Saturday, October 22, 2011

Ivanova Tamarin, Murder-Coaching Mom Serial Killer - 1909, Russia

It has recently been found that the German newspaper articles appear in June 1912 in Germany are reprints of an article that appeared originally in 1909. [Neues Wiener Journal 1. Mai 1909, p. 9]


FULL TEXT: St. Petersburg, July 20. – A real live ogress with a desperate desire for flesh and blood, having a daughter similarly depraved and numerous cannibal retainers, has just been seized at Kurdla [Kurdino village, Novaya Lagoda, Russia].

People remarked that numerous men and women, decoyed to the house of Ivanova Tamarin and her 17 year old daughter, Olga, were never seen returning. The discovery in a neighboring wood of corpses, mutilated beyond recognition, led to the house being surrounded by a force of gendarmes under Colonel Vassiteff.


Ivanova and her daughter were secured after violent resistance, and a search of the premises resulted in the discovery of 27 corpses in a storehouse, as well as a great number of watches, purses and other articles of value, and a quantity of male and female garments.

The eating room of the house was furnished with a trap door, through which the victims were precipitated into the cellar. In the cellar murderous instruments and fetters of all sorts were found.

The women confessed to being at the head of a band which, during recent months, had robbed and murdered 40 people who had been decoyed to the house by Olga, and mentioned thirty other peasants belonging to the band, who were also arrested, while nine others escaped.

[George Fraser, “Woman And Her Daughter Slay Twenty-Seven - Horrible Discovery in Forest Is Clew to Bloody Carnival of Murder Fiendish Trap Laid by Ogresses; Victims Mutilated Past All Recognition,” The San Francisco Call (Ca.), Jul. 21, 1912, p. 49]


FULL TEXT (translated from German): According to reports from Petersburg, the "American Murder Farm" [1908  Gunness case, Indiana] papers at that time, has been greatly surpassed by the murder cave of a Russian peasant woman named Olga Ivanova Tamarin.

In the village of Kurdino, in the province of Novaja Ladoga, the farmstead of the old peasant woman Tamarin, who lived here with her young daughter Olga, very often had middle-aged men and young men who were never seen again afterwards. It was known that the farmer's wife had a respectable field and house, as well as a considerable amount of money.

It had been rumored for a long time that old Tamarina understood how to take all visitors around the corner in some way and to take possession of the money that had been carried. The care was made by the following incident to the certainty. In recent months, repeated finds of corpses that bore visible signs of violent death have sent the county police of Novaya Ladoga on the move. Many mysterious bodies were found near the village of Kurdino. A few days ago, on the banks of a creek, the body of a young man was again found disfigured: the man’s cheeks had been cut out and the chin had been cut off. After much effort, the police were able to establish that it was the corpse of the missing Abdul Haligulin, a wealthy merchant who last had stayed in Kurdino, where it is certain he was overpowered by the widow Tamarin.

Her exposure unfolded like a real-life Sherlock Holmes story. A secret policeman named Vasilyev disguised herself as a woman begging in the courtyards. He succeeded in penetrating into the homestead of the peasant woman Tamarin, where a terrible odor of corpses, which came from a locked storage, put him on the track.

No sooner did old Tamarin see the detective, who was disguised as a beggarwoman, she and her daughter tried to kill him. Only his swift escape saved him. The old shrew an ax at him that was later found stuck in the wooden wall of the store. The detective soon back to arrest Tamarin. After some brief resistance, the farmer's wife and her daughter were overwhelmed and placed in shackles.

The house was then inspected and a terrible discovery was made. There were still 27 corpses of men in the storeroom, all had been murdered by the two horrible women. Furthermore, a mass of valuable treasures, jewels, purses, rings, goods, men's clothes and other objects of value were found in the homestead. In the dining room was a  trap-door, through which the unsuspecting visitors were dropped down into the cellar. In addition, weapons of all kinds, murder tools of terrible shape, and fetters were found here. It seems as if the woman had a great deal of complicity in the village with the dreadful work. A total of 21 farmers suspected of complicity, were arrested and taken to prison. The investigation should bring forth much more gruesome details that are as yet unimaginable.

[“Murder Factory. A man trap in a Russian village. - Twenty-seven bodies in the barn. - Women at the head of a murder organization.” Czernowitzer Allgemeine Zeitung (Vienna, Austria), 23. Juni 1912, p. 3]


FULL TEXT (translated from German): The Russian police have made terrible discovery in a village on Lake Ladoga. She has found a veritable pit of murder in which from time immemorial the most gruesome crimes could happen, without anyone having had any suspicion. Away from the village is a the half-decaying house owned by the farmwoman Tamarin in which she lives with her daughter Olga. Frequently villagers saw men enter this house, but they did not leave. But they did not worry about it and told themselves that they had just quit the premises in an unguarded moment.

In the nearby woods men's corpses were found, more and more as time passed. And there were some such grisly finds again later. . . . At last, suspicion was aroused, and the widow's house underwent a thorough investigation, which, however, produced a terrible result: in the storeroom alone, 27 male bodies were found. There was money and jewelery in the house, all originating from robbery. They also discovered a trapdoor that led into a deep cellar that broke their necks and limbs. There was a collection of murder tools in the cellar below. The two arrested women confessed that they had about thirty accomplices in the village; that they were only members of a big gang. The police made numerous arrests, forty men having had been murdered in the last few months alone. . . . One reads this like a chapter from a book of faith – as if  this report was brought from the killer pit not by news distributor but by the telegraph messenger – that they are bare facts still possible in the darkest Russia.

[“Out of extraordinary Russia.” (Aus dem allersiustersten Russland.) Feldkircher Anzeiger (Vienna, Austria), June 29, 1912, p. 1]


FULL TEXT (Translated from Hungarian): St. Petersburg, May 6 – In the village of Kuddin (Ladoga Governorate), the Gendarmerie today arrested an old woman named Tamarin and her daughter who had killed at least 130 men.

The beautiful girl in her neighboring villages preached through her acquaintances that she wanted to get married and they sent men to marry her.

Almost every day a man came to the house at the end of the village, and none left the house alive.

Finally, the matter aroused suspicion and the police began to search.

Today, gendarmes broke into Mrs. Tamarin's house and the two women defended themselves with a revolver.

It was very difficult to render them harmless.

Buried under a hay stack and buried in the barn, 127 heavily decomposed male corpses were found.

[“The killers of 130 men.” (“130 férfi gyilkosai.”), Friss Ujság (Budapest, Hungary), May 7, 1909, p. 3]


FULL TEXT: Die Russische Gendarmie hat in einem Dorfe am Ladoasee fürchterliche Entdeckung gemacht. Sie hat eine regelrechte Mordgrube gefunden, in der seit undenklicher Zeit die grauenvollsten Verbrechen geschehen konnten, ohne dass man davon eine Abnung gehabt hätte. Abseits vom Dorfe Steht ein der Bäuerin Tamarin gehöriges halbverfallens Haus, in dem sie mit ihrer Tochter Olga haust. Oft sahen Dorfbewohner Männer in dies Haus eintreten, die es aber nicht mehr verliessen.Man machte sich indes darüber keine Gedanken und sagte sich, dass sie ihren Austritt eben in einem unbewachten Augenblick vollzogen hatten.

Da wurden in nahen Walde Männerleichen ausgefunden; gleich mehere aus einmal. Und solcher grausiger Funde gab es später wieder einige . . . Endlich sa öpfte man Verdacht und unterzog das Haus der Witwe einer gründlichen Untersuchung, die allerdings ein grauenvolles Resultat zeiligte: aus dem Speicher allein wurden 27 Männerleichen gefunden. Im Hause fand sich Geld und Schmuck vor. Alles vom Raube herrührend. Ferner entdeckte man eine Falltür, die in einem tiefen Keller führte, in den die so den Hals und die Glieder brachen. In Keller selbst war eine Sammlung von Mordwerkzeugen ausgestavelt. Die beiden verhafteten Frauen gestanden, dass sie etwa Dreissig Komplizen im Dorfe hätten; dass sie nur Mitglieder einer grossen Bande seien. Die Gendarmerie nahm zahlreiche Verhaftungen vor, nachdem in den letsten Monaten allein über vierzig Männer ermordet worden waren . . . Man liest dies wie ein Kapitel aus einem ganz glauben, dass dieser Bericht von der Mördergrube nicht vom Kolporteur sondern vom Telegraphenboten ins Haus gebracht ward, dass es sich um nackte Tatsachen handelt, die noch möglich sind im allerfinstersten Russland.

[Aus dem allersiustersten Russland. Feldkircher Anzeiger (Vienna, Austria), 29. Juni 1912, p. 1]


FULL TEXT: Die “amerikanische Mordfarm”, von der seinerzeit die Blätter berichteten, ist, wie aus Petersburg berichtet wird, durch die Mörderhöhle einer russischen Bäuerin, namens Olga Ivanowa Tamarin, beiweitem übertrossen worden.

In Dorfe Kurdino, im Gouvernement Nowaja Ladoga, kamen auf das Gehöft der alten Bäuerin Tamarin, die hier mit ihrer jubgen Tochter Olga wohnte, sehr oft Männer in mittleren Jahren und Jünglinge, die man nicht mehr zurückfehren sah. Es war bekannt, dass die Bäuerin über einen ansehnlichen Hof und ein Haus, sowie über ein beträchtliches Bergmögen verflügte.

Man munkelte schon lange, dass die alte Tamarina es verstehe, alle Besucher auf irgend eine Weife um die Ecke zu bringen und sich des Geldes, das sei bei sich trugen, zu bemächtigen. Der Bedacht wurde durch folgendes Vorkommnis zur Gewissheit. In den letzten Monaten hatten widerholte Funde von Leichen, die fichtbare Kennzeichen eines gewaltsamen Todes auswiesen, die Kreispolizei von Nowaja Ladoga in Bewegung gesisst. Besonders viele rätselhafte Leichen wurden in der Nähe des Dorfes Kurdino gefunden. Vor einigen Tagen fand man wieder an den Ufern eines Baches die Leibe eines jungen Mannes, die dadurch unkenntlich gemacht worden war, dass ihr die Wangen ausgeschnitten und das Kinn abgehact war. Nach vielen Mühen es der Polizei, sestzustellen, dass es die Leiche des verschwundenen, sehr reichen, Kaufmannes Abdul Haligulin war, der zuletzt in Kurdino sich ausgehalten hatte, wo er dei Witwe Tamarin überwältigt beinahe zur Gewissheit.

Ihre Entlarvung erfolgte durch eine wahrhafte Sherlock Holmes-Geschichte. EinGeheimpolizist namens Wassiljew verkleidete sich als Frau, die aus den Höfen bettelt. Es gelang ihm, in das Gehöft der Bäuerin Tamarin einzudringen, wo ihn ein furchtbarer Leichengeruch, der aus einem verschlossen Speicher kam, aus die Spur brachte.

Kaum sah die alte Tamarin die Bettlerin, als sowohl sie wie ihre Tochter aus den verkleideten Detektiv eindrangen, um ihn zu ermorden. Nur die schleunigste Flucht rettete ihn. Von der alten Magäre wurde ihm ein Beil nachgeworfen, das man noch später in der Holzwand des Speichers stecken fand. Der Detektiv stiess bald aus der Tamarin vorging. Nach kurzer Gegenwehr wurden die Bäuerin und ihre Tochter überwältigt und in Fesseln gelegt.

Daraufhin wurde das Haus untersucht, wobei man eine entsetzliche Entdeckung machte. In dem Speicher fand man noch 27 Leichen von Männern, die alle von den beiden scheusslichen Weibern ermordet worden waren. Es wurden in dem Gehöft fernerhin noch eine Unmasse der grössten Kostbarkeiten, Juwelen, Geldbörsen, Ringe, Waren, Männerkleider und andere Gegenstände von Wert gesunden. In dem Speisezimmer befand sich eine regelrechte Fallgrube durch die die ahnungslosen Besucher in den Keller hinabgestürzt wurden. Es wurden ausserdem hier Waffen aller Art, Mordwerkzeuge fürchterlicher Form und Fesseln gefunden. Es hat den Anschein, als ob das Weib im Dorfe sehr viele Mitschuldige hatte, die sich an dem grässlichen Werke beteiligten. Insgesamt wurden 21 Bauern verhaftet und als der Mitschuld dringend verdächtig, ins Gefängnis geführt. Die Untersuchung dürste noch viel grauenhaftere Einzelheiten zutage sördern, von denen man bisher nichts ahnt.

[Mordindustrie. Eine Männerfalle in einem russischen Dorfe. – Siebenundzwanzig Leichen in der Schenne. – Weiber an der Spitze einer Mörderorganisation. Czernowitzer Allgemeine Zeitung (Vienna, Austria), 23. Juni 1912, p. 3]


FULL TEXT (Translated from Hungarian): Pétervár, május 6. (A Friss Újság távirata.) Kuddin faluban (Ladoga- kormámyzóság) a csendörség ma letartóztatott egy Tamarin nevű öreg asszonyt leányával együtt, akik közösen legalább 130 férfit öltek meg.

A csodaszép leány a szomszédos falvaikban ismerősei által hiresztelte, hogy férjhez szeretne menni s azok házasulandó férfiakat küldtek htozzájuk.

Majdnem minden nap jött egy-egy férfi és soha élve egy sem ment el a falu végén fekvő házból.

Végre is gyanút keltett a dolog és a rendőrség kutatni kezdett.

Ma csendőrök törtek Tamarinné házába s a két nő revolverrel védekezett.

Nagy nehezen sikerült őket ártalmatlanná tenni.

Egy szénbagolya alatt és a csürben elföldelve 127 erősen feloszlott férfiholttestet találtak.

[“130 férfi gyilkosai.” Friss Ujság (Budapest, Hungary), May 7, 1909, p. 3]








For similar cases, see: Female Serial Killer Bandits


For similar cases, see Murder-Coaching Moms


For more cases see: Cannibal Murderesses


More cases: Youthful Borgias: Girls Who Commit Murder

[8558-11/3/18; 8630-12/23/18; 10,092-9/29/22]

Monday, October 17, 2011

Earliest Known Cesarean Kidnapping: Winifred Ransom, Perp / Margaret Sweeney, Victim – Pennsylvania 1974

There are 24 known Cesarean Kidnapping cases, 25 if we include the institutional cases of the 1976-1983 Argentinian “Dirty War.”


FULL TEXT (Article 1 of 4): Philadelphia – A West Philadelphia woman has been charged with murdering the mother of an abandoned infant girl. Police said Margaret Sweeney, 26, had been hacked and shot to death, then buried in a shallow grave after giving birth to another baby by Caesarean section.

Detectives said Winifred Ransom, 36, allegedly struck Mrs. Sweeney at least 20 times with a hatchet and snot her three times. She is charged with murder, conspiracy; possessing an instrument of crime and recklessly endangering another person, police said.

Police had been searching for Mrs. Sweeney since Thursday, when her 18-month old daughter Tammey was found abandoned in a station wagon in north Philadelphia. Mrs. Sweeney’s two other children live with her father, William Griffith, in Nesco, N.J.

A newborn baby was found upstairs in Mrs. Ransom’s home. Police said Mrs. Ransom knocked Mrs. Sweeney unconscious while she was visiting at the Ransom home. She performed a Caesarian section on Mrs. Sweeney, apparently because she could have no children of her own and “wanted a baby badly,” police said.

When the pregnant woman regained consciousness during the operation, Mrs. Ransom struck her with the hatchet and fired the shots, officers said. According to police, Mrs. Ransom then buried the dead woman beneath the floor boards of her kitchen shed.

Police said they were alerted to the murder by Mrs. Ransom’s common law husband, John, 40, Saturday afternoon. Detectives said they found the body wrapped in a white sheet inside a plastic bag. A hatchet was also found in the kitchen, they said.

[“Mother hacked and shot; Baby born amid murder,” Delaware County Daily Times (Chester, Pa.), Nov. 18, 1974, p. 2]


FULL TEXT (Article 2 of 4): Winifred Ransom, 37, was sentenced Thursday [Jul. 10] by Common Pleas Court Judge Juanita Kidd Stout to an indeterminate term in the Philadelphia State Hospital at Byberry.

Mrs. Ransom admitted performing the crude Caesarean section on Margaret Sweeney, 26, of Philadelphia and killing her with a hatchet and two shots in the head from a 32-caliber revolver. The premature baby survived and lives with her grandfather, William Griffith of Nesco, N.J.

Psychologist Jan Grossman testified in the nonjury trial that Mrs. Ransom was driven by a psychotic delusion triggered by her inability to have children. As a result, she could not tell right from wrong, Dr. Grossman said.

Mrs. Ransom’s common-law husband, John, testified that his wife told him she bore the child herself and killed Mrs. Sweeney when “she tried to take my baby.” Ransom, who said his conscience bothered him, went to police three days later.

Police found the body last Nov. 16 buried behind the Ransom home [error: it was under kitchen floor].

[“Woman Found Innocent in Bludgeon Death,” Edwardsville Intelligencer (Il.), Jul. 11, 1975, p. 7]


FULL TEXT (article 3 of 4): Psychiatrists have recommended the release of a woman who was committed to a mental hospital 17 months ago for killing a pregnant woman and cutting out her baby.

The district attorney’s office says it is powerless to prevent the hospital from letting the woman go because she was acquitted — on grounds of insanity.

Winifred Ransom, 38, who admitted at her trial that she shot and bludgeoned the woman and removed the baby with a butcher knife, is no longer insane, doctors at Byberry State Hospital said.

Margaret Sweeney, 26, the woman Mrs. Ransom admitted killing, was eight months pregnant at the time of the incident in November 1974. Her infant, a girl, survived and is being raised by relatives. Mrs. Sweeney and her husband were estranged.

Mrs. Ransom was acquitted in July 1975. Psychiatrists testified at her trial that she was driven by a psychotic delusion caused by her inability to bear children.

Common Pleas Court Judge Juanita Kidd Stout committed Mrs. Ransom to Byberry a mental hospital.

Last month, Judge Stout received letters from Dr. Albert Solomon and Dr. Juan Villazon of Byberry, recommending that Mrs. Ransom be released.

The doctors said that Mrs. Ransom remains “schizophrenic” but no longer requires in-patient treatment.

“If you discharge her,” Judge Stout wrote in reply, “she is your responsibility and not mine. I really cannot understand how, in all circumstances of this case, you can recommend discharging Mrs. Ransom to go out into the community and resume normal life.”

The request for release was the third from the hospital. Five months after Mrs. Ransom was committed, doctors asked that she be released for the Christmas holidays in 1975 because her condition had improved considerably, according to court records.

But she had not been declared sane and both the judge and the Philadelphia district attorney denied the request.

Two months later, Dr. George Buck wrote that the woman was “in good condition” and should be transferred to an out-patient facility.

The district attorney’s office also denied that request and wrote that “due to the horrendous nature of the offense... this office seriously questions the advisability of such a recommendation by hospital officials at this early date “

Joseph Murray, chief of the homicide unit of the district attorney’s office, said Thursday that although he was personally “outraged” by the present situation, the district attorney’s office had no power to prevent Mrs. Ransom’s release or to further prosecute her since she has been acquitted of the murder charge.

Doctors involved in the case have not been available for comment.

However, Dr. Anthony Dunfield, a spokesman for Byberry, said “We’re concerned about doing what’s ethically and legally proper. There are civil rights involved ... You can’t lock up a healthy person forever and throw away the key “

[“Doctors ask release of once-insane killer,” syndicated (AP), Corpus Christi Times (Tx.), Jan. 7, 1977, p. 7A]


FULL TEXT (Article 4 of 4): Philadelphia – A woman who performed a caesarean with a butcher knife so that she could have a child of her own has been released after serving 20 months in a state mental hospital.

A spokesman at Byberry State Hospital said Tuesday [Mar. 8, 1977] that doctors were required by law to release Winifred Ransom, 38, at her request after they had determined she was no longer, insane.

Mrs. Ransom admitted shooting Margaret Sweeney to death in November 1974, and using a butcher knife to remove the woman's baby. The baby girl survived and is being raised by relatives.

Psychiatrists testified at Mrs. Ransom's 1975 trial that she was psychotic, out of touch with reality and driven by a delusion related to her inability to bear children.

The doctors said they expected her to be hospitalized for “a long duration.”

But by last December, Dr. Albert Solomon, who was treating Mrs. Ransom, the Byberry Superintendent Franklyn R. Clarke, said she had been cured and could be released.

Since Mrs. Ransom was acquitted because of her mental condition, she cannot face charges in the killing again.

Judge Juanita Kidd Stout, who presided at the trial in Common Pleas Court, call the situation “Really a sad state of affairs.”

[“Woman Who Killed Expectant Mother And Delivered Baby Gets Release,” The
Evening Times (Sayre & Athens, Pa.), Mar. 9, 1977, p. 14]


Dr. Jan C. Grossman, the psychologist who came up with the questionable opinion on Winifred Ransom’s non-culpability in this case in 1974 received his M.A. in psychology from Temple University in 1970 and his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Temple in 1973. He received his Juris Doctorate from Temple in 1990. He is still in practice (2014).


Location – Ransom’s home: Frankford, Pa.
Weapons – .32 revolver (2 bullets), and hatchet (some  later reports: “butcher knife,” “pocket knife”)

ca Nov. 13, 1975 – murder and kidnapping.
Nov. 16, 1975 – body dug up; Ransom arrested.
Jul. 10, 1975 – found not guilty due to insanity; Sentenced to Byberry State Hospital.
Dec.1977 – Dr. Solomon, treating psychiatrist, declares Ransom “cured.”
Mar. 8, 1977 – Date Ransom’s mandatory release was announced. It is not clear whether it was this day that she was in fact set free.









FRONT PAGE: Ronald and Jacqueline Reichman stood in their large, cheery kitchen. A fire smoldered in the huge open fireplace and the pleasant scent of burning wood was spreading.

As the wood crackled and fell, the Reichmans began explaining why they wanted to adopt 18-month-old Tammey [error: "Tammy" is correct] Sweeney, a victim of the kind of urban violence that rarely touches their 200-acre farm in Phoenixville.

“We felt sympathy for all concerned, said Reishman, a 42-year pld land developer, “and we felt sympathy for Tammey, who appears abandoned.”

Tammey was found in a car in North Philadelphia last Thursday. Two days later, the body of her mother, Mrs. Margaret Sweeney, 26, was found in a shallow grave beneath a West Philadelphia home.

She had been hacked and shot to death. And her alleged killer, Mrs. Winifred Ransom, apparently had performed a Caesarean section on the dead woman, delivering a live 5 ½ pound girl.

“I saw Tammey on television several times,” said Mrs.Reichman, 32, “I saw these great big eyes looking at the world,” and suddenly I wanted her to see something better.”

As they talked, 2-year-old Pallas raced through the house. The Reichmans feel Tammey would be a great sister and playmate for their daughter.

Reichman is aware that adoption is not easy.

Welfare officials say they first will try to place Tammey and her unnamed sister in the custody of their natural family. If unsuccessful, an investigation of available adoption application will be conducted “to find a family that suits the children’s needs.”

Mrs. Sweeney’s husband apparently left her two years ago. A friend said her other two children, Michele and Kim, are living with their grandparents in Nesco, N. J.

The newborn is in good condition at Philadelphia General Hospital. Tammey is under medical observation at Hahnemann Hospital.

[Helen Blue, “Tammey [sic] Offered A Home,” Philadelphia Daily News (Pa.), Nov. 20, 1974, P. 3]




Paulyna and Rosa Botello: Cesarean Kidnappers - 1992

What if Women’s Studies courses used cases like this to try to convince students that Marxian feminism was justified in its claims of female moral superiority, female non-violence, and the benefits of sexual liberation? What follows is the saga of single mother Laura Lugo and her run-ins with several other unmarried, independent – and strong – women.

On September 1, 1992 Paulyna and Rosa Botello lured Laura Lugo, 8 ½ months pregnant, across the US/Mexican border to a clinic in Matamoros for what she believed was going to be a routine prenatal exam. All three women were US citizens. Lugo described how once she arrived at the Mexican clinic the doctors sedated her and delivered the baby by Caesarean section against her will. When she awoke she was told that Rosa Botello had taken the baby.

Rosa Botello had befriended her while she was pregnant, steadily trying to persuade her to give the child up for adoption after a sonogram revealed it was a boy. “I said, ‘No. Don’t even think about it.’ I knew that I wanted the baby even more after I found out it was a boy,” said Lugo, who already had three daughters.

The bizarre Lugo case was reported throughout the US, but newspapers made no mention of the baby boy’s father.

Paulyna Botello’s lawyer in her first trial claimed Lugo had volunteered to give up the child due to her financial problems. The story was not believed by the jury. So in later court proceedings to wily Paulyna changed her story and claimed that she herself was the mother of the contested baby.

It would take over a year for Laura to get her son back from the kidnappers. Paulyna Botello was arrested on October 24, 1992 in Mexico on a child-trafficking charge, but the boy was put in the custody of Botello’s relatives. Her sister in crime, Rosa eluded capture. Paulyna was tried for the crime and on February 2, 1993 she was sentenced to three years in prison in Mexico. Laura was still waiting to have her baby boy returned to her. But six weeks later on March 25, 1993 the conviction was overturned based on trial errors and the kidnapper was freed on bond and she fled to the US to avoid retrial.

US officials were willing to arrest the fugitive based on a Mexican extradition warrant, so on June 30, 1994, FBI agents in McAllen, Texas, arrested Paulyna Botello for a second trial. The boy, who Paulyna Botello claims is her natural child, was placed in foster care in Texas. Up to this point Lugo has seen her son in only three brief visits since he was born.

In a Texas court it was proven by DNA tests that the contested child was indeed Lugo’s, so on October 7, 1994, mother and child were finally reunited. Paulyna Botello is deported to Mexico. October 28, 1994. She would not be convicted until June 14 of the following year when she was given a sentence of three years in prison but was allowed the equivalent of a suspended sentence. Before this however, Laura Lugo’s story had taken another dramatic turn.

On December 21, 1993, just eleven weeks after her reunion with her kidnapped boy, Laura had disappeared. On June 4, 1995 unidentified bones were discovered in Brownsville. Police submitted the bones for testing to determine whether they are Ms. Lugo’s remains. On September 29, 1995 police reported that first test results on unidentified skeleton are inconclusive. The bones were submitted for further tests.

Investigation of Lugo’s habits and movements led to the discovery of a “love triangle.” The police had their suspect.

On September 10, 1999 Janet Ramirez was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the murder of Lugo. Ramizerez, unmarried, who was having an affair with a married man named Randall Ledbetter, with whom Razmirez had a child and Lugo was likewise having an affair with him. Her vengeance against her competitor for Ledbetter’s extramarital attentions manifested itself as she posed as Lugo and made threatening calls to Ledbetter's wife. After she was apprehended on suspicion of murdering Lugo, Ramirez claimed that Ledbetter wanted Lugo dead because of the harassing calls and that he hired Roberto Briseno to kill her. The jury did not believe her story and acquitted Ledbetter and Briseno. Razmirez arranged a plea bargain and was sentence to 20 years in prison.[Text by UHoM]







Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Original First Wives’ Clubs

Here is a sample of the sort of “first wives’ clubs” you will find when you explore the collection of “Husband-Killing Syndicates.” Most of these news accounts deal with Eastern European cases. Here is one from Yugoslavia in 1926 called “The Lucretia Club.”


FULL TEXT: Belgrade, Jugoslavia — A club of women poisoners under the guise of a charitable organization with the significant name of “Lucretia” has been raided by the police.

Police asserted that at secret meetings the club members were taught the medieval art of mixing and administering poisons. Six women who were unhappily married were declared thus to have found means of ridding themselves of their husbands. The remains of these were exhumed and in two cases toxicologists have found traces of poison.

Five women of the club were charged with being the ringleaders of the organization and arrested.

[“Club Of Women Poisoners Is Unearthed In Belgrade,” syndicated (AP), The Galveston Daily News (Tx.), Oct. 20, 1926, p. 1]