The Serial Killer Compendium, p.4R. J. Parker
Two years later, Margie Barfield was employed by Dollie Edwards as a live-in house cleaner. As a fringe benefit, Dollie's nephew, Stuart Taylor, started dating Margie. Their relationship, however, did not stop the fearless Barfield from poisoning Dollie in February of 1977. Apparently, she had no motives, as there was not anything stolen, and the officials and doctor chalked it up to a sudden death of acute gastroenteritis.
A couple of months later, Barfield next moved in with John Lee, eighty, and his wife Record, seventy-six, to take care of them. “Heaven forbid.” Again, with no motive, she started poisoning John Lee. Before his death, he lost sixty-five pounds. He died on June 4th, 1977. She then proceeded to poison Lee’s widow, but gave up her job in October, leaving her frail survivor behind.
Moving right along to a Lumberton rest home, Barfield was twice caught forging checks on her boyfriend’s, Stuart Taylor's account. He forgave her each time, but they argued angrily after her third offense, on January 31st, 1978. That night, Margie spiked his beer with poison and kept up the dosage until Taylor died on February 4th. Relatives rejected the diagnosis of "acute gastroenteritis" and demanded a full autopsy, resulting in the discovery of arsenic. “Finally!”
While being interrogated, Margie Barfield confessed to the murders of Taylor, her mother, second husband, Dollie Edwards, and John Lee. A jury deliberated for less than an hour and convicted Barfield of first-degree murder. She was executed by lethal injection on November 2nd, 1984.
“I sometimes wonder how long it takes the authorities to add two and two together. Lovely lady wasn’t she.”
Martha Beck and
Raymond Fernandez (Couple)
The Lonely Hearts Killers/Honeymoon Killers
Martha Seabrook, born in 1920, was raped by her brother by the time she was thirteen. She had already grown prodigiously obese by that time. This horrible experience may explain her appetite for peculiar sex and her yearning for a life of romance. It may also have been at the root of her progressively callous outlook of other people. Martha was educated as a nurse and worked as an undertaker's assistant before being selected the superintendent of a home for crippled children at Pensacola, Florida.
Raymond Fernandez was six years older than Martha, born in Hawaii, but raised in Connecticut by his Spanish parents. They did live a spell in Spain where he had married and fathered four children, all of whom he had long since abandoned. He had served with the British Intelligence Service during World War II and in 1945 sustained a head injury, which disturbed an already not so stable personality.
He began studying black magic and claimed to have an overwhelming power over women. Whatever the reason, Fernandez was considered to have worked his way into more than a hundred women’s hearts, homes, and bank accounts, over the next few years, draining them all dry. All the victims had been chosen from notices in a newspaper called the Lonely Hearts Clubs, where he eventually met up with Martha Beck, and together added murder to fraud and deception.
Martha placed demands on Raymond's faithfulness, going to excessive and often parody lengths to make sure that he did not accomplish any other lonely heart connections. One time, Martha demanded that she sleep with one of the victims herself to make sure there was no nighttime fun and games. Nevertheless, Fernandez found it difficult to control his lothario urges and often became the focal point of Martha's violent rage. Fernandez met another woman, sixty-six-year-old, Janet Fay, from New York, and squandered her savings with the promise of marriage. He invited her to his apartment to meet his so-called sister, who happened to be Martha, where he then strangled and beat her to death. Only weeks after the disposal of Janet Fay, next up was Delphine Downing, a very young widow who had a two-year-old daughter. Fernandez did not waste any time and moved into Downing’s house in Michigan, which really upset poor Martha. After stealing what money and possessions she had, the killing duo forced sleeping pills into Delphine and then shot her in the head. In order to stop the baby from crying, Martha Beck drowned her in the bathtub.
Neighbors of Delphine and Rainelle Downing reported them missing. Eventually they were found buried in the cellar under newly poured cement. The neighbors told police she had a live-in boyfriend, and police immediately obtained an arrest warrant as a person of interest.
Because Michigan does not have the death penalty, once Beck and Fernandez were caught, they were extradited to New York for the murders, where they confessed to the Downing and Fay killings, but denied the other seventeen deaths they were suspected of causing.
The Lonely Hearts Killers were found guilty of three murders and subsequently sentenced to death. Old Sparky fried both of them on March 8th, 1951 at Sing Sing prison in New York City.
Apparently, the last words of Fernandez were: "I wanna shout it out, I love Martha! What do the public know about love?" - Raymond Fernandez.
“Well, this author can’t speak for the public but I bet most would agree that love has nothing to do with murdering people for money or any other reason.”
The Lizzie Borden case has bewildered and mesmerized people who are interested in true crime for many decades. Very few cases in American history have attracted as much attention as the hatchet murders of her parents, Andrew and Abby Borden. Despite the horrific nature of the crimes, the unexpected temperament of the accused was not that of a hatchet maniac, but that of a churchgoing Sunday school teacher who was highly regarded.
The accused was eventually found not guilty for the violent and bloody murders of two people due to unusual circumstances. It was an era of swift justice and vast newspaper coverage. And as evidence against her was almost entirely contingent, and the prosecution considered incompetent, public opinion was divided to the guilt or innocence of Lizzie.
Lizzie Borden lived her life where she was born in Fall River, Massachusetts. Lizzie’s mother, Sarah, died when Lizzie was less than three years old. Lizzie had another sister, Emma, who was nine years older than she. Her father, Andrew, remarried to Abby Gray and lived a quiet and uneventful life. Until 1892. That year, Lizzie was active at church, including teaching Sunday school and a being member of the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). In 1890, Lizzie Borden traveled abroad briefly with some friends.
Andrew Borden became somewhat wealthy, and was notoriously tight with his money. In 1884, when Andrew presented his wife's half-sister a house, his daughters Lizzie and Emma objected and fought with their stepmother, Abby, refusing after that to call her "mother," and started simply calling her "Mrs. Borden." Andrew tried to make harmony with his daughters, giving them some funds, and allowed them to rent out his old family home.
In early August of 1892, Andrew and Abby became ill and had an attack of vomiting. Abby Borden told a friend that she suspected poisoning. Lizzie’s uncle came to stay at the house, and on August 4th, her uncle and father went into town together. Andrew returned alone and lay down in the family room. The house cleaner, who had earlier been ironing and washing windows, was taking a nap when Lizzie called to her to come downstairs. Lizzie said that her father had been killed in the barn. He had been hacked in the face and head with an axe or hatchet. Shortly after, Abby was also found dead in a bedroom, also hacked many times with an axe or hatchet. Later tests showed that Abby had died one to two hours before Andrew.
As Andrew had died without a will, this meant that his estate, worth between $300,000 and $500,000, would go to his daughters, Lizzie and Emma, and not to Abby's heirs.
As she was the only one with a motive, and her sister was away, Lizzie Borden was arrested.
Evidence included a report that she had tried to burn her dress one week after the murder, and reports that she had attempted to buy poison just before the murders. The murder weapon was never found; however, a hatchet head that may have been washed and intentionally made to look dirty was found in the cellar.
Lizzie’s trial, commencing on June 3rd 1893, was covered by local and national news. Lizzie did not testify, having told the i
The jury was not convinced that Lizzie had killed her father and stepmother as there was not any direct evidence and therefore acquitted her on June 20th, 1893.
Emma had returned and they bought a big house that they called, Maplecroft, and Lizie took to calling her herself Lizbeth instead of Lizzie.
Lizzie Borden died at Fall River, Massachusetts, in 1927, and was buried next to her father and stepmother.
“They certainly didn’t have the technology back a hundred years ago to ascertain the certainty whether Lizzie Borden really did kill Andrew and Abby Borden. I guess it will remain a mystery.”
Judy Welty was born on April 4th, 1943, in Quanah, Texas, the daughter of a wandering farm worker. She hardly knew her mother but in later years would describe her as a full-blooded member of the Mesquite Apache tribe, which never existed. Judias was named after her mother who had died of tuberculosis when her young daughter was barely two years old. The family was split up and Judias and her baby brother, Robert, were sent to live with their grandparents while the two older siblings were placed for adoption.
Welty had re-united with her father and had been the target of abuse by both parents (her father had remarried). She was burned, beaten, sometimes starved, and demanded to work as a slave in the house. When she was fourteen years old she spent sixty days in the local lockup after scalding two of her stepbrothers with grease and attacking both parents with fists and thrown objects. While in jail, she was held with adult prostitutes, and when asked if she wanted to go home by the Judge, she instead chose to go to reform school. She despised her family and stayed away from them.
Working under the name of Anna Schultz, Judy returned to Roswell and worked as a nurse’s aide. A year later, she gave birth to an illegitimate son, Michael. In 1962, she married James Goodyear, an air force officer, and four years later they had a son, James Junior. They moved to Orlando Florida and shortly thereafter her husband left on a tour of duty in Vietnam.
Three months after returning from his tour, Goodyear suddenly grew sick and died from an identified illness. Five days later, Judy cashed in three life insurance policies on her husband. Two months later, their home burned down and she was awarded $90,000 in insurance. Shortly after, she moved her kids to Pensacola, Florida, and met up with Bobby Morris. He moved to Colorado in 1977 and took Judy and her kids with her. Prior to leaving Pensacola, however, she had another fire in her second home, and again collected insurance. On January 4th, 1978, Bobby Joe Morris was admitted to San Rafael Hospital. Doctors could find no cause for his sudden illness and he was released to Judy’s care two weeks later. Just two days after being released from hospital, he collapsed at the dinner table and was rushed back to the hospital where he died on January 28th. His death certificate officially declared that he’d had a cardiac arrest and metabolic acidosis.
Authors Note: Is it just me, or is did Judy have the worst luck? hmmm.
In early February, Judy cashed in three more life insurance policies, this time for the death of Morris, and her bank account was doing quite well. Backing up a few years, in 1974, Bobby and Judy had visited his hometown of Brewton in Alabama. At the time, a male resident was found dead in a motel after being shot in the chest and having his throat cut. Bobby’s mother had overheard Judy telling him that, “The son of a bitch shouldn’t have come up here in the first place. He knew if he came up here he was gonna die.” So when Bobby’s family heard that he’d suddenly died, they suspected murder right away.
Just three months after Bobby Morris had died, Judy legally changed her last name and that of her children to Buenoano, an apparent tribute to her late husband and imaginary Apache mother. A month after that she moved her family back in Pensacola, settling into a home in Gulf Breeze.
Michael Jr. continued his pattern of academic failure, dropping out of high school in his sophomore year. He joined the army in June of 1979, drawing an assignment to Fort Benning in Georgia, after basic training. En route to his new post, he stopped off to visit his mother in Florida, and that was the beginning of the end. When he reached Fort Benning on November 6th, he was already showing symptoms of base metal poisoning. Army physicians found seven times the normal level of arsenic in Michael’s body, and there was little they could do to reverse its critical action. After six weeks of care, the muscles of his arms and lower legs had withered to the point where Michael could neither walk nor use his hands. He left the hospital wearing braces and a prosthetic device on one arm.
In another turn of events, this one fatal yet again, in May of 1980, Michael, his younger brother, and mother, were canoeing near Milton, Florida, when their boat upturned. James and Judy made it safely to shore; however, Michael was not so lucky and drowned. Judy, in press reports of the incident, referred to herself as Dr. Judias Buenoano, a physician in Fort Walton. The local authorities acknowledged her explanation of the accident and closed their files.
However, the army investigators were unrelenting, launching their own investigation for verification on May 27th, 1980. Just four months later, Michael’s military life insurance was paid, amounting to $20,000. Upon discovering that there were two other private life insurance policies outside of the military, the sheriff’s officers began to look at the case more closely. While doing so, and after consulting with handwriting experts, they revealed that the two civilian policies on Michael’s life might have been forged. They proceeded to investigate without Judy’s knowledge at this point.
Meanwhile, Judy did not waste time in searching for another victim, er, man. She met up with John Gentry II, a businessman in Pensacola, Florida. She told him that she had a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and another Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Alabama. It was all BS, however. But Gentry accepted it and indulged her with expensive gifts and cruises.
John and Judias (she liked to be called Judias as she was a doctor and all), bought private life insurance policies on each other in October of 1982 which was supposed to be $50,000 coverage each. However, without John knowing, Judias later increased the payout amount to $500,000, and paid the premiums herself.
Judias started poisoning Gentry just two months later, giving him victim, er, vitamin pills, which caused him to become ill; subsequently, he was admitted to hospital for twelve days. Gentry noticed that his symptoms subsided after he stopped taking vitamins, but had no reason to be suspicious of his wife. For whatever reason, she decided that poisoning him was not going to work.
Well, there is more than one way to skin a cat. John Gentry was at a party on June 25th, 1983, and left early to celebrate, as Judias had told him that she was pregnant. Gentry left the party and planned to pick up champagne to take home with him. However, when he turned the key in the ignition of his car, a bomb exploded. Luckily for him, not so lucky for her, his life was saved by the O.R. surgeons.
Due to the nature of a car bombing, an obvious attempt at murder, the police began investigating and, upon questioning John Gentry on June 29th, learned that the insurance policy which he claimed was for $50,000 was actually for $500,000. During their investigation, the police also learned – after conducting a background check on Judias – that she was not a doctor; nor did she have any Ph.D’s; and on top of that she’d been surgically sterilized way back in 1975. John was shocked to discover all of the lies she had told him, and he had had enough.
Wondering what else she’d lied about or done, John gave the police several of the vitamin pills that Judias had been giving him back in 1982. Examination of these pills showed that they contained Para formaldehyde, a poison with no known medical uses. However, the prosecution office in Florida declined to file charges of attempted murder for lack of sufficient evidence, but they later obtained a warrant to search her home.
On July 27th, one month after the car explos
The investigation continued before her trial, meanwhile, and on January 14th, 1984, Judias was indicted for one count of murder in the death of her son, with a supplementary count of grand theft for the insurance frauds. Upon her arrest that evening, she had a dramatic fit of convulsions and wound up in Santa Rosa Hospital under security.
Once the authorities got started, they dug through Judias’ past and uncovered all sorts of mischief. Bobby Joe Morris’ body was exhumed on February 11th, and further testing revealed arsenic in his remains. Judias was sentenced to life without parole for the first twenty-five years, but it did not stop there for the investigators. In Florida, in July, just a short few weeks after being sentenced, authorities exhumed the body of her late boyfriend, one Gerald Dossett. Unfortunately, there were no signs of arsenic and therefore no charged filed in that particular case. The body of James Goodyear was also then disinterred on March 14th, which showed results of arsenic poisoning.
The Serial Killer Compendium by R. J. Parker / History & Fiction have rating 3.6 out of 5 / Based on25 votes