During one of my standard bouts of insomnia last night, I watched one of the many women’s channel specials on female death row inmates. They profiled three or four cases, and of course all of these women were adamant about how it was partially true but still a mistake, blah blah blah. The tears looked fake in general (all of the stories sounded pretty rehearsed), but then when they went into the nature of the crimes, it seemed like the prevailing theme was stupidity
They say there are no smart criminals in jail, obviously because the smart ones don’t get caught. It seemed like most of these women were just greedy idiots who didn’t really think things through. One of them was having an affair with a used-car dealer, who was paying for her rented house, her bills, and her daughter’s private-school education. Apparently she got bored with him, but still wanted him as her meal ticket, so after he’d leave she took up with a bunch of local teenagers for drugs and fun (she was in her thirties). One of the teenagers got obsessed with her and wanted to off the guy, and I guess when you’re flying high on coke that seems like a great idea.
She masterminded the ambush for when he was returning from a car auction; she figured he’d have a lot of cash on him then. So he visited and they did their thing, and as he was leaving he was set upon by coked-up teenagers with lead pipes. The detective said the murder was so violent there was blood spattered 15 feet up in the trees. They searched the body, but there was no money, so they pulled the rings off his fingers and dumped his corpse in the river. They took the rings to a local pawn shop, fully expecting to get thousands of dollars, but only walked away with a few hundred, which they promptly blew on drugs at a seaside resort. Oh, yes...also, they signed their real names on the pawn tickets, in their own handwriting. The body was found by fishermen the next day, and the case ended up being a no-brainer: everyone testified against the woman to save themselves. She’s on...I think it was South Carolina’s....death row. She still thinks she’s getting parole someday.
But above and beyond, the biggest idiot was this one
. Or her boyfriend, I can’t decide which. The guy was 19 and mad at his parents because they were upset that he’d dropped out of school. They were cutting off his credit cards and asking him to get a job, and he didn’t like that either. They were upper-middle-class, with a large house, and he came up with a plan: if he offed his parents and his sister (taking her out of the running for any inheritance-competition), then played dumb and pretended he didn’t know anything about it, surely he just had to sit back and wait for all of the life-insurance and estate checks to come in and he’d be set for life.
He brought his girlfriend into the planning, and she brought with her one dumb tagalong friend who was willing to help. He told them that if they helped with the murder, they could all live with him in the lap of luxury. The first plan they came up with was to shoot at the gas tank of his parents’ car as his parents and sister were riding in it. They’d seen in a movie that when you do that there’s a big fireball and everyone dies. So they got a gun from the waiter at IHOP (that’s where they hung out, IHOP) and did target practice at a farm with friends, not bothering to hide it. Then they coordinated it where he would drive past his parents’ car and one of the girls would lean out and shoot at the tank, which she did.
She missed the tank but hit the car. Immediately, his cellphone rang: his mom, asking him what the hell he was doing. How did she know it was him? She recognized the souped-up white Mustang driving alongside her, because they BOUGHT it, and obviously recognized it as their son’s!
So that plan failed, and there was a police report, obviously.
That didn’t work, so they broke into the parents’ house and the girfriend coached the hanger-on to shoot the mother as she was napping on the couch. The gunfire brought the father, who struggled with the girl and ripped out a clump of her hair as she stabbed him to death. The son was standing there watching, like some sort of spoiled-brat Charles Manson, and his father asked him why, then died with the girl’s hair still clenched in his hand. Then they went and stabbed the mother a few more times to make sure she was dead. They took off (no one said what happened to the sister, but I think she’s okay).
The plan was to wait for the police to come, then show up wide-eyed like innocent relatives just arriving at the scene. But no one discovered the bodies, and they waited a long time, but the police never showed. So the son broke back into the house and dialed 911, then hung up. That brought them. The carful of morons showed up as planned, feigned shock and sorrow, and left their information with the cops. Apparently, the cops are in charge of making sure you get your inheritance check, and they didn’t want to miss out on that.
It didn’t take long to sort everything out, especially since the voicemail from the first murder attempt was still on the son’s cellphone, which he had with him. The hanger-on girl who carried out the murder turned traitor on her friend and successfully argued that she had been manipulated into doing the job. She got life imprisonment and the would-be heir and heiress got the death penalty. The inheritance check never did show up.
1) Always beware of dumbasses.
2) Make that double for greedy
3) Greedy dumbasses are capable of some incredibly evil things when they think you’re standing in the way of them getting some money.
There’s my public-service message for the day.