Sunday, July 31, 2016

Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong, Serial Killer, Bomb-Murderss – Pennsylvania, 2003

Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong, of Erie, Pennsylvania, killed three men – two boyfriends and a robbery co-conspirator – from 1988 through 2003 and plotted to kill a fourth, her 88-year-old father. Another suspicious death, that of husband Richard Armstrong, who died from a head injury in 1984, may also have been a murder.

“Diehl-Armstrong, 58, was the valedictorian of her high school class, but her trial in Roden's death showed that her life since was full of severe mental problems, including bipolar disorder and schizophrenia – and a deep hatred of men.” [Jennifer C. Yates, “Collar-Bomb Suspect Has Troubled Past,” The Washington Post (D. C.),  July 13, 2007]


Robert Thomas Killing

Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong “first drew public attention in 1984 when, at 35, she was charged with murdering her boyfriend, Robert Thomas. Diehl-Armstrong claimed she shot him six times in self-defense, and a jury eventually acquitted her.” [Rich Schapiro, “The Incredible True Story of the Collar Bomb Heist,” Wired, Dec. 27, 2010]

Richard Armstrong Death

“Four years later [1988], her husband, Richard Armstrong, died of a cerebral hemorrhage. The death was ruled accidental, but questions lingered; Armstrong had a head injury when he arrived at the hospital, but the case was never forwarded to the coroner’s office.” [Rich Schapiro, “The Incredible True Story of the Collar Bomb Heist,” Wired, Dec. 27, 2010]


Brian Wells Murder

“Brian Douglas Wells (November 15, 1956 – August 28, 2003) was an American pizza delivery man who was killed by a remotely controlled bomb fastened to his neck, under coercion from the maker of the bomb. After he was apprehended by the police for robbing a bank, the bomb was detonated. The bizarre affair was subject to much attention in the mass media. In a July 2007 indictment, federal prosecutors alleged that Wells had been involved in the planning of the botched crime. Two of his alleged conspirators, Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong and Kenneth Barnes, were indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of bank robbery, conspiracy, and weapons charges. Kenneth Barnes subsequently pleaded guilty in September 2008 and largely confirmed that Wells was indeed involved in planning the robbery but also revealed Wells was under the impression an actual bomb would not be used. When he discovered the bomb was real, Barnes said a pistol was fired in order to force Wells' compliance, and witnesses confirmed hearing a gunshot. On December 4, 2008, U.S. District Judge Sean J. McLaughlin sentenced Barnes to 45 years in federal prison for his role in the bank robbery and use of a destructive device during a crime of violence. On November 1, 2010, Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong was found guilty of participating in the crime, and was sentenced to life plus 30 years on February 28, 2011.” [Wikipedia]

Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong had killed two other men previous to the Wells murder.


James Roden murder
“In 2005, Diehl-Armstrong pleaded guilty but mentally ill to murdering [James] Roden on or around Aug. 13, 2003, about two weeks before Wells' death. His body was found in a freezer at the home of another former boyfriend, William Rothstein, after he tipped off police in September 2003.” [Jennifer C. Yates, “Collar-Bomb Suspect Has Troubled Past,” The Washington Post (D. C.),  July 13, 2007]

Harold Diehl murder plot

A primary motive of Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong for the robbery in which Wells died was to raise money to be spent on a plot to murder her 88-year-old father Howard Diehl in order to gain a substantial inheritance. Majorie had estimated her father’s net worth to be about $1.8 million. It was less, though, about $1 million. Harold Albert Diehl, age 95, passed away on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at the Pennsylvania Soldiers and Sailors Home in Erie.


1988 – killed Robert Thomas, boyfriend; claimed she was abused; “She was acquitted of homicide in 1988 and put on probation for carrying a firearm without a license.”
Aug. 13, 2003 – boyfriend, James Roden, murdered; body in freezer.
Aug. 28, 2003 – Brian Douglas Wells through a collar bomb.
2003 – “planned the robbery because she needed cash for a hit-man to kill her father,” Harold Diehl (88).
2005 – sentenced to 30 years for murder of Roden; guilty but insane plea.
2011 – sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years, murder of Wells.









For similar cases, see: Female Serial Killer Bandits


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


Francisca Ballesteros: Spanish Serial Killer – 2004

Wikipedia: Francisca Ballesteros (born 1969) is a Spanish serial killer who between 1990 and 2004 killed her two daughters and her husband and attempted to kill her son. Francisca Ballesteros was born in Valencia. A few years later, she moved to Melilla. After marrying Antonio González Barribino, Ballesteros gave birth to a girl named Florinda. In 1990, Ballesteros suffered from postpartum depression and wanted to end her marriage, but she finally desisted. She decided to kill her family and flee to Valencia.

Ballesteros poisoned Florinda, who was only five months old, with Colme, a drug used to treat alcoholism. After the death of the baby, Ballesteros decided to wait to kill the rest of her family. In 2004, 14 years after murdering her daughter, Ballesteros, who had met many men through Internet, decided to kill the rest of her family, flee to the city where one of the men that she had met online was living, and marry him.

On 12 January 2004 Ballesteros killed her husband Antonio González Barribino with Colme and with the sedatives Zolpidem and Bromazepam. On 4 June 2004, Ballesteros killed her daughter Sandra with the same medications and attempted to kill her 12-year old son Antonio, who was admitted to the hospital with poisoning on June 4, 2004. The autopsy, of her daughter Sandra, revealed that she had been poisoned. On June 7, 2004 Ballesteros was arrested and confessed to the murders.

On September 26, 2005, Francisca Ballesteros was sentenced to a term of 84 years in prison.


Saturday, July 30, 2016

Timea Faludi: Prolific Serial Killer Nurse – 2001, Hungary

Timea Faludi (Faludi Tímea), a nurse at Gyula Nviro Hospital in Budapest, when she was arrested for murdering dozens of terminally ill patients for “mercy,” as she later claimed.

She had joined the staff in 1994 and earned the nickname “Black Angel” because of her choice of clothing. Euthanasia is illegal in Hungary. After arrest she admitted to police that, between May 2000 through February 2001, she had killed at least 40 patients, by injecting them intravenously with overdoses of pain killers. At the hospital nurses were not permitted to perform intravenous injections. She later retracted her confession and at trial admitted killing eight patients but claimed she was merely trying to relieve the patients’ suffering.

Other staff members noticed that deaths had been coinciding with Faludi’s shifts; and when a colleague observed her giving an injection to a patient she was reported to the police. At the trial the court psychiatrist testified that the nurse possessed a "well-developed ability to empathise, while internally she felt she was God". The judge when giving the verdict stated that “she alternately put herself in the place of the doctor or in that of the patient and took decisions instead of them." Faludi joined the hospital staff in 1994. On December 2, 2002 she was sentenced to 9 years in prison.


May 2000 – Feb. 2001 – dates of murders. Gyala Nviro Hospital, Budapest.
Feb. 19, 2001 – arrested.
Dec. 2, 2002 Sentenced, in final augmented judgment, to 11 years in prison.
Jun. 2009 – Released from prison for exemplary behavior. 



For more cases, see Sicko Nurses


Oiane Errazqun Galdos, Basque Serial Killer – 2001, Spain

Oiane Errazqun Galdos (27), member of the militant Basque separatist group ETA’s (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna; “Basque Country and Freedom”) lethal Donosti cell operating in the San Sebastian district, was arrested along with a male member – Jose Ignacio Krutxaga Elezkano (37) – on January 11, 2001 in Barcelona while driving a car filled with 40 pounds of explosives. The pair were among Spain’s most wanted terrorist and were regarded as responsible for a series of politically motivated murders. A pistol was captured from Krutxaga that is thought to be the weapon used in three separate earlier attacks in Barcelona.

[Europa Press, “Errazkin perteneció al ‘comando Donosti’; Huyó tras el asesinato del funcionario de prisiones Gómez Elosegui,” El Mundo (Spain), 23 de Septiembre de 2001]


Brookey Lee West, Serial Killer – Nevada, 1998

“The Social Security Witch Serial Killer?” Maybe.

According to Clark County prosecutor Scott Mitchell, "She had a history, along with her father, of trying to eliminate people when they got in their way. Once you showed yourself to be in opposition to anything Brookey Lee West wanted to do, your life was in danger."

Brookey Lee West is imprisoned for one murder though ghe is suspected of three. She was convicted of killing her mother and is suspected of having murdered her homeless brother, Travis Lee Smith Jr.,  who like her mother “disappeared,” but whose body, unlike the mother was never found, as well as her husband in 1994, less than two months following their marriage. Brookey attempted to claim Social Security benefit checks for missing brother Travis. The bullet-riddled body of the husband, Howard Simon St. John (36) of San Jose was found, June 6, 1994. Brookey was responsible for torching St. John’s Jaguar in order to collect insurance.

In May 1994 when living in Los Banos, Nevada, Brookey was arrested for investigation of spousal abuse, assault with a firearm and for being a felon in possession of a firearm. They charged her with assaulting her husband with a .32 handgun, but on May 25 the prosecutor dropped the charges and released her. Two weeks later he was shot to death.

In 1996 as Brookey’s father, Leroy Smith, was dying of cancer, Brookey zapped his wife Diane Smith in the neck with a stun gun in an apparent attempt to kill her.

In 1998 West’s elderly 65-year-old mother Christine Smith vanished. Three years later, on February 5, 2001, the body was found in a trash can in a storage unit. Next to the can were found books on satanism and witchcraft. Prosecutors claimed the motive was to collect the woman’s $1,000 Social Security checks.

Brookley was arrested Sept. 8, 2001 and was convicted and sentenced to like in prison.

On July 20, 2012 Brookey attempted to escape Florence McClure Women's Correctional Center by was captured. [R St E]


1993 – Travis Lee Smith Jr.; brother, disappeared; possibly murdered.
Jun. 1994 – Howard Simon St. John; husband; shot; attempted murder; followed by success.
1996 – Diane Smith; sister, possible attempted murder with stun gun.
Feb. 1998 – Christine Smith; mother. 68; body discovered Feb. 5, 2001.

BLW arrested Feb. 8, 2001.


[Chellie Cervone, “Brookey West attempts prison escape,” Las Vegas World News (Nv.), Jul. 20, 2012]
[Brian Haynes, “Three years of research and writing by R-J writer Glenn Puit yield book on the bizarre life of murderer Brookey Lee West,” Dec. 4, 2005]
[Book: Glenn Puit, Witch: The True Story of Las Vegas’s Most Notorious Serial Killer, Berkley True Crime, 2005]
[Kim Smith, “Police search for brother of woman accused in killing, Las Vegas Sun (Nv),  June 12, 2001]
[D.C. Spencer, Body in Nev. turns attention to Tulare Cty.” The Porterville Recorder  (Nv.), Feb. 24, 2001]
[Lawrence Mower, “Murderer attempts escape from women's prison in North Las Vegas,” Las Vegas Review-Journal (Nv.), July 20, 2012]





Thursday, July 28, 2016

Poems & Songs About Female Serial Killers

Barfield, Velma – Lumberton, North Carolina, USA – 1978

Jonathan Byrd’s song “Velma” from his Wildflowers album (2001, Waterbug Records) gives a personal account of the murders and investigation.

Bejarano, Guadalupe Martinez de – Mexico City, Mexico – 1892

Broadside ballad.

Brinvilliers, Marquise de – Paris, France  1676

Broadside ballad.

Chesham, Sarah – Clavering, near Chelmsford, England – 1847 

Broadside ballad. “Sarah Chesham’s Lamentation.” (also titled: “Execution of Sarah Chesham”)

“Copenhagen Baby Farm Couple” – Copenhagen, Denmark – 1860

Broadside ballad.

Compton, Mary, Mary Compton the Younger, Ann David – Poplar, London, England – 1693

Broadside ballad.

Cotton, Mary Ann – West Auckland, England – 1873

Anonymous nursery rhyme.

Dazley, Sarah – Bedford, England – 1843

Broadside ballad.

Eccles, Elizabeth – Bolton, England – 1843

Ballad in pamphlet.

Gunness, Belle – LaPorte, Indiana, USA – 1908 

Anonymous song.

Jäger, Margarete (Jaeger, Joyer) – Mentz, Swabia (Germany) – 1835

Broadside ballad.

Ret, Marie – Paris, France – 1897

Poem by Aristide Bruant.

Sherman, Lydia – New Haven, Connecticut, USA – 1871

Popular poem. “Lydia Sherman is plagued with rats. …”

Weber, Jeanne – Paris, France – 1908

Broadside poem: “La grande complainte de Marius Réty”

Wilson, Catherine – London, England – 1862

Broadside ballad.

1872 – Wilhelmine Woltmann – Stade, Germany
A broadside ballad: Wilhelminia Woltmann, 1872, pub. By Kahlbrock, Hamburg; reproduced as No. 20 in Leander Petzoldt (ed.), Deutsche Volksagen, 1968, Beck, Munich.