Rhonda Belle Martin
|Rhonda Belle Martin|
|Born||Rhonda Belle Thomley
|Died||October 11, 1957
Kilby Prison in Montgomery, Alabama
|Resting place||Montgomery Memorial Cemetery|
|Known for||Female multiple murderer|
|Criminal penalty||Execution by electrocution|
|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)|
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, 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.
- "Mother Tells 6 Killings by Poison," The Associated Press, March 14, 1956.
- "Jury Sentences Woman To Death," United Press International, June 5, 1956.
- "Rhonda Bell Martin," Mind of a Killer (DVD), Kozel Multimedia .
- Shipman, Marlin (2002). "Murdered Family Members and Other Schemes". The penalty is death: U.S. newspaper coverage of women's executions. University of Missouri Press. pp. 46–51. ISBN 0-8262-1386-3.
- "Black Widow" executed in Florida electric chair - Times-Herald Record at the Wayback Machine (archived March 31, 2003)
- 03/14/57 RHONDA BELLE MARTIN v. STATE ALABAMA FindACase
- Grisly Momma - The Malefactor's Register
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