Freakish Fetal Abduction

You’ve heard about stories of fetal abduction: a woman murders another woman in order to retrieve abduct the fetus in her womb. Nasty. Sometimes the woman is forced to have a premature cesarean section that she usually doesn’t survive. Usually the mother is dead before this procedure. This blog profiles the type of woman who commits fetal abduction and details two cases.

Profile of a Womb Raider
The female abductor is a narcissist. She is usually sterile or is having difficulty getting pregnant. She often fantasizes about being pregnancy and fakes it by wearing padding beneath her clothing that make her appear as though she is pregnant. She is so obsessed with the idea of giving birth, rather than merely having an infant, that this is why she fakes pregnancy and abducts a fetus, rather than simply abducting an infant that is already born. Another reason the female abductor kidnaps a fetus is to bond more closely with her spouse or partner. For instance, a woman’s boyfriend or spouse may wish to have a child but she cannot give him one.

The attacker is always a woman, and is typically between the ages of 19 and 40. Often, she already has children of her own from previous relationships, but is no longer capable of giving birth. She doesn’t have a violent background, though several offenders have had criminal records involving deception and theft. The two pressing factors then are the fantasy of being pregnant and an attempt to form or strengthen a bond with her partner. The female abductor wants to bond with the infant during its first moments, so she performs a premature C-section, rather than stealing a living infant. Instead of having her own child, the female abductor lives in a fantasy world of being pregnant and cannot seem to overcome it.

Most of these women’s acts are very predictable. The female fetal abductor is usually highly manipulative – she is a compulsive liar and a con artist. The women often research how to perform a DIY cesarean section and even obtain surgical tools. Their victims are also carefully chosen. Most of these abductors are eventually diagnosed with multiple personality disorders, (if you believe in this condition), but they are still found rational enough to plan this premeditated crime.

The murder itself is “the crisis point” in the offender’s ruse. She has reached her faux full-term and she has to produce a child. This final act is one of desperation, a last attempt to turn the ongoing delusion into reality. Yet these prenatal predators never think the whole plan through. In every case, the masquerade crumbles within hours of the mother’s murder when the has to deal with a dead woman and a brand new infant. Usually the killer doesn’t don’t know what to do.

The crime is increasing but it is still very rare. There have been nine fetus abductions or attempted abductions since 1987. That compares with 251 infant abductions between 1983 and September 2007.” The numbers have gradually been increasing since then.

Case Study 1 – Darcy Pierce 
Womb-Raiders-Darci-Pierce34403159The first recorded fetal abduction happened in 1987 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Cindy Ray was eight months pregnant when she was kidnapped at Kirtland Air Force Base outside a prenatal clinic. Darcy Pierce was nineteen years old when she strangled the pregnant woman to death. She used her car keys (ugh) to open Ray’s womb, snatching the unharmed fetus, Millie. Millie survived. Eventually Pierce was sentenced to 30 years to life for her crime. Pierce would be described by criminologists as a “disorganized killer,” meaning the act was spontaneous; not pre-planned and poorly organized. She didn’t bring a utensil such as scissors to remove the fetus. The use of car keys was highly unusual. Pierce killed Ray in broad daylight and left her body in the woods where she had killed her, without making an attempt to conceal it. She was discovered when she attended a local hospital to obtain a birth certificate for the baby and the doctor couldn’t find signs of childbirth.

Case Study 2 – Josephina Sonia Saldana

Saldana seemed like a nice enough lady when she met Margarita Flores, who was eight months pregnant. Saldana seemed especially concerned about her baby, suggesting foods she should eat, and foods she should avoid. Saldana also told Flores she had free baby furniture and a year’s supply of diapers to give Flores. They simply had to visit a warehouse to collect the generous gifts.

Once they arrived, Saldana stabbed Flores to death, then tried unsuccessfully to remove her fetus from her womb. The baby died in the process. Saldana tried to tel authorities that she had given birth to a stillborn child in her car. Of course, there was nothing to suggest that a birth had taken place in Saldana’s car, nor did she look as though she had recently been pregnant.

After her arrest and conviction, Saldana committed suicide in her one-person jail cell, saying the humiliation was too much to stand. Saldana hanged herself with a sheet and left two messages written in lipstick on her cell wall: “Fresno, may God forgive you” and “babies, I am not a murderer. I love you.”

These women are not merely women who are desperate to have babies. They are psychopaths with no conscience and no ability to see beyond their own needs. They are women who risk even the lives of the infants they wish to abduct for their own personal gain with absolutely no regret when the infants they abduct die in the process. The suicide is little more than self-pity. It is not a sign of remorse.


The Play is the Thing wherein we’ll catch the Conscience of the Offspring

Killers Without Conscience

Arguably, one of Shakespeare’s most famous tragedies is Hamlet,the play where Hamlet agonized over seeking vengeance against his uncle Claudius, for murdering his father, the King. Steve Robartswas only 38 when he died suddenly of a heart attack. One year later while listening to the lines of Claudius the false King in a copy of the play, his daughter Marie reacted strangely to Robart’s death.

Dallas and Fortworth Texas – Metroplex – is the largest amalgamated cosmopolitan a36f5f397d8da3c0eff7526111cedea3area in Texas. It has the dubious reputation of being known for the assassination of JFK in 1963. 16-year-old Marie Robarts moved in with her father after an argument with her mother’s new husband. Robarts was happy to have his daughter move in with him. They got along swimmingly. Marie was popular, pretty and studious.

February 17, 1993 – Robarts attended an evening church service. When he returned home he informed his girlfriend and Marie that he had severe stomach…

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Borderline Personality Disorder Pushed Katherine over the Borderline

katherine-knightBorderline Personality Disorder is a “catch-all” expression for a baffling personality disorder (rather than mental illness). Many people are familiar with it. It is usually the result of a chaotic, abusive childhood. Moodiness, violence, temper tantrums, unreasonable demands, idealization and demonization of a loved one are all symptoms of this disorder. It is a pattern of behavior that occurs in every relationship a BPD person has, hence the partner can’t be the cause. BPD is extremely difficult to treat and the prognosis is poor.

Aberdeen, New South Wales, Australia – 2001. Overweight, ordinary-looking, at  44 -years-old, Katherine Mary Knight was a woman with BPD and she seemed to fit the classic profile. Katherine Knight was the younger of twins born to Barbara and her de facto partner Ken on 24 October 1955 in Tenterfield, New South Wales. To state that her family was dysfunctional is a bit misleading. Knight’s father Ken was an alcoholic who raped her mother up to ten times a day, in front of his children. Barbara often told her daughters intimate details of her sex life and how much she hated sex and men. Yet, in later years when Knight complained to her mother that one of her partners wanted her to take part in a sex act she didn’t want to do, Barbara told her to “put up with it and stop complaining”. Knight herself was sexually abused by several members of her family (not by her father), until she was 11. Court psychiatrists later accepted her allegations as all her family members confirmed the abuse did happen in her childhood.  Apart from her twin, the only person Knight was close to in the dysfunctional family was her uncle Oscar Knight, who committed suicide in 1969.

Knight’s troubling behavior began during her childhood.  Knight was thought of as a pleasant girl who experienced uncontrollably murderous rages (23:44) in response to minor upsets. When she attended Muswellbrook high school, she was a bully who picked on smaller children. She assaulted one boy at school with a weapon and was injured by a teacher who acted in self-defense. By contrast, when not in a rage, Knight was a model student and often earned awards for her good behavior. Clearly her split temperament was firmly established during the years of childhood sexual abuse.

Knight dropped out of high school at 15, without having learned to read or write. She was hired for a “dream job“, cutting up offal at the local abattoir. As it would turn out, Knight discovered she was handy with long, sharp knives and she was quickly promoted to boning. Eventually Knight even earned her own set of butcher knives. At home she deliberately hung the knives over her bed so that they “would always be handy if I needed them”, a habit she continued throughout her life, everywhere she lived. I’m willing to bet there were no more incestuous rapes by her relatives.

Her first marriage was to David Stanford Kellett. Knight proposed marriage to Kellett. It’s quite possible he was too intimidated to say no. Barbara gave Kellett some advice before they were wed:

“The old girl said to me to watch out. ‘You better watch this one or she’ll fucking kill you. Stir her up the wrong way or do the wrong thing and you’re fucked, don’t ever think of playing up on her, she’ll fuckin’ kill you.’ And that was her mother talking! She told me she’s got something loose, She’s got a screw loose somewhere.”

knight_katherine_maryIn May 1976, shortly after the birth of their first child, Melissa Ann, Kellett left her for another woman. The next day Knight was seen pushing her new baby in a pram down the main street, violently throwing the pram from side to side. Knight was admitted to St Elmo’s Hospital in Tamworth where she was diagnosed with postnatal depression. After being released, Knight placed two month old Melissa on a railway track shortly before the train was due, but a man known in the district as “Old Ted“, found and rescued Melissa. Knight was arrested and again taken to St Elmo’s Hospital but, apparently recovered, signed herself out the following day.

A few days later Knight slashed a woman with one of her knives and demanded she drive her to find Kellett. The woman escaped after they stopped at a service station and Knight took a little boy hostage. She was disarmed when police attacked her with brooms (seriously, brooms), and she was admitted to the Morisset Psychiatric Hospital. Knight told the nurses she had intended to kill the mechanic at the service station because he had repaired Kellett’s car and then kill both her husband and his mother when she arrived in Queensland. When police informed Kellett of the incident he left his girlfriend and along with his mother, they both moved to Aberdeen to support her. Say what? I would have changed my identity and run for my life.

Knight was released on 9 August 1976 into the care of her mother-in-law and along with Kellett, they moved to Woodridge, a suburb of Brisbane, where she obtained a job at the Dinmore meatworks. On 6 March 1980, they had another daughter, Natasha Maree. In 1984 Knight left Kellett and moved to a rented house in nearby Muswellbrook. Big sigh of relief from the husband but not the little girls, as Knight took the children with her. Knight met 38-year-old miner David Saunders in 1986. A few months later he moved in with her and the two girls, but he kept his old apartment in Scone. As is typical of BPD, Knight became jealous regarding what he supposedly did when she was not around. She often threw him out and, in a repetitive cycle, Saunders moved back to his apartment in Scone, then Knight followed and begged him to return.

In June 1988 she gave birth to her third daughter Sarah. Saunders bought them a house, which Knight decorated with animal skins, skulls, horns, rusty animal traps, leather jackets, old boots, machetes, rakes and pitchforks. No space, including the ceilings, was left uncovered. How weird is that? It couldn’t have been too pleasant living in the Texas Chainsaw museum. After a fight where Knight stabbed Saunders in the stomach with a pair of scissors, he left and moved where she couldn’t find him. Like Kellett, he left his daughter with Knight.

As is typical of people with BPD, Knight continued an unending stream of relationships with men. In 1990, she became pregnant by a 43-year-old former abattoir co-worker, John Chillingworth and gave birth the following year to a boy they named Eric. Their relationship lasted three years before she left him for a man she had been having an affair with for some time, John Charles Thomas Price. No matter who she married,  Knight never found happiness with any of her partners. It’s fair to speculate the feeling was mutual. Price was well aware of Knight’s violent reputation yet he moved her into his house in 1995. His children liked her, he made a lot of money working in the local mines and, apart from violent arguments, at first “life was a bunch of roses“. Violence and roses. That must have made for some interesting dinner dates.

The fighting inevitably increased and became so frequent that most of Price’s friends would no longer have anything to do with him while he remained with Knight. In February 2000, a series of assaults on Price culminated with Knight stabbing Price in the chest. Finally, he kicked her out of his house. On 29 February he behaved in a self-contradictory manner that would cost him his life. Price took out a restraining order to keep Knight away from him and his children. Yet that afternoon Price told his co-workers if he did not come to work the next day, it would be because Knight had killed him. They pleaded with him not to go home but he believed she would kill his children if he did not. When Price did not arrive at work the following morning, his employer sent a worker to see what was wrong. The worker noticed blood on the front door and alerted the police who arrived and broke down the back door police to a gruesome sight. They found Price’s body with Knight, who was comatose from taking a large number of pills. Knight had stabbed Price 37 times with a butcher’s knife while he slept. He died of exsanguination.

Brace yourself. It gets worse. Several hours after Price had died, Knight skinned him and hung the skin from a meat hook over a door. She decapitated him, and placed the head in a pot of water on the stove. Knight cooked parts of Price’s body, serving up the meat with baked potato, pumpkin, zucchini, cabbage, yellow squash and gravy in two settings at the dinner table, along with notes beside each plate, each having the name of Price’s children on it; she was preparing to serve his body parts to his children. Sometime later Knight arranged the body with the left arm draped over an empty 1.25 litre soft drink bottle with the legs crossed. The court considered this bizarre development to be defilement resulting from Knight’s contempt for Price. Knight left a hand written note on top of a photograph of Price. Blood stained and covered with small pieces of flesh the note read:

Time got you back Johathon for rapping [raping] my douter [daughter]. You to Beck [Price’s daughter] for Ross — for Little John [his son]. Now play with little Johns Dick John Price. (sic)

The note was proven false. It was her own abusive childhood Knight was detailing in the note. Remember the introductory information I threw at you about BPD? Clearly cold-blooded, painful murder and cannibalism are not symptoms of BPD. This was the work of an utterly deranged sociopath.

Knight pled guilty to murder, although initially her lawyer tried to plead guilty for manslaughter. Nothing doing.  Dr. Timothy Lyons took the stand and described the skinning and decapitation. In an Oscar-worth performance, Knight became hysterical and had to be sedated. On 8 November, Justice O’Keefe pointed out that Knight’s lack of remorse required a severe penalty; he sentenced her to life imprisonment, refused to fix a non-parole period and ordered that her papers be marked “never to be released“, the first time this has happened to a woman in Australian history. In 2001, Knight filed an unsuccessful plea to be released from prison. One of the Criminal Court of Appeal judges,  Justice McClellan stated,  “This was an appalling crime, almost beyond contemplation in a civilized society.”

Well said.


Eager Elsie’s Quest for Elite Status Led to Evil

essie%20malinskyFlora, Illinois – 1908. When murder is easier and preferable to marriage, it’s fair to suggest that the honeymoon is over. Flora was a tiny farming town where social opportunity was limited. So too, was financial opportunity, especially if one was a woman. Mind you, that was the situation with women everywhere in America during the Victorian Era. However, if a woman had enough grace and cunning she might improve her lowly lot in life by leaps and bounds.

26-year-old, plain-faced Elsie (Essie) Cope made a modest living as a housekeeper in the home of a middle-aged married couple. Havil J. Bible was an affluent businessman. His wife Molly’s decision to hire Cope initially appeared to be a good one. Cope was an exemplary housekeeper. The home was always spotless and she took great pride in serving her employers. They thought they had found a pearl. Naturally, Cope wasn’t all that she seemed. Like many of the devious women in this blog, Cope had a past she was eager to leave behind.

Cope had married very young in life and had three children. However Cope wasn’t happy as a wife and mother and one day she simply deserted her husband and children. That sort of behavior was frowned upon in the early 1900s. As for Cope, she was cold-hearted and had little emotion. She certainly had no regret for abandoning her children. Perhaps it was the best of luck for them that she did. She didn’t bond with her children. Cope had no concept of maternal love. Or any other kind, for that matter.

One day, 33-year-old Molly became gravely ill. Cope nursed her around the clock but to no avail. When Molly passed away however no eyebrows were raised. This was the Victorian Era and many people died at a young age. There were no antibiotics and no vaccines yet. Disease was rampant. Bible was shattered but Cope cozied up to him to help him through his grief. In no time Cope simply moved in with Bible. This was scandalous behavior but Cope shrugged it off. She couldn’t care less what people said.

However, the law had a different view. In 1914, co-habitation was legally termed “living in sin.” The local courthouse summoned Bible to answer to his crime. “Living with Puritans, are we?” Cope smirked and tore up the summons, urging him not to go. Bible had an even better idea. “Let’s get married!” Cope wasn’t arguing with that one. Eventually Cope bore a son she named Lloyd. Nothing very interesting happened to him.

A decade later, Cope was out about town and ran into an old flame, Ernest Malinsky. Malinsky was an engineer with Via Railroad. Laura, his 53-year-old wife, enjoyed great social status. Cope had certainly improved her social standing, but she wasn’t as lofty as Mrs. Malinsky. That would never do. Weeks later her husband died of pneumonia. Alas, Bible hadn’t provided for his second wife in his will, and Cope discovered she was again penniless. Happily, Malinsky was only too happy to hire Cope as his housekeeper. Back to the grind except this time she refused to be a domestic for long. Soon Laura Malinsky took grievously ill. Cope became nursemaid for Mrs. Malinsky but after weeks of dreadful suffering, the missus finally passed on. The doctors said it was food poisoning from eating a bad watermelon. Say what? No wonder people ran around poisoning each other in droves in that day. Pretty easy to fool the medics.

ernest%20malinskySix weeks after Laura died, Cope and Malinsky married. The neighbourhood was irate. neighbours became suspicious. Hadn’t Laura only taken ill after Cope moved in as her housekeeper? Finally police began an investigation into Laura’s death. Laura was exhumed and a proper autopsy was conducted. egads! Laura hadn’t died from a bad watermelon. She had died of arsenic poisoning. Both Ernest and Cope were arrested and jailed for the crime but 45-year-old Cope immediately confessed to the three murders she had committed. Perhaps she wished to have the deaths removed from her conscience. Or maybe she was bragging. Cope was a serial social-climber without a conscience, and that resulted in a serial killer.

Essie stood trial only for Malinsky’s death. The judge claimed if you were a man I would hang you.” After 25 years in prison, Cope was released. She was in her early 60’s. She lived to be 98 years old. Thirty-eight years of freedom after poisoning three innocent people. Sometimes there truly is no justice.

Rotten, Run-of-the Mill Rhonda Ruined Lives without Regret

Montgomery, Alabama. Early 1950s. 49-year-old Rhonda Bell Martin was no beauty. She was an ordinary woman – a waitress and a homemaker with nothing much to offer. But her fourth husband, Claude Caroll Martin, placed her on a pedestal. Rhonda, however, had an eye for her stepson Ronald (“Bud”)who was 20 years younger. I don’t ordinarily have a problem with cougars, but I do when they are related to their boy-toys through marriage. ick. Rhonda would eventually kill most of her victims in Birmingham, Alabama.

rhonda-bell-martinOne year after Rhonda and Claude were married, poor Claude became terribly sick. He suffered severe abdominal pain and frequently vomited food and liquids. Doctors thought it was a virus. Not so. It was arsenic poisoning and Rhonda took her time poisoning Claude. She allowed him to suffer for weeks. Nasty. In spite of Rhonda’s supposedly best efforts, Claude succumbed to his illness and died. Rhonda didn’t miss a beat. Not only didn’t she grieve for her husband, she warmed her bed with her stepson. Oblivious to everyone else’s shock, Rhonda openly flirted with Bud at her place of work. In fact, neither Bud nor Rhonda were concerned with another aspect of their union; it was illegal under the criminal code. To wit: Under Code 1940, Tit. 34, § 1, as amended by Act No. 296, approved. Aug. 18, 1947, Gen.Acts 1947, p. 148, to the extent here pertinent, provides that ‘the son must not marry his * * * step-mother’, and declares such marriage to be incestuous. Code 1940, Tit. 14, § 325, makes such incestuous marriage a felony punishable by imprisonment in the penitentiary for not less than one nor more than seven years.

Within months, Bud and Rhonda were engaged. After four years of marriage, in 1955, however, Bud began to succumb to the same illness that had claimed Claude. Strange. One year of suffering led to Bud becoming paralyzed. Doctors were again baffled. This time, however, doctors searched for the answer to Bud’s illness and analyzed his hair. Arsenic it was. Police investigated Rhonda’s background and didn’t like what they found: prior to  Bud’s illness, two decades earlier in 193rhonda-bell-martin-27, Rhonda married her first husband, George Garrett. They had three daughters together, but 3-year-old Imogene succumbed to a mysterious illness and they were left with two. Imogene died a torturous death. Rhonda wasn’t bothered a bit.

It would appear that Rhonda began with the smallest victim she could find, perhaps as a test subject. Two years later, she poisoned Garrett to death. Strangely, Rhonda got only little financial reward. Her motive seemed to be thrill killing. For Rhonda, the true benefit of death, was death. To say her evil behavior became a compulsion is an understatement. Her next victim was another daughter, Anna Carolyn, 6 years old. Three years later, Rhonda’s eldest, 11-year-old Ellyn, also met her Maker. Eventually two more of Rhonda’s children died, although Rhonda would always claim she had nothing to do with these deaths. Ultimately, she would never be charged for them. Rhonda returned to arsenic to poison her own mother, Mrs. Mary Frances Gibbon.  It was strangely thrilling. Seven years. Five lives. Two decades. That must be the oddest math anyone has ever done.

Rhonda did make one fatal (pun) error and this time it backfired on her: she had her relatives buried, rather than cremated. Exhuming the bodies was the next logical step. By now, local media had uncovered the story and it was a twisted, carnival atmosphere that surrounded the cemetery as the bodies were dug up. The jig was up. Rhonda made a full confession as she sat and embroidered a sampler. She had no explanation for the killings. “I don’t know,” she shrugged. She agreed that no one she knew was safe until she was locked up. In fact, she advised authorities that if she was released, she would kill again.

Mass Murder Suspect Walking Into Police StationThere would be no worry about her release. On October 11, 1957, Rhonda was put to death by electric chair for her crimes. Rhonda had wanted her sentence commuted to life. She even made herself a nice dress, black and white, to go to her hearing but nothing doing. Her last meal was hamburger, mashed potatoes, cinnamon rolls and coffee. She left her brain for research scientists to examine. It was anything but admirable. She seemed to be saying, “it’s not my fault. You might find the answer in here.” I doubt the answer will be found anywhere.





Angry, Anxious Arlene Attacked an Attractive, Accommodating Amour

Waldoboro, Maine. May, 2012. plain, overweight 25-year-old Arline Lawless aka Arline Seavey, met handsome, 34-year-old fisherman Normie Benner. What Benner saw in Lawless is anyone’s guess. Benner’s catch of the day was lobster. Lobster was a big industry in Waldoboro. As for Lawless, she had a few brushes with the law(less?) now and then. Her roommate Jeremy McPhee found her a tad “difficult.” Benner, however, was patient and non-judgmental.

arlene-lawlessOne week after they met, Benner brought Lawless home to meet the family. Uh-oh. They disapproved of her tattoos. Benner’s mother Dawn Benner, noticed deep scars on Lawless’ forearms and the woman admitted she was into self-harm. That couldn’t bode well. It suggested a rage that was simmering beneath her pleasant surface. Then Lawless informed the family she was in love with Benner. After one week? How odd(ball).

Benner didn’t take Lawless as seriously as Lawless did. She was determined that Benner was the man of her dreams. Benner had a more casual perspective on the relationship. After only two months, Lawless told him she wanted to get married. When the two weren’t together she called him constantly. She needed to know where he was all the time. “She won’t leave me alone,” Benner told his family. “I’ve gotta get out of this relationship.” Even the laid back Benner began to feel stifled. He felt Lawless was too needy for him.

By mid-July, Lawless had a feeling that Benner was disillusioned about her. She often woke Benner up in the night to ask are you going to leave me?” After snooping through his cell phone, Lawless discovered Benner’s ex had been calling him. She demanded to know if he was going to leave her for his ex.

normanOn the weekend of July 21, 2012, Benner got up early on Saturday morning and left for work. All day Lawless tried to contact Benner on his cell. When she couldn’t reach him she called his sister, Kim. Sobbing, Lawless lied and told Kim that McPhee was attacking her and threatening her with a gun. Of course it was a lie. Benner heard about the ruse and decided to sever the relationship once and for all. Benner told his family he would be home in an hour.

arline-lawlessHe brought a lobster dinner to Lawless’ home and told her he wanted to break up with her. Lawless wept and Benner backed down. She begged him to stay the night with her. Against his better judgment, Benner did. Knowing Benner was finished with her, Lawless shot Benner with McPhee’s gun. She couldn’t bear to let him leave her, especially since she believed he had another woman. She shot herself but she didn’t die.

On Sunday July 23, Dawn and Kimberly drove to Lawless’ residence. They found Normie Benner dead due to a gunshot wound to the head in Lawless’ bedroom. Lawless lay supposedly lifeless beside him. Suddenly, Lawless sat up. Kim and Dawn ran for their lives. They called 9-1-1. Lawless was brought to the hospital due to a facial wound.

Lawless received 35 years in prison for the first degree murder of Normie Benner. The Benner family weren’t pleased. They felt she should have received life in prison, or death. “She could be out in her 50’s. She’s laughing, walking, talking,” Dawn Benner stated. Unlike poor Benner.



Miserable Melanie made a Murderous Plan against her Neighbour

Prestatyn, Wales. 2012. Prestatyn is a beautiful seaside town, the type of place where everyone knows everyone else’s business, like it or not. In the summer it is a tourist trap. The locals who don’t thrive off tourists’ visits must hate that. However, good-looking, 23-year-old Liam Turell and 20-year-old Lee Anna Shiers, lived Melanie-Smithcommon-law and were raising beautiful 15-month-old Charlie in Prestatyn and they liked it just fine. 43-year-old Melanie Smith didn’t feel the same. She lived downstairs from their apartment. A miserable spinster, Smith did all kinds of weird things to the hapless couple. For instance, Smith imagined she could hear the couple when they had intercourse. She took a broom and pounded on her ceiling, ordering them to “stop that!” Turell thought she was a pest. Shiers was afraid of the woman. She had reason to be.

Smith had many emotional issues. She was also a dysfunctional alcoholic and a divorcee. Paul Smith married Melanie in August 1987, two years after they met.  She gave birth to their three children – Lisa, Charlotte, and Jonathon, within the next four years but Paul said she lacked any maternal instinct.  Paul noticed marks on the children but Melanie always had an excuse. Her excuses must have been pretty convincing: Smith burned them with cigarettes, poured boiling water over them and locked them in a tiny cupboard. She chopped off their hair if they made ‘too much noise’. The day Paul discovered Smith in bed with another man while their three children were locked in another room, was the day he left. Paul fought for custody but lost. When the evil woman abandoned her children to voluntary foster care, Paul won them back and their ordeal at their mother’s hands ended.

Now Smith lived with her partner, Steve Clarkson, and her relationship with him wasn’t any better than it was with the upstairs neighbours. She wrongly accused him of having affairs with women. He denied it but she refused to believe him. Unfortunately, Smith believed Clarkson and Shiers were having a torrid affair. That was untrue but in Smith’s mind, it was on. She began looking for reasons to find fault with her neighbours. During a loud argument with Clarkson she informed him I’ll burn the bloody house down!” if he continued with the imaginary affair. Sometimes she crouched outside Turell and Shires’ apartment and peeked through the mailbox slot to see what they were doing. She’d yell at them on occasion that “I’ll burn the bloody house down with the little kid in it!” Charming. Sadly, Turell and Shiers didn’t contact police. They should have. Either that, or they should have picked up and moved out. Sometimes you have to conceded defeat – especially when your life is on the line.

Samantha Schofield was a former pub friend and would-be arson victim on Smith’s hit list. She remembered how Smith had also threatened to torch her house, Undated-family-handout-of-Lee-Anna-Shiers-20-and-Liam-Timbrell-23-who-were-two-of-the-five-victims-killed-in-a-housewith her kids sleeping inside. One morning, she discovered a mound of matches by her gate. She commented to the press, “I’m lucky to be alive and so are my kids. On the night of the fire at Lee Anna’s, she was telling people in the pub she had a box of matches and she’d set fire to my house. When the fire happened I had about eight phone calls from friends as they thought it was me who had been killed.”

Smith and Schofield met at Samantha’s partner’s pub. “Melanie was a happy drunk,” was the best Schofield could say about Smith. Eventually, Smith was the one who kicked Clarkson out of their apartment. Clarkson asked Schofield if she would take him in. Very unwisely, she did – for three nights. Then as Schofield sat in a local pub with her family and Clarkson,  Smith entered the pub and launched herself at Schofield, accusing her of having an affair with Clarkson, while Clarkson sipped his beer and looked on. Clearly, he wasn’t any more right in the head than Smith. After the bizarre encounter, Clarkson returned to his mentally unbalanced paramour.

Days later, Smith threatened to burn down Schofield’s semi-detached house. She told people she tried to set fire to Samantha’s home but had been too drunk to ignite the matches. Strangely, Schofield assumed Smith had been making empty threats and she also neglected to contact police. Prestatyn people are a gullible bunch.

Bailey-Allen-and-Skye-Allen-and-Charlie-TimbrellOctober 19, 2012. Smith began drinking in the morning. Above her, little Charlie has two toddler playmates sleeping over at his house. The drunker she got, the angrier Smith became. Finally, Smith lit a lighter and yelled loudly at the ceiling, “I’m gonna do it! Don’t make me do it!” Smith went into the hallway and set Charlie’s stroller on fire. The fire was set in the only stairwell in the building. Smith returned to her apartment and shut her door. Turell tried to get his family out of the building, but heat and flames push him back inside his apartment. The house was a death trap. Turell knew firefighters wouldn’t reach them on time. No one survived the blaze. As Turell lay dying, he told police Smith was the culprit.

Smith and Clarkson conveniently escaped the building. Smith insisted “I was in bed! I had nothing to do with it!” Clarkson looked at her in shock and  denied her claims. Smith was arrested at the scene. Without any emotion whatsoever, she stated that Leanne and three children were “burning to death.” In May 2013, Smith was convicted on five counts of murder. She was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 30 years. Let’s see. That will make her 74. Hopefully, she’ll burn out in prison, much like the blaze she set, long before then.

As a codicil, Charlotte Smith stated, ‘We all wish she was dead. Knowing that the evil woman who killed that poor family is our mother is almost impossible to bear. Dad rescued us from hell. He’s brought us all up without her but now she’s back in our lives in the most horrific way imaginable. She’s been dead to us since we were tiny. Now I just want her to rot in hell.’ Or burn in hell, as it were.