Crown Court. (Reported Apr. 11)
Apr. 10, 1995 – sentenced to two life terms in prison.
Jan. 2003 – MR (35), prison confession, during counselling, to all 3 murders; high-security Durham Prison.
Apr. 22, 2004 – pleads guilty to the murder of Vicki in 1989 and accepted her guilt over the deaths of her other children. Newcastle Crown Court.
Jun. 18, 2004 – sentenced to 3 years for Victoria’s murder. (reported Jan. 18).

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[“Mother jailed for killing children Son and daughter were suffocated as they slept,” The Herald (Scotland), Apr. 11, 1995]
[“Mother charged with daughter's murder,” BBC News, Jan. 29, 2003]
[Hilary Clixby, “Murdered by Their Mother,” The Journal (Newcastle, England) Apr. 23, 2004]
[Paul Stokes, “Mother confesses to third child murder,” The Telegraph (London), Apr. 23, 2004]
[“Three extra years for baby killer,” BBC News, Jun. 18, 2004]
[“I killed my first child: A mum serving life for murdering two of her children has finally admitted killing her first child.” Evening Chronicle (London), Apr. 23, 2004; Updated Feb. 28, 2013]

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For more cases of this type, see Serial Baby-Killer Moms.

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Friday, November 8, 2019

Antje Krueger (Krüger), Serial Baby-Killing Mom – Germany, 1999


~ Antje Krüger ~

On an anonymous tip, Antje Krüger, (28) was brought to the gynecological clinic of the Vogtland-Klinikum Plauen on June 3, 1999 by the police for investigation.

She had secretly given birth to three children at home and killed in 1993, 1996 and 1999, the small bodies that they each packed in plastic bags and hidden in the freezer. That they were the children there for years when it reserved, covered with pizza and spinach until the police after the last birth to an anonymous complaint came back into the house.

Anjtje, when questioned about her girth during her three pregnancies, always denied being pregnant, even to family members. She even accused people of libeling her. She never visited a doctor.

In March 2000, Antje confessed before the District Court of Chemnitz, but made the incredible claim her husband had been unaware of the three pregnancies. She was sentenced to 13 ½ years in prison. While in prison she became involved with an abusive lesbian prisoner.

~ Jens Krüger ~

Because there was no evidence that he was present at the killings, the case against husband Jens Krüger, did not lead to an indictment. Yet kept the question open. Four years following Antje’s conviction, her husband, then 35, was finally charged. He was accused of instructing his wife to kill each baby shortly after birth. August 1993, a boy was strangled with the umbilical cord; in 1996 a second baby was choked to death with a paper tissue, and in May 1999, a girl choked to death with a diaper. Then the dead bodies were put in the freezer.

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Antje (“Sch.”) Krüger, Jens Krüger. Mühltroff, Vogtland, Germany

CHRONOLOGY
1993 – #1, newborn killed.
1996 – #2, newborn killed.
1999 – #3, newborn killed.
May 19, 1999 – approximately one week before the last birth.
Jun. 3, 1999 – On an anonymous tip, the 28-year-old was brought to the gynecological clinic of the Vogtland-Klinikum Plauen on 3 June 1999 by the police for investigation.
June 4, 1999 – Antje arrested.
Mar 2000 – confession before the District Court of Chemnitz.
Mar. 8, 2000 – the district court sentenced Chemnitz triple homicide to a total prison sentence of 13 1/2 years.
Sep. 2003 – the Prosecutor Zwickau, to whom the case had been submitted by Chemnitz, again charges of triple homicide - against Jens Kruger.
May 4, 2003 – trial begins.
Sep. 2003 – Jens Krüger charged with 3 murders.

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SOURCES
[Friedrichsen, Gisela, “Musste er damit rechnen?” “Did She Know?”), Der Spiegel, Jun. 7, 2004]
[Helgard Kowitz, “Drei tote Babys in der Tiefkühltruhe,” Die Welt, Jun. 9, 1999]
Veröffentlicht am 09.06.1999 | Lesedauer: 3 Minuten
[“Background Chronology of drama, Mitteldeutsche Zeituing, Jun. 23, 2004]

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For more cases of this type, see Serial Baby-Killer Moms.

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Susan MacLeod, Serial Baby-Killing Mom – Scotland, 2001


Scottswoman Susan MacLeod gave birth to three babies between 1996 and 2001. The mother seems to have suffocated each of them soon after birth, according to post mortem examiners. “Soon after they had died, all three of the babies were put in black carrier bags and left to rot in the foot of the wardrobe.” [McKay]

On April 21, 2001 police were called to her Govan (near Glasgow) home when the landlord’s children investigated the source of a bad odor that the neighbors had complained about. Susan “rented a bedroom in a two bedroomed flat and over the years different flatmates complained about the smell coming from her room. Some of them made cursory investigations, but nothing was found at first."

Susan pled guilty on Mar. 21, 2003 to “a reduced plea of culpable homicide was accepted on two charges. A third charge was dropped.”

Susan’s attorney told the court that psychiatric reports suggested her behavior may have been linked to the fact that she was severely sexually abused when she was young.

She was given bail in May 2001 on condition that she stay with her parents in North Bragar on Lewis Island. But in August, when she was 18 weeks pregnant, she violated the bail terms and travelled to Inverness to have an abortion.

One islander said: "They are horrendous allegations and in a tiny place like this, the whole community feels soiled. Most people think it is ridiculous. It is just Susan making excuses. She has always been an attention-seeker and it is typical of her to say something like this without having to back it up."

While on bail on Lewis, and already pregnant again, MacLeod would go out shopping and for coffees in a local cafe.  She attended her brother Steven's wedding with her boyfriend Neil Harper.  Another islander said: "She was up dancing most of the night as if nothing had happened. The locals were nice to her for the sake of her parents. They are a loving, well-respected pair." [Daily Record, 5/3/03]

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CHRONOLOGY
1994 – Susan left home (North Bragar), Lewis at 17 and worked in hotels and bars in Tobermory, Mull, and Glasgow.
1996 – dead baby #1, girl, Govan area, Glasgow. Died between Aug. 1, 1996 and Jan. 1, 1997. Robert Macleod, father.
1998 – dead baby #2, boy, Govan area, Glasgow. Died between Jun. 30, 1998 and Dec. 30, 1999. Robert Macleod, father.
Year undetermined – dead baby #3, Govan area, Glasgow.
Apr. 21, 2001 – Five years after the first birth police were called to her home in April 2001 when another tenant complained of the smell. Govan area of Glasgow
Mar. 21, 2003 – Susan (26) pleaded guilty to two charges of culpable homicide; High Court in Glasgow.
May 2001 – given bail on condition that she lived with her parents in North Bragar on Lewis Island.
Aug. 2001 – leaves Lewis when 18 weeks pregnant to have an abortion at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.
Date? – One of the charges dropped after doctors said one of the children had been still-born.
May 2003 – Judge rules: "I have come to the conclusion that I am not going to send you to prison."
Feb. 27, 2004 – Susan MacLeod (27), wept with relief after Edinburgh judge Lord Bracadale refused to jail her and ordered her to undergo six months more treatment.
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[“Babies' remains found in bin bags,” BBC News, Mar. 21, 2003]
[“Killer mother avoids jail time,” BBC News, Feb. 27, 2004]
[Reg McKay, Murder Capital: Life and Death on the Streets of Glasgow, 2006, Black and White Pub.]
[Annie Brown, “Killer Mum's Secret Abortion; Pregnancy ended during babies case” Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland), May 3, 2003]

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For more cases of this type, see Serial Baby-Killer Moms.

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Thursday, November 7, 2019

Waneta Hoyt, Serial Baby-Killing Mom – New York, 1994


From Wikipedia:

Waneta Ethel (Nixon) Hoyt (May 13, 1946 – August 13, 1998) was an American serial killer who was convicted of killing all five of her biological children. She was born in Richford, New York. She dropped out of Newark Valley High School in the 10th grade, to marry Tim Hoyt, on January 11, 1964.

~ Deaths of children ~

James Hoyt died on September 26, 1968, only 28 months after he was born on May 31, 1966. All of her other children died before that mark: Erik (October 17, 1964 – January 26, 1965), Julie (July 19 – September 5, 1968), Molly (March 18 – June 5, 1970), and Noah (May 9 – July 28, 1971). For more than 20 years, it was believed that the babies had died of sudden infant death syndrome.

Several years after the death of their last child, the Hoyts adopted a child, Jay, who remained healthy through childhood and was 17 when his adopted mother was arrested, in 1994.

The last two biological Hoyt children, Molly and Noah, were subjects of pediatric research that was conducted by Dr. Alfred Steinschneider, who published an article in 1972 in the journal Pediatrics, proposing a connection between sleep apnea and SIDS. The article was later discredited, and subsequent research failed to replicate the results.

~ Investigation and trial ~

In 1985, a prosecutor in a neighboring county who had been dealing with a murder case, initially thought to involve SIDS, was told by one of his experts, Dr. Linda Norton, a forensic pathologist from Dallas, that there may be a serial killer in his area of New York. Norton suspected it after reviewing Steinschneider's report on the Hoyt case in which the Hoyts were not identified by name. When the prosecutor became the district attorney in 1992, he tracked the case down and sent it to a forensic pathologist, Michael Baden, for review. Baden concluded that the deaths were the result of murder.
In 1994, because of jurisdictional issues, the case was transferred to the district attorney of the county in which the Hoyts resided.

In March 1994, Hoyt was approached at the post office by a New York State trooper with whom she was acquainted. He asked her for help in research he was doing on SIDS, and she agreed. She was then questioned by the trooper and two other policemen. At the end of the interrogation, she confessed to the murders of all five children by suffocation. Consequently, she was arrested. The reason that she gave for the murders was that the babies were crying and she wanted to silence them.

Hoyt later recanted her confession, and its validity was an important issue during the trial. An expert hired by the defense, Dr. Charles Patrick Ewing, testified, "It is my conclusion that her statement to the police on that day was not made knowingly, and it was not made voluntarily." He diagnosed Hoyt with dependent and avoidant personality disorders, and he opined that she was particularly vulnerable to the tactics used during her interrogation.

Dr. David Barry, a psychiatrist hired by the prosecution agreed that Hoyt had been manipulated by the police tactics. Nevertheless, Hoyt was convicted in April 1995.

On September 11, 1995, she was sentenced to 75 years to life, 15 years for each murder, to be served consecutively. It has been speculated since her conviction that Hoyt suffered from Münchausen syndrome by proxy, a diagnosis that is not universally accepted in the case.

~ Aftermath ~

Hoyt died in prison of pancreatic cancer in August 1998. She was formally exonerated under New York law because she died before her appeal. She was buried at Highland Cemetery in Richford, Tioga County, New York.

***

May 13, 1946 – Waneta Ethel Nixon born; Richford, New York.
Jan. 11, 1964 – marries Tim Hoyt.
May 31, 1966. James Hoyt born.
Sep. 26, 1968, James Hoyt dies (28 mo).
Oct. 17, 1964 – Erik born.
Jan. 26, 1965 – Erik dies.
July 19, 1968 – Julie born.
Sep. 5, 1968 – Julie dies.
Mar. 18, 1970 – Molly born.
Jun. 5, 1970 – Molly dies.
May 9, 1971 – Noah born.
July 28, 1971 – Noah dies.
Nov. 24, 1971 – Waneta saw a psychologist; she said she was worried she might hurt Scottie.
Sep. 20, 1976 – Tim and Waneta adopted a two-month-old boy, Jay.
Mar. 23, 1994 – WH arrested.
Apr. 22, 1995 – found guilty to Waneta Hoyt, 48, of murder 5 of her children,
Sep. 11, 1995 – Waneta was sentenced to five minimum sentences of fifteen to life, but she would have to serve one sentence after another.
Aug. 13, 1998– WH dies (aged 52)
Aug. 14, 1998 – Appeal hearing scheduled.

***

At one funeral, Waneta Hoyt fainted after the lowering of the tiny, pitiful coffin and at another, her body collapsed with the great force of her sobbing. She had to be helped away from the freshly turned soil at the graveside. [Barry Bearak, A Mother Who Lost Five Babies, Los Angeles Times, May 22, 1994]

FOR MORE THAN 25 YEARS, WANETA Nixon Hoyt would drive each Memorial Day to the small cemetery beside her childhood home in Richford, N.Y., to lay flowers on the graves of her babies. [Cynthia Sanz, “A Mother's Fatal Embrace,” People.com, Oct. 9, 1995]

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For more cases of this type, see Serial Baby-Killer Moms.

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Raynella Dossett Leath, Black Widow Serial Killer – Tennessee, 2003


Two murders (of husbands) plus one attempted murder. Raynella Dossett Leath (nee Large) murdered a District Attorney and got away with it.

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Wikipedia: Raynella Dossett Leath is a Knoxville, Tennessee woman serving a life sentence at the Tennessee Prison for Women in Nashville for the 2003 murder of her husband David Leath. Prosecutors alleged that she shot her husband in the head, and then attempted to stage his murder as a suicide. Dossett Leath is also a suspect in the 1992 death of her first husband, Ed Dossett, who supposedly died from being trampled by a cattle stampede, but prosecutors now believe that he was killed with a lethal dose of morphine.

~ Early life ~

Raynella Large was born on October 25, 1948 and raised in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. She attended Oak Ridge High School and graduated in 1966. Raynella went on to become a registered nurse, and she married her first husband, Ed Dossett, the Knox County District Attorney, in 1970. The couple had three children, and the family lived on a farm west of Knoxville, Tennessee.

~ Death of first husband ~

In August 1992, Ed Dossett, who at that time was in the late stages on terminal cancer, was found dead in the couple's corral, allegedly having been trampled by cattle. Despite the medical examiner's suspicions about a double indemnity clause on Ed's life insurance policy, his death was initially ruled to be an agricultural accident by the first medical examiner who autopsied him. Just six months after Ed's death, Raynella married her second husband, a retired barber, David Leath. It was not until 2006 that the death of Ed Dossett would be re-investigated after David Leath's death.

~ Death of second husband ~

On March 13, 2003, Raynella found the body of her second husband David Leath in their bedroom. She called 9-1-1 and reported her husband's death as a suicide. The physical evidence suggested that three shots were fired from a .38 caliber Colt revolver, but police argued that it was the second shot that killed David Leath. Following his death, authorities re-investigated the death of Ed Dossett. A new medical examiner revealed that the morphine levels in Ed Dossett's system were "so extraordinarily high it is unlikely that any human could function in an ambulatory manner or continue to live." In 2006, Raynella was charged with administering an overdose of morphine. Two years later, in 2008, she was charged with first-degree murder in the death of David Leath.

Attempted murder charge

In 1995, after the death of her first husband, Raynella discovered that Ed Dossett had an affair with another woman that resulted in the birth of a child. Her late husband's mistress was in the middle of a divorce with Steve Walker; the mistress revealed to Mr. Walker that she had an affair with Ed Dossett and that Dossett fathered one of her children. Soon after, Raynella lured Mr. Walker to her farm, where she allegedly opened fire on him until she ran out of bullets. She was charged with attempted murder, but plea bargained to a lesser charge. She served 6 years on probation and her criminal record was expunged.

Murder trial

In May 2009, Raynella Dossett Leath went on trial for the murder of her second husband David. She maintained that her husband's death was a suicide. After hours of jury deliberation, there was no verdict and the judge declared a hung jury.

Raynella's retrial began in January 2010. The prosecutor began his opening statement by playing Raynella's 911 call, then explaining why David's death was murder rather than suicide. The prosecutor said three shots were fired and the second shot killed David instantly. He also told the jury David was also drugged with a combination similar to what's used for patients having surgery. In this trial, Raynella's defense did not argue that David's death was in fact a homicide, but that Raynella had an alibi. After a day of deliberation, the jury had not reached a unanimous verdict. However, on January 25, 2010, Raynella Dossett Leath was convicted of first-degree murder and was automatically sentenced to 51 years to life in prison. Immediately following her conviction, the charges relating to her first husband's death were dropped.

Aftermath

Following her conviction, Raynella appealed for a new trial on the basis of Judge Richard Baumgartner's judicial misconduct for his drug use. She cited the murder of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom case, which resulted in all of the defendants' convictions being overturned. Raynella's appeal was denied.

~ In popular culture ~

True crime author Diane Fanning published Her Deadly Web in 2012 about the Raynella Dossett Leath case.

Her case appeared on the Deadly Women episode, “An Inconvenient Marriage,” Nov. 18, 2011. Snapped, “Raynella Leath,” June 17, 2012.

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CHRONOLOGY
Oct. 25, 1948 – Raynella Large was born on and raised in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Became registered nurse.
Feb. 23, 1970 – marries Ed Gossett
Jul. 9, 1992 – Ed Gossett (44), Knoxville District Attorney, dies.
1993 – married David Leath (47); barber.
May 26, 1995 – attempted murder of Steve Walker (38); opened fire on him until she ran out of bullets. She was charged with attempted murder, but plea bargained to a lesser charge. She served 6 years on probation and her criminal record was expunged.
2001 – end of probation period.
Mar. 13, 2003 – David Leath (57) dies; Leath signed deed and a will before his death. Shot in his dead; unprescribed drugs found during autopsy.
2006 – Raynella was charged with administering an overdose of morphine to David Leath.
Dec. 14, 2007 – Knoxville prosecutors seek court order to exhume and examine corpse of Dossett.
2008 – she was charged with first-degree murder in the death of David Leath.
Feb. 15, 2008 – Judge Baumgartner announced he intends to refuse to order exhumation of Dossett because that matter has no effect on Leath murder trial. He refused a total of three times.
May 2009 – trial for murder of Leath. Hung jury, mistrial declared.
Jan. 2010 – Raynella's retrial began.
Jan. 25, 2010 – Raynella Dossett Leath (61) convicted of first-degree murder, of David Leath, and was automatically sentenced to 51 years to life in prison
May 10, 2010 – Trial for Dossett murder; Special Judge Paul Summers waited until moments before a jury was to begin deliberations to announce that he found evidence of Leath’s guilt too lacking to even allow the jury to decide it. “Summers tossed out Raynella Leath's conviction because Baumgartner had been visibly high on painkillers during her 2010 trial.”
Mar. 2011 – Judge Baumgartner pleads guilty to official misconduct, receives two-year diversionary sentence, pension spared.
Sep. 2011 – Judge Baumgartner agrees to disbarment to avoid public hearing.

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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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Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Anne Grigg-Booth, Serial Killer Nurse – England, 2004


Anne Grigg-Booth was arrested after hospital managers conducted a "routine audit" of drugs usage and found a large number of discrepancies. It is understood that the audit was commissioned as a response to the trial of Harold Shipman, the family doctor who murdered up to 284 of his patients with illicit stockpiles of diamorphine (heroin).

Anne was, according to her colleagues, bossy and eccentric, but also competent and popular. "She was totally in control but did have a bit of a God complex," said one unnamed nurse. "She thought she could do little wrong, even though it went against hospital rules.”

Grigg-Booth was accused of poisoning patients with opiates while she worked the night shift, when doctors are far less likely to pay close attention to the drugs nurses are using. She faced 13 other counts of poisoning her patients, and was suspected in more than 20 deaths in the hospital.

While awaiting trial she met her death on August 29, 2004, through a combination of drugs and alcohol. Some regarded this as an accidental death, others believed it was suicide.

The nurse was known for her domineering personality and was estranged from her family. She was divorced but she had a sift spot for non-humans. Her home was loaded with stray animals.

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CHRONOLOGY
1979 – Grigg-Booth had worked at Airedale General Hospital in Keighley, West Yorkshire for 25 years. Night Nurse Practitioner (NNP).
Jul. 2000 – June Driver (67), murdered.
Nov. 2001 – Eva Blackburn (75), murdered.
Jun. 2002 – Michael Parker (42), attempted murder.
Jul. 2002 – Annie Midgley (96), murdered.
Sep. 2004 – Anne Grigg-Booth (51) charged. As well as the murder and attempted murder charges, Grigg-Booth faced 13 counts of unlawfully administering poison to 12 other patients. Bradford Crown Court.
Oct. 19, 2004 – AG-B released on bail.
Aug. 29, 2005 – died by drug overdose (cocktail of drugs and alcohol) awaiting trial scheduled for Aug. 29, 2006. BBC reported death as accidental; The Telegraph reported it as suicide.
Jun. 8, 2010 – report by Yorkshire and Humber Strategic Health Authority. Found that Grigg-Booth and other NNPs who were administering drugs without a prescription were victims of a management systemic failure, it states.

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SOURCES
[“Nurse bailed on murder charges,” BBC, Oct. 19, 2004]
[Michael Seamark, “The crop-haired bully with a God complex,” Daily Mail (London),
Police defend decision to charge Keighley nurse Anne-Grigg Booth,” Telegraph & Argus, (Bradford, England), Jun. 9, 2010]
[Paul Stokes and Nigel Bunyan, “Nurse's suicide leaves mystery of how many patients died at her hands,” The Telegraph (London, England), Aug. 31, 2005]
[Book: James Alan Fox, Jack Levin, Kenna Quinet, The Will To Kill: Making Sense of Senseless Murder, 2018, Sage]





For more cases, see Sicko Nurses

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Rebecca Barker, Double Black Widow – Texas, 2014


FULL TEXT (Article 1 of 3): Cherokee County, Tx (KLTV) - Authorities have identified the woman accused of shooting and killing her 76-year-old husband on Wednesday in Cherokee County.

52-year-old Rebecca Barker is charged with first degree murder and is being held on $500,000 bond.

According to Barker's arrest affidavit, when deputies arrived on the scene, they attempted to read her her rights. As her rights were being read, Barker kept repeating, "I don't know." She was then taken to the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office for questioning.

During questioning, Barker said that her husband had been verbally abusing her all day. She went on to say she couldn't take it anymore, so she shot him with a .357 Magnum.

The victim, identified as Jerry Barker by his son, suffered a single gunshot wound to the abdomen. His son, Jerry Michael Barker, said that Rebecca kept some of them at arm's length.

"She kind of kept us away. 'You come on our property and we will shoot you.' That's pretty drastic," he said.

This isn't the first time Rebecca Barker has faced charges for shooting her husband.
Documents in the Liberty County District Clerk's office show Rebecca Barker, then Rebecca Lynn Osborne, was indicted for the attempted murder of her then-husband, John Osborne, in September 1996.

Rebecca Barker shot Osborne with a firearm in April 15, 1996, according to the paperwork, and a restraining order was filed the next day.

Rebecca Barker accepted a plea deal in that case and was sentenced to 180 days in jail with time served, paid a fine and received deferred adjudication.

"She's still on the street married to my father and I'd like to know, and law enforcement to explain how that could happen," said Jerry Michael Barker of his stepmother's previous criminal history.

"If she were to get away with this, she would probably go to the next city and do it again," Jerry Michael said.

A few weeks ago, the family became suspicious of the victim’s behavior and called Cherokee County Sheriff's Office to look into it.

"My dad was in excellent shape. I showed up one day with my grand babies and we visited with him. He was good and strong," said the victim's son, Gary.

But then...

"My dad turned to the worst. Shaking like a rag, like he had some type of Parkinson's disease. He had all of the wrong medicines in his system, not functional and couldn't think for himself. She was running the show," Gary added.

That's when they asked for help. "Please pull my father from this. Pull him away and do an evaluation to where it's safe to be back around these people. I believe that this lady could probably murder my father," Gary said he told authorities.

However, the sheriff says, as far as his department could tell, Jerry Barker was all right.
"We had been called to the house and to the store in Dialville. But he was evaluated and was released," Sheriff James Campbell said.

Now, a day after his father's death, Jerry Michael Barker says his premonition about Rebecca was right. "I believe that this lady could murder my father. Well...she did murder my father."

In October of 2013, Jerry Barker gave power of attorney to his wife Rebecca Barker and Tammy Reil, who is not a relative of the family. With that in place, the victim's sons do not have access to the family home, assets or the ability to make funeral arrangements.

[“Victim's sons say they feared Rebecca Barker would harm their father,” KLTV (Tyler, Tx.), Feb. 27, 2014]

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FULL TEXT (Article 2 of 3): Cherokee County, Tx (KLTV) - We've learned more about an East Texas woman who allegedly shot two of her husbands. Rebecca Barker, 52, is charged with first degree murder for killing her husband, Jerry Barker, in February.

Police said Mrs. Barker shot her husband inside their Cherokee County home. Reports showed that Rebecca Barker was also charged with shooting her ex-husband, John Osborne, in Liberty County in 1996. That husband survived.

We've been looking into Rebecca Barker's past and spoke with the lead detective on that 1996 case who said he thought he'd heard the last of Rebecca Barker.

Even though it happened nearly 18 years ago, Liberty County investigator Ivan Pearce still remembers what he thought when Rebecca Barker, formerly Rebecca Osborne, shot her ex-husband several times.

"I remember, I think, one of the bullets went through the back of the recliner, the back of his neck, and out his jaw. That's the one that really sticks out in my mind," Pearce said. "It was really a miracle he lived through it."

It was late at night, he told us.

"The shooter was outside shooting in," he explained. And her ex-husband was "sitting in the recliner in the living room area."

Cherokee County investigators say Jerry Barker was also found in the living room. That shooting left Jerry Barker's sons wondering why Rebecca hadn't been locked up longer. Pearce said the first victim, John Osborne, was adamant that she not go to jail.

"After she got indicted Mr. Osborne did not want her to go to prison. He wanted her prosecuted, but he did not want her to go to prison," he said. "I just think he wanted her to get some help and he didn't want her to go to prison."

Help, he said, for alcohol abuse.

"She did have to do 6 months in jail and, I think, she was ordered to go to anger management, drug and alcohol treatment and psychological counseling."

She violated that probation in 2004. What caused her to shoot her first husband Pearce isn't quite sure, but he said they were separated and had marital problems.

"I was surprised somebody would do this, but, you know, you don't know what goes through people's minds," he said.

And he's surprised all over again.

Ivan Pearce also said he remembers there was a daughter at the home at the time in 1996 when Rebecca shot her ex-husband.

Rebecca Barker is being held on $500,000 dollars bond in the Cherokee County jail.

[“Man who investigated Rebecca Barker's shooting of first husband 'surprised all over again’.” CBS 46 (Atlanta, Ga.), May 12, 2014]

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FULL TEXT (Article 3 of 3): Update: Rusk, Tx. (KYTX) – A Cherokee County jury has sentenced Rebecca Barker to life in prison, and a $10,000 fine.

Barker who was convicted of shooting and killing her husband had nothing to say when the sentence was handed down Friday [Nov. 14] morning.

The jury deliberated for about 30 minutes before reaching a decision.

Both sides have rested in the sentencing trial for convicted murderer Rebecca Barker.

She pleaded guilty last month to shooting and killing her husband back in February.

The prosecution opened day two with more than an hour of police interrogation interviews with Barker, taken in the days following her arrest for killing her 76-year-old husband, Jerry.

Barker broke down in the courtroom as she watched the video -- in which she admits to the murder -- telling police he quote "pushed me to my limit."

The defense spent the day seemingly hoping to paint Barker as an abused wife who made a bad decision when she pulled that trigger.

Barker's friend, Shevie Poston testified that she saw her with black eyes about a month before Jerry's murder, but the State argued against that claim.

Other witnesses, though, testified that they never saw any signs of trouble between the couple.

And several witnesses testified about an accident Jerry apparently had years ago that plagued him until his death, leaving him physically unable to lift his arms, perhaps planting some doubt in the juror's minds about those abuse allegations.

The sentencing trial continues Friday, and the jury is expected to hear closing arguments.
Barker could spend the rest of her life in prison.

[Dave Goldman, “Update: Life in prison for Cherokee Co. woman convicted of killing her husband.” CBS 19, Nov. 14, 2014]

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CHRONOLGY
1996 – John Osborne, dies. Shot.
Sep. 1996 – Rebecca Lynn Osborne, was indicted for the attempted murder of her then-husband, John Osborne.
Feb. 26, 2014 – Jerry Barker (76), dies. Shot.
Feb. 27, 2014 – She was arraigned and is currently incarcerated in the Cherokee County Jail on a $500,000 bond set by Cherokee County Pct. 1 Judge Brenda Dominy.
Nov. 14, 2014 – Convicted A Cherokee County jury has sentenced Rebecca Barker to life in prison, and a $10,000 fine.

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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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