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July 13, 1950 |
|Criminal penalty||99 years with triple credit; mandatory release on March 1, 2018|
|Victims||Two confirmed; possibly over 60|
Span of killings
Genene Jones (born July 13, 1950) is a suspected serial killer, responsible for the deaths of up to 60 infants and children in her care as a licensed vocational nurse during the 1970s and 1980s. In 1984, Jones was convicted of murder and injury to a child. She had used injections of digoxin, heparin, and later succinylcholine to induce medical crises in her patients, causing numerous deaths. The exact number of victims remains unknown; hospital officials allegedly misplaced and then destroyed records of Jones' activities, to prevent further litigation after Jones' first conviction.
Career and background
While Jones worked as a licensed vocational nurse (LVN) 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.
Jones left then took a position at a pediatrician'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 had been scheduled for mandatory release in 2018 due to a Texas law meant to prevent prison overcrowding. To avoid this, Jones was indicted on May 25, 2017, for the murder of 11-month-old Joshua Sawyer. Nico LaHood, Bexar County District Attorney, stated that additional charges could be filed in the deaths of other children. Due to the mandatory early-release law covering Jones' original convictions, she would otherwise have been released upon completion of a third of the original sentence. The new charges were filed to avoid her release; she will now be transferred to jail after her release from prison for the original charges, pending prosecution for the new ones.
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 episode ten of Forensic Files entitled "Nursery Crimes;" season one episode three of British docuseries "Nurses Who Kill" (2016); as well as the "Dark Secrets" season two, episode four of Investigation Discovery's Deadly Women, and was said to have inspired Annie Wilkes from Stephen King's Misery.
- "TDCJ Offender Details". offender.tdcj.texas.gov. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
SID Number: 03193016 TDCJ Number: 00380650 Name: JONES, GENENE
- Bever, Lindsey (26 May 2017). "'Angel of Death' nurse charged with killing another baby, suspected in up to 60 other deaths". The Washington Post.
- Hauser, Christine (June 23, 2017). "Texas Nurse Suspected of Killing Up to 60 Children Is Charged With Murder". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
- King, Wayne (February 6, 1984). "Five Given Injections Quit Breathing, Doctor Says In Nurse's Trial". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
- "Former Nurse Indicted in Texas Child Injury Case". The New York Times. November 22, 1983. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
- "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.
- Zielinski, Alex (26 May 2017). "Bexar County Prosecutors Re-Open "Angel of Death" Case". San Antonio Current. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
In 1982, Jones was a young nurse working in the pediatric intensive care unit at Bexar County Hospital (now University Hospital).
- "Explaining the Wicked Phenomenon of the Angels of Death | True Crime Magazine". True Crime Magazine. 6 June 2017. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
- 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.
- Elkind, Peter (25 May 2017). "Prosecutors Race to Keep Angel-of-Death Behind Bars". Texas Monthly. Pro Publica. Retrieved 16 July 2017.
- "Former Texas Nurse Accused of Killing Dozens of Kids in '80s". Snopes. 2017-05-26. Retrieved 2017-05-26.
- Ellis, Ralph; Kaye, Randi; Andone, Dakin (26 May 2017). "Texas nurse indicted in second child's death". CNN. Turner Broadcasting System. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
- Tucker, Ken (8 November 1991). "Deadly Medicine". EW.com. Time Inc. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
- Meyers, Jeff (2002). "Mass Murder". imdb.com. StageDirect. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
- "Forensic Files - Season 5, Ep 10: Nursery Crimes". youtube.com. FilmRise. 8 July 2016. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
- "Nurses Who Kill". www.netflix.com. DCD RIghts. 2016. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
- "Dark Secrets | Deadly Women". www.investigationdiscovery.com. 30 October 2008. Retrieved 21 October 2017.