On August 25, 1998, Suzanne Basso and five co-defendants, including her son, kidnapped a 59-year-old mentally disabled man, Louis 'Buddy' Musso, and murdered him by beating him with belts, baseball bats, steel-toed boots, hands, and feet.
Basso was the ringleader of the group and encouraged all the co-defendants to abuse the man in order to get money from his insurance policy which named Basso as the beneficiary.
Wooed to His Death
According to court records, Musso had the intelligence of a 7-year-old child, but had learned to live independently. Police say Basso met Musso during a church fair in New Jersey and wooed him to move away from his family and friends to Texas on the promise that the two would marry.
It was later shown that Basso, who was already married, obtained life insurance polices in Musso's name and managed his monthly Social Security income.
The abuse that Masso indured prior to his death was detailed in courtroom testimony. It included that he had 17 cuts to his head; 28 cuts and cigarette burns; 14 broken ribs; two dislocated vertebrae, his skull was fracture; and he had a fractured bone in his neck. He had also been soaked in bleach and pine cleaner and his body was scrubbed with a wire brush.
Masso was found in a ditch with injuries so horrendous that the body was unrecognizable.
Update: Suzanne Basso was executed on February 5, 2014 by lethal injection.
General Information About Suzanne Basso
- Date of Birth - May 15,1954
- Date of Offense - August 25, 1998
- Age at Time of Offense - 40
- Prior Occupation - office clerk, seamstress, laborer
- Education - 12th Grade
- Prior Prison Record - None
- Location of Crime - Harris County - Texas
- Co-defendants - James O'Malley, Greg Ahrens, Bernice Ahrens, Hope Ahrens, Terrance Singleton
- Race, Age and Gender of Victim - White, 59, male
Source: Texas Department of Criminal Justice