A rifle in a shopping mall, a syringe of potassium chloride, and a syringe of insulin, each in the hands of a mentally disturbed woman, lead to the tragic end of many lives.

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Episode credited cast:
Janis Amatuzio ...
Herself
Dan Balcaban ...
Craig Wanner
Bruce Bartlett ...
Himself - Assistant State Attorney
Candice DeLong ...
Herself
Robert J. Engelke ...
Himself - Investigator
Russell Eshleman ...
Himself - Former Reporter
Cathy Frye ...
Herself - Reporter
Paul Godfrey ...
Hero
John Wesley Hall Jr. ...
Himself - Defense Lawyer
Reid Kanaley ...
Himself - Journalist
Elizabeth Nottingham ...
Herself - Christina's Sister
Thomas J. Rossi ...
Himself - Retired Detective
...
Reporter
...
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Deadly Woman looks at cases of women driven by insanity including schizophrenic Sylvia Seegrist who goes on a killing spree in a Philadelphia Mall, Christina Marie Riggs who was driven by depression into killing her own children, and Bobbie Sue Dudley who kills twelve nursing home residents due to Münchausen syndrome. Written by Shatterdaymorn

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Documentary | Crime

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23 October 2008 (USA)  »

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Twisted Minds
2 November 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This documentary covers three disparate murderesses: spree killer Sylvia Seegrist; mother of two Christina Riggs; and Angel of Death Bobbie Sue Dudley.

First up is Seegrist; on October 30, 1985, dressed in combat fatigues, she walked into a Pennsylvania mall with a rifle and began shooting at people from the hip. She had killed three and injured seven before she was stopped by a literal accidental hero. As it was the day before Halloween, some people thought she was playing a prank or something. This guy walked up to her and snatched the rifle away angrily, protesting at the noise.

It was only then that Seegrist snapped out of her fugue state. She had an obsession with the military, in fact she had joined the army but had been discharged on mental health grounds. She had a long time diagnosis of schizophrenia but had refused to take her medicine.

She was given three life sentences, and is the only one of the three cases discussed here who is deserving of some sympathy.

Second up is social inadequate Christina Riggs. Both her lawyer and her sister contribute to this segment; the former also attended her execution. Riggs claimed to have been sexually abused as a child. Whether or not that is true, madness or at least mental disorder appears to run in her family.

Single mother Riggs had a young son and daughter. Suffering from depression, she decided to end her own life but first to take theirs. She injected them with potassium chloride. This is a regular execution drug, but it needs to be diluted, otherwise it burns the victim's veins. She ended up suffocating them both with a pillow. After this she took 28 antidepressants and injected herself with the same drug She botched her suicide attempt, and simply burned her vein.

People have been know to sit on death row for decades, but the State of Arkansas dispatched her at breakneck speed. She was convicted on November 4, 1997, and on May 2, 2000, she became the first woman to be executed in Arkansas since 1845, fittingly with potassium chloride.

The third murderess discussed here is Bobbie Sue Dudley. Like Christina Riggs, Dudley was a nurse; unlike Riggs she was an Angel of Death, and is known to have murdered at least 12 patients in the nursing home where she worked the graveyard shift. She was said to have suffered from Münchausen syndrome by proxy. Does this even exist?

UK readers may find her case similar to that of Beverley Allitt, except her victims were a lot older. Unlike Seegrist and Riggs, Dudley does not have the excuse of mental illness, and was pure evil. The documentary makers talk to the two detectives who worked the case. As her crimes were committed in Florida, she would have been eligible for the death penalty, but she copped a plea, and although it is not mentioned here, she died in prison the year before this programme was first aired.

As usual with these kind of documentaries, if you ignore the mandatory psychobabble, they are worth watching, including this one.


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