- Summaries (1)
Leslie Ballard lived a privileged life. Her parents ran a successful printing business in Little Rock and paid for her master's degree, her condo, her cars, and her vacations. Then she met and married Mike MacKool. Mike was 23 years Leslie's senior, had several ex-wives and, as far as Leslie's parents were concerned, was overly interested in their money. With Mike in the picture, they were less willing to foot the bill for Leslie's lifestyle. When her father died, he left his only daughter just $25,000 of his million-dollar estate. When, less than a month after Leslie's father died, her mother was found murdered, a family friend told police to look no further than her own daughter. Mrs. Ballard had confided in friends that she feared Leslie and her husband would try to kill her. When police called Leslie in for questioning, she quickly confessed. She told them that Mike was upset that she'd gotten such a small inheritance from her father, but, after reading the will, thought he had found a loophole: if her mother died within thirty days, Leslie would get the entire estate. On the day of the murder, he dressed her in dark clothes and a dark wig and provided her with a backpack stocked with wire cutters, a butcher knife, and a rag for cleaning up. He then drove her to her mother's home and told her what to do. Leslie stabbed her mother more than 70 times with the butcher knife, then stole some jewelry and the family Cadillac. At her trial, Leslie pleaded not guilty by reason of mental defect. She claimed that Mike was abusive, constantly criticizing and beating her. He had no job, and he'd made her quit hers. She claimed that she and her mother were best friends until she met Mike, and Mike had brainwashed her to resent her mother. He had told her to kill her mother, and said that if she didn't do it, he would kill them both. After the murder, he'd told her she'd done a poor job and hid the murder outfit to use as evidence against her if they got caught. The jurors were not sympathetic. They found her guilty and sentenced her to life without parole.
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