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July 13, 1950 |
|Criminal penalty||99 years with triple credit; mandatory release in 2018|
|Victims||Two confirmed; possibly over 60|
Span of killings
Genene Jones (born July 13, 1950) is a former pediatric nurse who killed somewhere between 1 and 46 infants and children in her care. She used injections of digoxin, heparin and later succinylcholine to induce medical crises in her patients, with the intention of reviving them afterward in order to receive praise and attention. Many children did not survive the initial attack. The exact number of murders remains unknown, as hospital officials allegedly first misplaced then destroyed records of her activities to prevent further litigation after Jones' first conviction.
Career and background
While Jones worked as a licensed vocational nurse at the Bexar County Hospital (now University Hospital of San Antonio) in the pediatric intensive care unit, a statistically inordinate number of children died under her care. Because the hospital feared being sued, it simply asked all of its LVNs, including Jones, to resign and staffed the pediatric ICU exclusively with registered nurses. No further investigation was pursued by the hospital.
She then took a position at a pediatric physician's clinic in Kerrville, Texas, near San Antonio. It was here that she was charged with poisoning six children. The doctor in the office discovered puncture marks in a bottle of succinylcholine in the drug storage, where only she and Jones had access. Contents of the apparently full bottle were later found to be diluted. Succinylcholine is a powerful paralytic that causes temporary paralysis of all skeletal muscles, as well as those that control breathing. A patient cannot breathe while under the influence of this drug. In small children, cardiac arrest is the ultimate result of deoxygenation due to lack of respiration.
Jones was married to her high school sweetheart between 1968 and 1974, and they had one child during that time. They later reconciled and had another child together in 1977. Just before her indictment, Jones married a 19-year-old nursing assistant. He filed for divorce a short time later.
In 1985, Jones was sentenced to 99 years in prison for killing 15-month-old Chelsea McClellan with succinylcholine. Later that year, she was sentenced to a concurrent term of 60 years in prison for nearly killing Rolando Santos with heparin.
As of May 2016, Jones is held at the Lane Murray Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. She will be scheduled for mandatory release in 2018 due to a Texas law meant to prevent prison overcrowding.
She was portrayed by Susan Ruttan in the television movie Deadly Medicine (1991) and by Alicia Bartya in the straight-to-video movie Mass Murder (2002). She was also featured in a Discovery Channel documentary, Lethal Injection, season five of Forensic Files entitled "Nursery Crimes" as well as the "Dark Secrets" episode of Investigation Discovery's Deadly Women, and was said to have inspired Annie Wilkes from Stephen King's Misery.
- "Personality Spotlight;NEWLN:Nurse Genene: Convicted murderer". United Press International. February 15, 1984. Retrieved March 27, 2016.
- Anderson, Teresa (January 14, 1984). "Nurse Genene faces trial in children's hospital deaths". United Press International. Retrieved March 27, 2016.
- The Encyclopedia of Serial Killers. Infobase Publishing. 2006. pp. 138–139. ISBN 0816069875. Retrieved March 27, 2016.
- Hickey, Eric (2010). Serial Murderers and Their Victims (5th edition). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. p. 182. ISBN 978-0-495-60081-7.
- Holmes, Ronald; Holmes, Stephen (1998). Contemporary Perspectives on Serial Murder. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. p. 42. ISBN 978-0-7619-1421-1.
- Genene. TDCJ.
- Schwartz, Carly (February 24, 2011). "Genene, serial baby killer, scheduled for early release in Texas". The Huffington Post. Retrieved April 30, 2013.