From 1950 to the early 1960's the Gonzalez sisters, Delfina and Maria, lived on a small ranch in Guanajuato, Mexico. They recruited young women to the ranch by placing help-wanted ads in newspapers. The ads claimed that the sisters were looking to hire maids and promised to pay them very well. Once a girl that fit the sisters qualifications answered the ad the true requirements for the "job" were revealed. Delfina and Maria were madams and they ran a brothel known as the bordello from hell. Girls who resisted were beaten and tortured until they agreed to become prostitutes or died. They were prisoners and any attempt to escape brought dire consequences if they were caught. Many of the girls were forced into drug use in order to wear down their resistance. When they were no longer pleasing to the "Johns" they were disposed of. If they became ill they were clubbed to death. If one of the girls became pregnant, she was hung by her hands and beaten until she lost the baby. If a customer came to the bordello with a lot of cash they too fell victim to the brutality of the sisters.

In 1964, three of the girls managed to escape from the brothel and related their horrific stories to the police. The police planned a raid on the brothel but Delfina and Maria had been tipped off and fled before the police arrived. As they searched the ranch the police uncovered the bodies of 11 men, 80 women, and several infants.

Delfina and Maria were finally captured when they tried to sell their possessions in order to get money to flee the country. They were both found guilty of murder and sentenced to 40 years in a Mexican prison.



The Murder Factory

5/29/2009

In September of 1907, James and Amy Archer bought a house on Prospect Street in Windsor, Connecticut and opened the Archer Home for the Elderly. She claimed that she had received her training at New York's Belleview Hospital and passed herself off as a nurse. Her patients referred to her as "Sister Amy" and described her as a good Christian woman.

Three years after opening up the home, James Archer died at the age of 52. Amy used the proceeds from the life insurance policy she took out on him weeks earlier to continue running the home.

Amy met a wealthy widow named Michael Gilligan, who not only expressed an interest in her but also investing in her nursing home. They were married on November 25, 1913. Three months later Michael Gilligan died of what was determined to be by the coroner, natural causes. Fortunately for Amy Archer-Gilligan, not before he named her as sole beneficiary of his estate.

Sister Amy offered her patients a proposition that was too good to pass up and many jumped at the chance. They would pay a $1000 insurance premium up front which guaranteed them lifetime care, no matter how long they lived.

Between 1911 and 1916 there were 48 deaths at Archer Home. Far above the annual average for this type of facility, which was said to be around 8 to 10. In each case, Sister Amy would explain to the local medical examiner, Dr. Howard Frost King, that their deaths were due to old age. He signed off on each death certificate without question.

Franklin Andrews was one of the patient's who had agreed to the lifetime care contract. He moved into the Archer Home in September of 1912. He was in seemingly good health until the morning of May 30, 1914 when he woke up with a severe stomach ailment and by 11 pm he was dead. In his personal effects that were sent to his sister, Mrs Nellie Pierce, was a letter to Andrews from Sister Amy. In it she had requested a sizable loan from him in order to pay bills left by her late husband. Mrs. Pierce had discovered that shortly before his death, Andrews had withdrawn $500 from his bank and given the money to Sister Amy.

Her suspicions about the circumstances surrounding her brother's death would lead to a yearlong investigation by the authorities.

On May 2, 1916, Franklin Andrews body was exhumed in order to perform an autopsy. Tests of his organs revealed enough arsenic to kill at least three men. Amy Archer-Gilligan was arrested for the first-degree murder of Franklin Andrews on May 8,1916.

The findings of Andrews autopsy led to the exhumation of four more bodies; her second husband Michael Gilligan and three of her patients - Charles Smith, Alice Gowdy, and Maud Lynch. All but one of them had arsenic in their system. Mrs Lynch had been poisoned by strychnine.

Sister Amy went on trial for Andrews murder in June of 1917. She was found guilty and sentenced to hang. On April 30, 1918, Sister Amy was granted a new trial after her attorney successfully argued that the prosecution should not have been allowed to introduce in to evidence the poisoning deaths of other individuals besides Andrews.

During her second trial, Amy Archer-Gilligan agreed to plead guilty to second-degree murder. She was sentenced to life to be served at Wethersfield Prison. She was later transferred to Connecticut Hospital for the insane where she died in 1962, at the age of 94.



Lowell Lee Andrews

5/28/2009

Lowell Lee Andrews was described as "the nicest boy in Wolcott", but on November 30, 1962 he would become one of the last inmates to be executed in the state of Kansas.

Andrews was an 18-year-old Zoology major at Kansas University. He played the bassoon in the university band. He was shy and unassuming, wore horn-rimmed glasses and weighed a little over 260 pounds.

On November 28, 1958, Thanksgiving holiday weekend, Andrews was at home with his parents, William and Opal, and his sister, Jennie Marie. His parents and sister were watching television in the living room. Lowell Lee was upstairs in his bedroom reading the last chapter of The Brothers Karamazov. When he finished reading the book, Lowell went in to the bathroom to shave, returned to his room, put on his best suit and then loaded both a semi-automatic .22-caliber rifle and a Ruger .22-caliber revolver. He holstered the revolver and carried the rifle to the darkened living room where his parents and sister were sitting illuminated only by the light coming from the television screen. He turned on a light and opened fire with his rifle. His first shot caught his sister Jennie right between the eyes, killing her instantly. He shot his mother three times and his father twice. His mother moved towards him trying to speak. Lowell calmly told her to shut up and shot her three more times. His father, still alive, attempted to crawl towards the kitchen. Lowell walked up to him, removed the revolver from the holster and shot all of the rounds into his father. He reloaded the revolver and again emptied it into his father. Mr. Andrews was shot a total of 17 times.

Lowell attempted to stage the scene as a burglary/homicide. Then to establish an alibi he drove back to his dormitory room to collect his typewriter and then drove to the Granada movie theater and watched a movie, "Mardi Gras." After the movie he drove back to Wolcott. Along the way he stopped on the Massachusetts bridge to dismantle the guns and drop the parts into the Kansas river.

After he arrived back at his parents home he called the police to report a robbery. When the police arrived they found Lowell sitting on the front porch petting his dog. They asked him what happened and he nonchalantly pointed to the door and told the officers to look inside. Once they discovered the bodies the police summoned the coroner. The coroner asked Lowell if he had a particular funeral arrangements in mind. With a careless shrug Lowell replied that he didn't care what happened to them.

Convinced he was lying, detectives took Lowell in for questioning but he stuck to his story about the robbery and refused to budge. That is, until he was paid a jailhouse visit by his minister, Rev. Virto Dameron. Rev. Dameron spoke with Lowell at length and was finally able to get him to tell the truth about the murders of his parents and sister. He also persuaded Lowell to confess to the detectives.

Lowell's motive for the murders revolved around a fantasy world he had dreamed up for himself. He wanted to live the gangster life and move to Chicago, IL where he would become a hired assassin. The only thing that stood in his way was his parents and sister. Once he had dispatched of them he would be able to inherit the family farm and the $1,800 in his father's savings account.

When Lowell was charged with the murders he plead not guilty by reason of insanity but he was convicted and sentenced to death.

Lowell Lee Andrews was executed by hanging at the Kansas State Penitentary on November 30, 1962. He never uttered any final words or showed any remorse for his crimes.

Lowell's case is mentioned in Truman Capote's book: "In Cold Blood."




Peter Kurten, the eldest of thirteen children, was born in Koln-Mulheim, a suburb of Cologne, Germany. His poverty-stricken childhood consisted of living in a one room apartment with a sadistic, alcoholic father. He and his siblings were subjected to constant physical abuse and were forced to watch the brutal rapes of their mother by their father.

At age nine he formed an unhealthy relationship with a dog-catcher living in the same apartment building, who introduced him to the practice of bestiality. He was soon performing perverse acts with sheep and goats from nearby stables while stabbing them to death. Kurten also professed to have drowned two of his schoolmates when they were playing on a raft in the Rhine. He pushed one of the schoolmates overboard and when the second boy jumped in to save him, Kurten held both of them underwater. At the time their deaths were ruled a tragic accident.

By the age of 16, Kurten had begun to commit petty crimes and had run away from home to escape the violence. Shortly thereafter his father was jailed for three years for committing incest with Kurten's 13-year-old sister.

During one of his many stints in prison, Kurten was placed in solitary confinement where he developed a perverse fantasy which allowed him to achieve an orgasm while he imagined performing brutal sex acts. He enjoyed these fantasies so much that he would commit minor infractions in order to ensure another stint in solitary.

Peter Kurten's first murder victim was 10-year-old Christine Klein on May 25, 1913. She was upstairs asleep in her bedroom as her parents worked in the tavern below the apartment. Kurten broke in planning to rob the apartment. As he opened doors looking for valuables to steal he happened across young Christine. He seized her by the neck, choked her unconscious and then penetrated her genitals with his fingers. When he finished molesting her he slit her throat with a small pocket knife he carried.

Suspicion immediately fell on Christine's uncle, Otto Klein. He had asked Christine's father for a loan and when he was refused Otto made threats towards his brother. He was arrested and tried for the murder of his niece but was acquitted due to lack of evidence.

Kurten was called up for military service but was sent to prison for desertion. He was released in 1921 and married a former prostitute. He found work in a factory and for four years led a life of relative normalcy. He was inexorably drawn back to Dusseldorf and into a life of petty crime that quickly escalated to sexual attacks.

In 1929 he brutally attacked Maria Kuhn and stabbed her 24 times. Miraculously she survived the attack.

On February 9, 1929, Kurten brutally murdered 9-year-old Rosa Ohliger and dumped her under a bush. While he stabbed her 13 times he became sexually excited and climaxed. He returned to the scene of the crime several times to relive the excitement he felt during the attack and during one of these visits he poured gasoline over her body and set her body on fire in an attempt to destroy evidence.

Five days later Kurten stabbed to death a 45-year-old mechanic named Scheer 20 times on a road in Flingern. Kurten returned to the scene of the crime the next day and struck up a conversation with one of the detectives investigating the murder.

The German press was following the murders and investigation closely and when they learned that the police thought the murderer might be drinking his victims blood, they dubbed him the "Vampire of Dusseldorf."

A few days after the latest attack, a mentally-disabled man named Stausberg was arrested for similar crimes. While in custody he confessed to the Vampire's killings and was admitted to an insane asylum. The police, convinced that they had the right man, closed the case leaving Kurten free to select more victims.

On August 23, 1929, two foster sisters,5-year-old Gertrude Hamacher and 14-year-old Louise Lenzen, left the fairgrounds of the town of Flehe to walked home. They were approached on footpath by Kurten who gave Louise some money and asked her to go and buy him some cigarettes. He promised to look after Gertrude. When Louise left he gathered Gertrude up in his arms, strangled her and then slit her throat. When Louise returned with his cigarettes he strangled her also and then decapitated her.

Kurten's brutal attacks increased in veracity and frequency. Not all of his victims died but his nondescript appearance worked in his favor.

September 1929, He raped and then beat to death a young girl named Ida Reuter. As was a servant girl named Elizabeth Dorrier on October 12, 1929.

On November 7, 1929 5-year-old Gertrude Albermann was strangled and stabbed 35 times. Two days later he sent a map to a local newspaper detailing her exact position. The police found her body right where he had indicated on the map.

On May 14, 1930 Kurten met an unemployed domestic worker named Maria Budlick at the Dusseldorf tram station. He offered her a place to stay and took her back to his apartment. When she refused to have sex with him he offered to walk her back to the tram station. Along the way he raped her and then left her at the tram station entrance alive. She was convinced to cooperate with the police and led them back to Kurten's apartment. He escaped detection but realized that his days of killing were numbered.

Kurten confessed to his wife that he was Vampire of Dusseldorf and insisted that she go to the police and turn him in so she could collect the substantial reward. He had remained fond of his wife and wanted her to be financially secure after he was gone.

On May 30, 1930 Mrs Kurten reluctantly went to the police and led them to a local church where Kurten peacefully surrendered.

During his confession, Peter Kurten admitted to 79 acts of crime and derived great pleasure as he described each one in great detail.

Peter Kurten was charged with 9 murders and 7 attempted murders and went on trial April 13, 1931. Throughout the trial Kurten showed no remorse for his victims.

On July 2, 1931, Peter Kurten was executed by guillotine in the prison courtyard at Klingelputz Prison in Cologne, Germany.

His last words were to the prison psychiatrist on his way to the guillotine:

"Tell me, after my head has been chopped off, will I still be able to hear, a least for a moment, the sound of my own blood gushing from the stump of my neck? ...that would be the pleasure to end all pleasures."




Eugen Weidmann

5/26/2009


1937, thousands of visitors flocked to Paris for the great International Exposition. On July 19, 1937, 22-year-old ballet student Jean De Koven, arrived with her aunt Mrs Ida Sackheim and checked into the Hotel des Ambassadeurs. Jean made the acquaintance of a young man known only as Bobby, who spoke with a thick German accent, and they arranged to go on a date a few days later. As Jean De Koven left the hotel lobby on July 26, 1937, with her new acquaintance it would be the last time her aunt would see her again, alive. When she did not return her aunt went to the police who laughed off her suspicions. They said was probably enjoying a romantic interlude with her lover. Later when her aunt again returned to the police with a ransom demand note for $500 they accused her of participating in a publicity stunt. However, their opinion quickly changed when 15 days later Jean De Kovan's traveler's checks were cashed. The signature on the backs of the checks were proved to be obvious forgeries. Her body would not be found for another four months.

On September 8, 1937, the body of chauffeur, Joseph Couffy was found on France's Paris-Orleans Road. He had been shot in the back of the neck and his car was missing.

On October 17, 1937, the naked body of theatrical producer, Roger Le Blond was found in the back seat of his car at Neully-Sur-Seine Cemetery. He too had been shot in the back of his neck and his wallet was missing.

On November 29, 1937, real estate agent, Raymond Lesobre was found sprawled face down on the floor of a villa in St-Cloud. He had been shot in the back of the neck and his wallet was also missing. A business card belonging to Herr Shott.

When the inspectors questioned Shott they were informed that his nephew, Fritz Frommer, had recently gone missing. He was last seen in the company of a young German, named Siegfried Sauerbrey who was renting a villa in St-Cloud.

On December 8, 1937, Inspectors Poignant and Bourguin went to the villa where Sauerbrey was staying. As they approached the villa a young man who introduced himself M. Karrer asked if he could help them and invited them inside. When Inspector Bourguin asked to see his papers he calmly reached into his pocket and pulled out a gun. His first shot hit Poignant in the shoulder. Bourguin grabbed his wrist but Karrer kept on firing. Another shot grazed Bourguin's forehead and as he and Bourguin were struggling for control of the gun Poignant saw a small hammer lying on a table and hit Karrer full force on his skull. Karrer dropped to the floor. He was immediately hand-cuffed and taken into custody.

Police searched the villa and found the body of Fritz Frommer in the cellar. He had been shot in the back of the neck. As they searched the grounds they noticed the front steps had recently been replaced. When police dug under the steps they found the body of Jean De Koven.

During his interrogation, Karrer coolly confessed to police that his real name was Eugen Weidmann. He also confessed to the murders of Jean De Koven, who he strangled while she was drinking tea, and Fritz Frommer, who he was afraid was going to talk to the police, Joseph Couffy, Roger Le Blond, and Raymond Lesobre. His motive was robbery.


Weidmann was a career criminal who, while incarcerated for robbery, met Fritz Frommer, Roger Million, and Jean Blanc. When they were released from prison they met up together and decided to establish a criminal partnership. Their plan was to kidnap wealthy tourists and steal their money. Their first attempt failed when the man they targeted became suspicious and put up a fierce struggle. They were forced to let him go. They were successful with their second attempt which was unfortunate for Jean De Koven. Weidmann was also confronted with a passport belonging to Jeannine Keller which had been found in his bedroom. He stated that she had been lured to Paris with a job offer for a private nurse. Weidmann took her for a walk in the woods near Fontainebleu, strangled her, hid her body in a cave, and stole her belongings.

He went on trial with his accomplices in March of 1939 but was the only one who received the sentence of death.

On June 17, 1939 Eugen Weidmann became the last person to be publicly executed in France.

The crowd began gathering the night before at the Pallais de Justice at Versailles. There were hundreds of drunk, rowdy spectators who had gathered to witness the macabe event. By 4:00 am the unruly crowds had swelled with people vying to find an idea spot in order to witness the beheading. Surrounding building owners were charging exhorbitant fees for spectators to get a bird's eye view. Because the excution had taken place later then usual there was enough light for photograpers to snap away and even record films of the event. After Weidmann had been beheaded there were reported stories of women who had broken through the police barriers to dip their handkercheifs in his blood. Authorities were so appalled at the scandalous behavior of the crowds and the illegal photographs and filming, that a week later they decreed that all further executions would be held in private.






Burton W. Abbott

5/24/2009


On April 28, 1955, 14-year-old Stephanie Bryan left Willard Junior High school in Berkley, CA at 3:30 pm on her way home. As she reached the Claremont Hotel she and her friend parted ways and she took her usual shortcut across the grounds of the hotel. She never arrived home.

The police launched a massive search but failed to come up with any leads as to her whereabouts. With few clues to follow the case remained in limbo for the next two months.

On the night of July 15, 1955, in Alameda, California, Georgia Abbott was entertaining guests, Otto and Leona Dezman, in her home. She lived with her husband, Burton W. Abbott, an accounting student at the University of California, and his mother. During the course of the evening Georgia talked about an amateur play she was writing and decided to go down in her basement and look for material to make a costume. In one of the boxes she found an unfamiliar red leather handbag. When she opened the purse she found a wallet which contained photographs of teenage girls, a half-written letter, and a student identification card with the name Stephanie Bryan on it. She took the purse along with its contents upstairs and showed them to her husband and guests. Otto Dezman took one look at the wallet and called the police.

When the police arrived and took possession of the evidence they questioned the occupants of the house who stated they had no idea how the handbag ended up in the basement. Burton Abbott went on to suggest that their garage had been used as a polling place during the May election and anyone could have hidden the bag at that time. The police indicated that they would like to return the next morning in order to search the basement and garage. Burton Abbott readily agreed and resumed playing his game of chess with Otto Dezman.

The next day as Abbott calmly worked on a crossword puzzle upstairs the police were busy digging in his basement. There they discovered more possessions belonging to Stephanie, including her glasses, bra, and some school books. Again they questioned Abbott and again he professed no knowledge of how they came to be found in his basement. He even offered to take a lie detector test which results were inconclusive. The police pressed Abbott for details as to his whereabouts on the day that Stephanie went missing. Abbott stated that he left his house that morning at 11 am and drove up to his family's cabin in Trinity County over 300 miles away.

While the police contemplated their next move, two newspaper reporters drove up to the cabin and enlisted the aid of local hunter, Harold Jackson. Jackson's two bloodhounds led the men to a mound on a hill about 300 yards behind the cabin. It turned out to be a shallow grave which held the body of a half-naked young girl. A pair of panties were tied around her neck. Her skull had nearly been caved in by several severe blows from a heavy object. Because of the state of decomposition the girl had to be identified by her remaining clothes. It was the body of Stephanie Bryan. Evidence of sexual assault could not be determined but was presumed to have happened. Burton Abbott was soon arrested and charged with her kidnapping and murder.

As the authorities investigated Abbott they were unable to uncover any evidence directly linking him to the death of Stephanie Bryan. Even though all of the evidence was circumstantial it did not stop the prosecution from going forward with the trial on November 7, 1955.

During the trial noted criminologist, Dr. Paul L. Kirk testified that he found fibers in Abbott's car that matched the sweater Stephanie Bryan had been wearing the day she disappeared. He also found head hair that matched Stephanie's and blood evidence, which could not be matched to Stephanie, in the fabric of the seats. Through the trial Abbott sat in the defendant's chair with an air of indifference giving little hint to whether or not he was concerned about the proceedings.

When he took the stand to proclaim his innocence he appeared arrogant and condescending towards the prosecution going so far as to claim that he had been framed by the police.

Abbott was found guilty of murder and kidnapping and sentenced to death in the gas chamber. He showed no emotion when the verdict was read.

At 11:15 am on March 15, 1957 Burton Abbott walked into the gas chamber at San Quentin. In a last ditch effort to get a stay of execution, Abbott's lawyers attempted to reach California's Governor Goodwin J. Knight who was aboard the aircraft carrier USS Hancock. When the lawyers finally reached him on the ship-to-shore radio he agreed to grant only a one hour stay. He placed a call to his clemency secretary, Joseph G. Babich.

Babich placed a call to San Quentin and spoke with the warden. He asked if the execution had already started and the warden applied in the affirmative. When asked if it could be stopped he was informed that it was too late. The gas had already been released. Burton W. Abbott was pronounced dead at 11:25.


In the early 1900's, Amelia Sach, a midwife, ran a discreet lying-in home at Claymore House in East Finchley, London. On the surface she passed herself off as an adoption broker, but she and her partner, Annie Walters were actually involved in the unsavory business of baby farming.

Their clients consisted mostly of domestic servants who were afraid of losing their position if their employers found out they were pregnant. Sach promised that their babies would be placed with good families who wanted a child. The unwed mothers would come to her facility during the last months of their pregnancy. Once the baby was born, the infant would be turned over to Sach and the mother would leave with no questions asked. The entire process was kept confidential and no records were ever kept, for which Sach charged a hefty fee. Once the newborn was left in her care Sach would turn the infant over to Walters to dispose of.

On November 12, 1902, Annie Walters returned to her room she rented at 11 Danebury St. in Islington with a healthy-looking newborn. She explained to her landlady, Mrs Alice Seal, that she would be caring for the infant until the adoption process by a wealthy aristocrat in the West End was completed. Her landlady became suspicious when Walters left the house two days later with a carefully concealed bundle and the baby was nowhere to be found. She discussed her suspicions with her husband, a police sergeant.

On November 15, 1902 Walters again returned to her room with a baby girl and this time she related to her landlady that the baby was due to be adopted by a family in Kensington. She went out for a while and left the infant in the care of her landlady. When Mrs Seal changed the baby she discovered the infant was not a little girl but was in fact a baby boy.

On November 18, 1902 she left the house again with a mysterious bundle, but this time she was under police surveillance. She was followed to South Kensington Station and was arrested when she came out of the woman's restroom. When the bundle was unwrapped the police discovered the body of a newborn who had be suffocated. Walters explained to the police that the baby had been given to her by her partner Amelia Sach.

Walters was addicted to chlorodyne and she admitted to putting a couple of drops in the milk of the infants she cared for in order to keep them quiet. She insisted that she never killed the baby. Although no evidence of poisoning was found the cause of the infant's death was attributed to an overdose of chlorodyne.

Sach and Walters were arrested and when police searched Claymore House they turned up approximately 300 articles of baby's clothing. Although they were only charged with the murder of two infants they were suspected of murdering at least two dozen by either suffocation or poisoning with chlorodyne.

Amelia Sach and Annie Walters were executed by hanging at Holloway Prison on February 3, 1903.

When Sach and Walters were sentenced to death, aside from the letter written by Jeffrey Sach, no letters pleading for judicial leniency were sent for either woman. An article that appeared in the Morning Advertiser the day after their execution expressing the general sentiment of the public went as follows:

"Much may be forgiven, if not excused, in the case of the poor, young, frenzied mother, maddened by ruin and disgrace, who makes away with the evidence of her shame, the burden for which she cannot provide, and which prevents her from getting a living. But the wholesale murderesses, who trade upon her misery and despair, deserve no pity whatever."





A Game of Murder

5/22/2009


In 1984 Cathy Woods, a young wife and mother, from Grand Rapids Michigan was unhappy with her life. She was depressed and overweight, weighing close to 240lbs. She neglected her home and showed no maternal affection towards her young daughter. As a result her marriage suffered. At one point she confided in her husband that she was curious about how it would feel to stab someone.

She went to work at Alpine Manor Nursing Home at Walker, Michigan as a nursing assistant. In 1986 she demanded a divorce and began a series of lesbian relationships. She became attracted to a new employee that had moved to Michigan from Tyler, TX, Gwendolyn Graham. The two soon became involved in a relationship and Gwen moved in with Cathy. They arranged their schedules so that they were both working on the same shift. As their physical relationship intensified they experimented in bondage and practiced sexual asphyxia. They played word games and the loser assumed the submissive role in their sexual fantasies. According to Cathy it was Gwen who first brought up the idea of murdering patients while they were playing one of their word games. Referred to as the "Murder Game", the initial plan was to spell the word murder with the initials of their victims. Just talking about murder got them both sexually excited.

Alpine Manor averaged about 40 deaths a year, so 6 unnatural deaths went unnoticed. In January of 1987 the first murder was committed. They picked an elderly woman with Alzheimer's disease who was too frail to fight off her attacker. As Cathy Wood stood watch just outside the room, Gwen Graham entered the room and smothered her with a wash cloth. According to Wood she went on to kill at least four more elderly female patients with Wood acting as the lookout. In each case Graham left behind the washcloth she used to smother her victims. She also stole items from the victims such as jewelry, dentures, and personal keepsakes in order to relive the murders and then placed the "souvenirs" on a special shelf in their home. Sometimes they washed down the bodies as part of post-mortem care and handling the bodies heightened their sexual desire. They boasted to their friends and coworkers what they were doing. Their boasts were dismissed as a sick joke even after being shown the souvenir shelf.

Eventually Graham insisted that in order to strengthen their bond Wood had to kill one of the patients herself. When Wood refused Graham became angry. She left Wood for another woman and moved back to Tyler, TX. She wrote to Wood claiming that she wanted to smash the faces of the infants in her care at the Texas hospital where she was employed. Terrified, Wood confessed their murderous deeds to her ex-husband but it would be 14 months before he went to the police.

When interrogated by the police, Wood at first tried to convince the police that it was all a joke. But under continued questioning she eventually confessed. She downplayed her involvement in the crimes and placed the blame for the actual murders squarely on the shoulders of Graham.

Both women were arrested and Wood turned state's witness against her former lover. For her testimony she was sentenced to 20 -40 years with the possibility of parole.

On September 20, 1989 Gwen Graham was convicted of 5 counts of first-degree murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder. She was sentenced six life sentences with no possibility of parole.




Mary Ann Britland

5/22/2009

Mary Ann Britland coveted her neighbor's husband. Unfortunately her husband and his wife stood in her way.

She lived with her husband and her two daughters on Turner Lane in Ashton-under-Lyne. In February of 1886 she complained that her house had been infested by mice and went to the local chemist to purchase "Harrison's Vermin Killer". Because the compound contained Strychnine and Arsenic she was required to sign the poison register.

The first to die was her eldest daughter, 19-year-old Elizabeth Hannah. She would later confess to the police that she killed her daughter because she believed that Elizabeth was aware of her murderous plan. Her next victim was her husband Thomas. Shocked by her double loss, her neighbor Mary Dixon invited Mary Ann Britland and her daughter to move in. Little did Mrs Dixon know but she was to become Mary Ann Britland's final victim.

Suspicions were aroused when the 3 deaths occurred in such rapid succession and with the same mysterious symptoms. The bodies were exhumed and pathologists found that all 3 had been poisoned. Mary was arrested and charged with 3 counts of murder. Thomas Dixon was arrested and charged with the murder of his wife. He was later released and the charges were dropped when it was proved that he had no part in the murder of his wife.

Mary Ann Britland was convicted and sentenced to death. On August 9 1886 she became the first woman to be hung at Strangeways Prison in Manchester, England.


The Bloody Benders

5/21/2009
















In 1870 the Bender family, German immigrants, settled in Labette County, Kansas. The family consisted of John Sr., Ma Bender, John Jr., and Kate. They settled on a plot of land that sat directly on the Osage Mission-Independence Trail, it was the only trail open for travel at that time, and built a one-room cabin. Inside, the cabin was divided by a large canvas with the family's living quarters in the back and a small
inn and general store in the front. Travelers would stop in to buy provisions, grab a hot meal or sometimes bed down for the night in the inn. Some of these travelers would be carrying large amounts of cash or brought horses to trade for supplies or land. It was not long before travelers starting turning up missing along with all their personal possessions.

Kate Bender was very attractive and outgoing. She also professed to be a psychic and a healer. When a traveler who appeared to be wealthy would show up at the inn the family would graciously offer him a meal and seat him with his back to the canvas that divided the cabin. While Kate distracted the men by flirting or using her "psychic" skills to entertain them, either John Sr. or John Jr. would sneak up behind the canvas with a hammer and knock the men senseless. They would then slit his throat to make sure his was dead and strip his body in search of money and valuables. They would then drop the body down a trap door into a pit below the cabin. During the night the bodies were drug out to the orchard behind the house and buried.

In the spring of 1873, Dr. William York made a return stop at the inn on his way back to his home in Independence, Kansas he was never seen or heard from again. His brother Colonel A.M. York decided to search for his missing brother. On May 4, 1873 he arrived at the Bender's inn. At some point he was left alone in the front room and he noticed a gold locking peeking out from one of the beds. When he opened the locket he stared down at the pictures of his brother's wife and daughter. He slipped out of the inn and returned the next morning with the sheriff, several deputies, and men from the town. When they arrived at the Bender's cabin they found it emptied. The Benders had fled along with all of their possessions. When they search the grounds they found 12 suspicious looking mounds in the orchard and began digging. In the first mound they uncovered a man who had been buried head first. He was identified as Dr York by his brother. By the time the men had finished searching the orchard and surrounding area more than two dozen bodies had been found including a woman and child.

A substantial reward was offered for the capture of the Bender family. The money was never collected. Although rumors of their death have circulated these stories have never been substantiated. Officially the Bender's got away with murder.





Angel Of Death

5/10/2009


Beverly Allitt, better known as the "Angel of Death", is one of Britian's most notorious female serial killers. Her murderous spree was all the more shocking because she would befriend the parents of her victims who entrusted their children into her care.

As a child, Beverly would use factitious injuries in order to gain attention. She took to wearing bandages and casts over "wounds" but would not allow them to be examined. As a teenager an overweight Beverly began spending an excessive amount of time in hospitals with numerous physical complaints. At one point she convinced a surgeon to remove a perfectly healthy appendix. When they realized what she was doing she would doctor-shop, moving on from one physician to the next.

She attended Grantham college in Lincolnshire and trained as a nurse. Her bizarre behavior continued throughout her training. While working at a nursing home she was suspected of smearing feces on the walls. Her attendance during her training was poor due to her many illnesses and as a result she failed her nursing examinations. Still she was able to obtain a position at Grantham and Kesteven Hospital in Lincolnshire in 1991 as a State Enrolled Nurse. Beverly was assigned to Children's Ward 4.

Her Victims:

On February 21, 1991 seven-week-old Liam Taylor was admitted to the ward for possible pneumonia. After Allitt had reassured his parents that he was in capable hands and would be well cared for they went home for the night. When they returned the next morning they were informed that he had suffered respiratory problems during the night but that he had recovered and appeared to be doing well. The next night Allitt volunteered for extra night duty. At one point during the night she was left alone with little Liam and moments later Allitt summoned the code team. He had stopped breathing. Despite the efforts of the team Liam had suffered severe brain damage and was being maintained on life support. Knowing that he would never recover his parents made the heart rending choice to remove him from life support. His death was listed as heart failure. Even though her fellow nurses were confused about the failure of the apnea monitors to alarm when Liam stopped breathing Allitt was never questioned.

Two weeks later, 11-year- old Timothy Hardwick, who suffered from cerebral palsy, was admitted after suffering an epileptic seizure. Allitt volunteered to care for him. Within a few moments of being left alone in her care, his heart stopped. And again, despite the efforts of the code team they were unable to revive him. His death was attributed to his epilepsy even though no obvious cause of death was found.

On March 3, 1991, one-year-old Kayley Desmond was admitted to Ward 4 for a chest infection. Allitt was assigned as her nurse. She was well on the road to recovery when 5 days later she inexplicably went into cardiac arrest. She was successfully resusitated and transferred to another hospital in Nottingham. While she was being examined the physicians noticed a peculiar puncture mark under her armpit and an air bubble. It appeared to be an accidental injection and was never investigated.

On March 20, 1991, five-month-old was admitted for Bronchitis. Shortly before he was to be discharged he was taken care of by Allitt. He was nearly comatose and when his blood was checked he was found to have a high level of insulin. He would suffer from the same symptoms three more times before he was transferred to another hospital in Nottingham. When he arrived at the hospital his blood was checked and he was again found to have a high level of insulin. The nurse that was sent with him in the ambulance was none other than Beverly Allitt. Miraculously he survived.

March 21, 1991, five-year-old Bradley Gibson was admitted for Pneumonia. Later that evening he went into cardiac arrest but was successfully resuscitated. When his blood was tested he was found to have a high level of insulin. He was cared for again by Allitt and his heart stopped again. After he was resuscitated he was transferred to another hospital in Nottingham.

Sadly no one was suspicious enough to connect the dots back to Allitt. She was free to continue wreaking havoc on poor defenseless babies.

March 21, 1991, two-year-old Yik Hung Chan was admitted to Ward 4 after falling from a window and suffering a skull fracture. While he was being cared for by Allitt, his oxygen levels dropped dangerously low twice. He was transferred to a larger hospital in Nottingham. His symptoms were attributed to his head injury.

On April 1, 1991, two-month-old Becky Phillips was admitted for a stomach virus. While being cared for by Allitt she began exhibiting symptoms of hypoglycemia. She was examined and finding nothing wrong Becky was sent home with her mother. During the night she went into convulsions and when her parents contact a physician they were told that she probably had colic. She died later that night.

As a precaution her twin sister, Katie Phillips was admitted to Ward 4. Not long after being cared for by Allitt she stopped breathing and had to be resuscitated. Two days later she stopped breathing again but this time she suffered permanent brain damage due to prolonged lack of oxygen. When she was transferred to another hospital it was later found that her apneic spells had been the result of her receiving large doses of insulin and potassium. Katie's mother Sue Phillips was so grateful to Allitt for saving her baby's life that she asked Allitt to be her child's godmother. Beverly Allitt graciously accepted.

Four more helpless victims fell prey to Allitt's vicious attacks but it would be the death of 15-month-old Claire Peck that would bring her murderous spree to an end.

On April 22, 1991 baby Claire was admitted to Ward 4 following a serious ashtma attack that required her to be placed on a ventilator. After being left alone with Allitt she suffered a cardiac arrest and had to be resuscitated. She was stabilized and then again left alone with Allitt. Shortly thereafter she suffered another heart attack and this time the doctors were not successful. When an autopsy was performed it was discovered that she had traces of Lignocaine in her tissues, a drug that is given during cardiac arrest but never to a baby.

When the police were finally notified they examined the records of 25 suspicious cases. In most instances the victims, four of whom were dead, either had high levels of insulin or potassium or both in their systems. The only common factor linking all the cases together was Beverly Allitt.


Beverly Allitt was eventually arrested and charged with 4 counts of murder, 11 counts of attempted murder and 11 counts of causing grievous bodily harm. While in prison awaiting trial she was examined by several healthcare professionals and found to be exhibiting symptoms of both Munchausen’s syndrome, and Munchausen’s syndrome by Proxy.

On May 23, 1993, Allitt was convicted and given 13 life sentences for murder and attempted murder. She is presently serving her sentence at Rampton Secure Hospital.





















Mary Ann Cotton

5/09/2009

It is not known the exact number of people Mary Ann Cotton murdered in her prolific career. She is presumed to have killed at least 20.

Mary Ann Cotton was born in the village of Low Moorsley in Sunderland, England in October of 1832. When she was 9 her father died when he fell down a mine shaft. In 19th century England life was especially harsh for the poor. Mary was faced with the fear of being sent to a workhouse and being separated from her mother and brother. She escaped that fate when her mother quickly remarried.

At the age of 15 Mary Ann obtained a position as a nursemaid to an aging coal mine manager. She worked for him for three years and then returned home to live with her mother in Murton, England. On July 18, 1952 Mary Ann married a miner named William Mowbray. They moved to Cornwall and would eventually have four children. Three of the children died suddenly of what was presumed to be gastric fever. They moved back to Murton in 1856 with their remaining child, a daughter. Four years later Mary Ann's daughter succumbed to the same gastric fever that had claimed her other children. Mary Ann gave birth to four more children two of whom quickly died from gastric fever. In 1863 they moved to Herndon and William took a job as a fireman on a steamship. In 1864 Mary Ann lost another child to gastric fever. This time the child's life had been insured and they received a small sum from British and Prudential Insurance. William Mowbray was injured on the job and laid off of work. In January of 1865 he died fatal stomach ailment. Mary Ann received £35 from the insurance company.
Soon after William's death Mary Ann lost another child to gastric fever. At this point she sent her last remaining child to live with her mother. In order to support herself Mary Ann took a job at a hospital in Sutherland and met her next husband, George Ward, while he was a patient. When George lost his job as an engineer, he began suffering from vomiting and diarrhea. He died in October of 1866. His life had also been insured.
Mary Ann went to work as a housekeeper to James Robinson, a widower with five children in November of 1866. One month later one of Robinson's children died from gastric fever. In his grief he turned to Mary Ann and the two became lovers. Mary Ann soon became pregnant. In March of 1867 Mary Ann's mother fell ill and she went to take care of her. Nine days later her mother was dead. Mary Ann returned with her only living child from her first marriage. In April of 1867 Mary Ann's child along with two of James Robinson's children developed severe stomach pains and died. Four months later Mary Ann and James Robinson were married. Their baby girl was born in November and by March of 1868 she too was dead. In Autumn of 1869 James Robinson threw Mary Ann out of his house when he discovered that she was stealing from him. Mary Ann moved to Walbottle, Northumberland and met a miner named Frederick Cotton, a widow with two children. Their relation soon turned intimate and they were married in September of 1870, even though Mary Ann was still married to James Robinson, and their son was born six months later. Mary Ann learned that a former lover, Joseph Nattrass was living near her and decided to rekindle their relationship. In September of 1871, Frederick Cotton died of gastric fever. Mary Ann collected on his life insurance policy. Joseph Nattrass moved in with Mary Ann and the three remaining children. Mary Ann however had her eye on someone new. John Quick-Manning, an excise officer, was recovering from small-pox. Mary Ann had been hired as his nurse. The two began an affair and Mary Ann soon found herself pregnant again. In March of 1872 one of Frederick Cotton's sons and the infant child he had with Mary Ann died. Shortly after he revised his will to include Mary Ann, Joseph Nattrass also died of gastric fever.
Now the only person standing between her and John Quick-Manning was her stepson, Charles Edward Cotton. She tried to send him to live with one of his uncle's who refused to take him. Next she tried to have him committed to a workhouse but was told that she would have to accompany him. She warned a parish official that he was sickly and would be dead soon. By July 12, 1872 Charles Edward Cotton was dead. When the official learned of his death he went to the police with his suspicions and an autopsy was performed. The doctor collected tissue samples from little Charles and when the samples were tested he discovered that they contained high levels of arsenic.

On July 18, 1872 Mary Ann Cotton was charged with his murder but she would not go on trial until after the birth of her final child in January of 1873.

Mary Ann Cotton was found guilty and hanged on March 24, 1873 at Durham County Gaol. Her death was prolonged because the hangman had misjudged the drop.





One of Britain's most notorious criminal cases involved the murders of several children between 1963 and 1965. The bodies of four of the children were found buried on Saddleworth Moor. The Moor Murders were committed by Ian Brady and Myra Hindley. It was the first time in British history that a woman had knowingly been involved in a partnership that involved the depraved serial murders of children.

Myra Hindley was born July 23, 1942 in Crumpsall, Manchester. She was considered a normal child who loved animals and children. In school she exhibited a talent for writing and poetry, loved sports and was a good swimmer. She was not considered particularly feminine and her broad hips earned her the nickname of 'Square Arse".
When Myra was fifteen, her friend Michael Higgins drowned in a popular swimming hole. Myra was plagued with guilt because she didn't want to go swimming with him. She felt that if she had been with him she would have saved him. Her school work suffered and she ended up leaving school in 1957. She went through several jobs and a broken engagement and on January 16, 1961 she went to work as a typist at Millard's, a chemical firm based in Manchester. It was here that she crossed paths with Ian Brady. The attraction for her was instantaneous.

Ian Brady was born Ian Duncan Stewart on January 2, 1938 in Glasgow, Scotland. His mother was not married at the time he was born and he never knew his father. When the pressure of being a single mom got to be too much, Ian was left in the care of Mary and John Sloane. His mother eventually married and moved to Manchester. Ian was considered a bright child but he never applied himself in school. By age eleven he began misbehaving and it was not long before he ran afoul of the police. He also became fascinated with Nazi Germany and was rumored to be abusing animals. Between the ages of 13 and 16 he was arrested three times for theft. He received probation twice but the third time he was ordered to leave Scotland and sent to live with his mother in Manchester. When he arrived in Manchester he took his stepfather's last name of Brady. He tried his hand at several jobs but was unable to remain employed for very long. He began drinking heavily and became increasingly obsessed with books about cruelty and torture including the writings of the Marquis de Sade. One of his favorite quotations from the writings was, "Rape is not a crime, it is a state of mind. Murder is a hobby and a supreme pleasure". It did not take long for Ian to return to a life of crime. It also did not take long for him to get caught. This time there would be no probation. He was sentenced to two years at Borstal schools in Hatfield and Hull prison. He was released in November of 1957. After long periods of unemployment Ian eventually went to work as a stock clerk at Millard's in 1959.

At the annual Christmas party, December 22, 1961, Ian, who had ignored Myra for nearly a year, asked her out on a date. He would take her to see Judgement at Nuremberg and as their relationship grew he would play Nazi marching songs and encouraged her to read his favorite books. He completely molded her personality to match his.

16-year-old Pauline Reade disappeared on July 12, 1963 on her way to a dance. Her naked body was not discovered until July 1, 1987. Pauline had apparently been offered a ride by Myra and as she drove out to Saddleworth Moor Ian followed them discreetly on a motorbike. Myra got out of the van and offered to give Pauline some records if she would help Myra find her missing glove. Once out of the van Ian smashed Pauline over the head we a shovel. Next he raped her and then slit her throat so deep she was almost decapitated. She was buried in a shallow grave.

12-year-old John Kilbride disappeared from a market in Ashton-under-Lyne. Myra drove a car she had rented to the moor. Ian was sitting in the back seat. Ian took John from the car, sodomized him and attempted to slit his throat. He eventually strangled him with a piece of string. John's body was found on October 21, 1965 in a shallow grave with his jeans and underpants pulled down to mid-thigh.

12-year-old Keith Bennett disappeared on his way to his grandmother's house on June 16, 1964. Hindley lured him into her car by asking for his help loading boxes. Once at the moor Brady raped and strangled him. His body has never been found. As the result of a letter written to Hindley by Keith's mom pleading for her to reveal what happened to her son, Hindley and Brady confessed to the murder in 1987 along with that of Pauline Reade's.

10-year-old Lesley Ann Downey disappeared from a fairground in Ancoats on December 26, 1964. She was taken back to Hindley's house. Naked, bound, and gagged she was forced to pose for obscene photos. After which she was molested and murdered by both Hindley and Brady. Her naked body was found on the moor on October 16, 1965. Amongst the evidence found by the police was an audiotape on which Lesley could be heard screaming, crying and begging for her mother. In what could only be described as one of the most horrific events in her life, Lesley's mother had to listen to her daughter's last moments of her life in order to assist the police in identifying her daughter.

Brady claimed he met their final victim, 17-year-old Edward Evans, at Manchester Railway Station. According to Brady he lured Edward back to Hindley's house with a promise of sex. This time however the murder was witnessed by Myra's brother-in-law, 17-year-old David Smith. As Smith watched in horror Ian repeatedly chopped at Edward's head with an axe. He then covered Edward's face with a cloth, wrapped an electrical cord around his neck and pulled until Edward was dead. Ian was injured during the struggle and fearing for his life, David helped Myra clean up and promised to return the next day to help her dispose of the body. When he returned home David told his wife what had transpired and she urged him to call the police.

Myra Hindley and Ian Brady were arrested and charged with the murders of Edward Evans, John Kilbride, and Lesley Ann Downey. They pleaded "not guilty" to all charges and attempted to pin the murders on David Smith. Throughout the entire trial neither one showed any ounce of remorse. Even when they were convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

Ian Brady spent 19 years in prison until he was declared criminally insane and he was sent to Ashworth Psychiatric Hospital.

Myra Hindley remained in prison until her death in November of 2002 from a heart attack.



Martha Jule Seabrook lived in a fantasy world. She dreamed of the day when she would find her one true love. As a child she suffered from a glandular condition that caused her to develop quite rapidly. By the age of 10 she possessed the body of a woman with the sex drive to match. Unfortunately she was also obese and was forced to endure the cruel taunts and ridicule of not only her fellow classmates but also her mother. She would later claim that at the age of 13 she was sexually assaulted by her brother and when she told her mother she was blamed for the rape and beaten.
As a grown woman Martha fared no better. She graduated from nursing school in 1942 but because of her size the only job she could find was as a mortician's assistant.
Dreaming of a better life Martha moved to California and was finally able to put her nursing skills to use at an Army Hospital. At night she would frequent bars and pick up soldiers on leave. The only thing that she gained from her promiscuous behavior was an unwanted pregnancy and rejection from the father-to-be. Desperate and alone she returned to her hometown of Milton, Florida where she cooked up an elaborate lie to cover the fact that she was an unwed mother. She claimed to have married a naval officer who was stationed in the Pacific. She even managed to have a telegram sent to herself informing her that he had been killed in action.
A few months after the birth of her daughter Martha would find herself pregnant again by Alfred Beck. The two married but six months later he divorced her. Martha obtained a nursing position at a pediatric hospital in order to support herself and her two small children.
One of her co-workers decided to play a cruel joke on Martha and sent her an ad to join a lonely-hearts club. Deeply hurt but determined, Martha filled out the form and paced an in "Mother Dinene's Family Club for Lonely Hearts." She conveniently left out the fact that she was almost 250lbs and a single mother of two. In 1947 Martha received her one and only response to the ad. She was about to meet her "Prince Charming." The man who would change her life forever; Raymond Martinez Fernandez.

Raymond Fernandez was a handsome young man with a calm and gentle manner. He left the United States in 1932 to work on his uncle's farm in Spain. While there he met and married Encarnacion Robles. He enlisted in the service in World War II and worked for the British government as a spy and after the war ended he decided to return to America to look for work. After which he planned to send for his wife and their newborn son. He managed to book passage on a freighter bound for the Dutch West Indies. While on board the ship he received a fractured skull and a serious brain injury when he was hit on the head with a steel hatch cover. He was hospitalized for nearly a year during which time it was noted that his personality had undergone a drastic change. Gone was the calm and gentle manner. Instead he had become distant and prone to violent mood swings. He was also left with a large bald spot, an ugly scar and an indentation in his head when he had been hit with the hatch. He took to wearing a toupee. After he was released from the hospital he continued on his journey to America and eventually ended up living with his sister in New York.
Raymond would lock himself in his room for days on end complaining of debilitating headaches. It was at this time that Raymond began corresponding with gullible women who had joined lonely hearts clubs looking for romance. Once he had gained their trust he would seduce them and then steal their money, jewels, or anything else of value he could get his hands on.
One of his victims, Jane Lucilla Thompson, turned up dead from an apparent drug overdose in a hotel in Spain after she went on a cruise to Spain with Raymond, which she paid for. By the time authorities got around to questioning Raymond he had already skipped town and returned to New York. He gained possession of Jane Thompson's apartment using a forged will and forced her elderly mother to move out. He continued his correspondence with women until he found his next victim, Martha Beck.
Martha and Raymond met in Florida on December 28, 1947 and they spent two sex-packed days together. Once he ascertained that she had nothing of value worth stealing Raymond made a beeline back to New York. On January 18, 1948, Martha showed up unannounced on Raymond's doorstep with her two children. Raymond, happy to have someone who was willing to wait on him hand and foot, allowed her to stay but insisted that the children had to go. On January 25, 1948 Martha abandoned her children at the Salvation Army and never looked back.
Convinced that she was under his control, Raymond confessed to Martha about his lonely hearts scams. Instead of turning him in to the authorities Martha felt that it was her duty to help him. She helped him look through numerous photographs and letters from gullible women and over the next several months she helped Raymond "marry" and then rob several victims while posing as his sister-in-law.
On August 14, 1948 Raymond married his next victim, Myrtle Young of Greene Forest, Arkansas, in Cook County, Illinois. When Myrtle insisted that the marriage be consummated, Martha demanded that Raymond get rid of her. He slipped her a heavy dose of sedatives and carried her on a bus bound for Little Rock, Arkansas but not before they divested her of four thousand dollars. Unfortunately he miscalculated the dose and she died shortly after arriving in Little Rock.
Almost out of money they eventually zeroed in on another victim, Janet Fay, a 66-year-old widow who lived in Albany, New York. It took Raymond only five days to convince Janet to marry him, clean out her bank accounts totaling six thousand dollars and move with him to Long Island. Martha again became jealous and she and Janet got into a heated argument. Martha picked up a ball-peen hammer and slammed it into Janet's skull knocking her unconscious. She finished her off by strangling her with a scarf. Raymond and Martha cleaned up the scene and stuffed Janet's body into a trunk. They later found an unoccupied house and buried the trunk in the cellar. To cover up Janet's absence they sent typed letters to Janet's family. The only problem was not only did Janet not own a typewriter but she did not know how to type. Her family notified the police.
Escaping the threat of being caught, Raymond and Martha headed to Grand Rapids, Michigan to meet who would be their final victim. Raymond introduced himself to Delphine Downing, a young widow, as Charles Martin, a successful businessman. He introduced Martha as his sister. Delphine also had a two-year-old daughter named Rainelle. One morning Delphine entered her bathroom and caught Raymond without his toupee. When she saw the ugly scar on the top of his head she accused him of being a fraud. Trying to placate the situation Martha convinced Delphine to take some sleeping pills. Sensing something was not right Rainelle began crying inconsolably. Martha grabbed the young child and began choking her in order to silence the crying. When Raymond saw the bruises on the child's neck he knew that Delphine would most likely call the police when she woke up. While Rainelle watched, Raymond took a gun that belonged to Delphine's husband, wrapped it in a blanket and shot Delphine point blank in her head. She died instantly. Raymond and Martha wrapped her body in a sheet and then he carried her down into her basement and buried her.
Over the next two days they cashed several of Delphine's checks and gathered up what ever objects they could find of potential value. During this time Rainelle cried constantly. Raymond told Martha to get rid of her. They carried her down to the basement and filled a metal tub with dirty water. In a thoroughly callous act, Martha held the little girl under the water until she was dead. Raymond buried little Rainelle next to her mother.
Instead of fleeing town they decided to go to the movies. Shortly after they returned to the house there was a knock at the door. Suspicious neighbors had decided to call the police.
They were arrested on February 28, 1949. Because Michigan had no death penalty they figured that the maximum time they would receive for their crimes was six years. Raymond and Martha both confessed. But to their dismay they were extradited to New York. They went on trial in July and were convicted and sentenced to murder.
On March 8, 1951 they were both executed in Sing Sing's electric chair.