Rhonda Belle Martin

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Rhonda Belle Martin
Born Rhonda Belle Thomley
Died October 11, 1957(1957-10-11) (aged 49–50)
Kilby Prison in Montgomery, Alabama
Resting place Montgomery Memorial Cemetery
Nationality American
Occupation Waitress
Known for Female multiple murderer
Criminal charge Murder
Criminal penalty Execution by electrocution
  • W. R. Alderman (m. 1922–26)
  • George W. Garrett (m. 1928–39)
  • Talmadge John Gipson (m. 1939–39)
  • Claude Carroll Martin (m. 1950–51)
  • Ronald Martin (m. 1951–57)
Children Emogine Garrett (1934-7), Ann Cajolyn Garrett (1934-40), Ellyn Elisabeth Garrett (1932-43), Mary Adelaide Garrett (1930-4), Judith Garrett (1938-9)
Parent(s) James Robert Thomley, Mary Frances Grimes (d. 1944)

Rhonda Bell Thomley[1] Martin (1907 – October 11, 1957) was an American serial killer.

A 49-year-old waitress in Montgomery, Alabama, she confessed in March 1956 to poisoning her mother, two husbands, and three of her children. She denied killing two other children. According to LIFE Magazine in an article published at the time, she loved getting the get-well cards, and later the sympathy cards that came when the victims died, as well as taking great care to have them buried side by side in a private plot.

Her fifth husband, formerly her step-son,[2] was poisoned like the others but survived only to be left a paraplegic. It was his illness that led authorities to look into the strange deaths surrounding Martin.

Prosecutors said collecting insurance proceeds prompted her serial-killing spree, although this is unlikely, since she collected only enough to cover burial costs, and she never admitted this was the case.[3]

She was convicted of murdering 51-year-old Claude Carroll Martin in 1951 by surreptitiously feeding him rat poison[4] and was executed in Alabama's electric chair on October 11, 1957.


  1. ^ "Little Mrs Arsenic". Argosy Magazine. v346 (#4). April 1958. 
  2. ^ Not legally her stepson, since when she married his father, she was not yet divorced from her third husband.
  3. ^ Jaffee, Al (1979). The Ghoulish Book of Weird Records. Signet. pp. 37–40. ISBN 0-451-08614-7. 
  4. ^ Some accounts say ant poison.


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