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Lydia Trueblood

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Black Widow - Lydia Trueblood:

Lydia Trueblood was from Pocatello, Idaho and earned her seat on the list of female serial killers for poisoning five of her husbands, her brother-in-law and her baby girl.

Tragic Losses:

Lydia Trueblood was less than remarkable in appearance yet something about her seemed to capture the attention of men. At the age of 19, she married one such man, Idaho land owner, Robert C. Dooley. The happy couple had a baby girl who they named Lorraine and all seemed well until the sudden death of Lorraine. Soon after, Robert's brother Edward Dooley who was living with the couple, also died. Then tragically in October 1915, Robert also died from what was thought to have been typhoid fever.

Husband Number Two:

Within two years Lydia overcame her grief and married William G. McHaffle and moved to his home in Montana. But within a year and a half, the unlucky widow suffered another loss. On October 1, 1918 McHaffle died from what was thought to be complications of influenza and diphtheria.

Husband Number Three:

But Lydia had a way of bouncing back from her grief and at the age of 25, and twice widowed, she met yet another man. His name was Harlan C. Lewis, an automotive engineer from Billings, Montana. However, within four months, Lewis was dead from complications of gastro-enteritis.

Husband Number Four:

Lydia managed to get over her loss fairly quickly as in the past and it was not long before the 27-year-old widower three times over met and married Edward F. Meyer, a ranch foreman from Pocatello, Idaho. Edward only survived the marriage for one month, dying after contracting typhoid.

On the Run:

This time her unfortunate history with dying husbands aroused suspicion and a local chemist, Earl Dooley, decided to dig a little deeper into the death of Meyers. He collected soil on the spot where Meyers died, tested it and discovered it contained arsenic. After testing was done on the exhumed body of Meyers and large traces of arsenic was uncovered, authorities went to arrest Lydia, but she was no where to be found.

Husband Number Five:

Eventually the bodies of all her dead husbands, her baby and her brother-in-law were tested and traces of arsenic was detected in some. By the time authorities caught up with Lydia she was living in Hawaii and married to Paul Vincent. Lydia was returned to face murder charges of which she was found guilty and sentenced to ten years to life. It was determined that her motive for murder was money, since she had taken out and collected on the life insurance policies of each of her dead husbands.

Easy Prey:

Lydia was very resourceful, even behind bars, and she managed to escape from prison into the arms of David Minton, an ex-convict who had fallen in love with her before his release from prison. Once outside the prison walls, Lydia didn't stay with Minton for long, but she did leave him alive. This proved to be her demise because Minton, angered at Lydia leaving him, told police where she was living in Topeka, Kansas.

Husband Number Six:

Somehow Lydia had managed to marry yet another man, Harry Whitlock, after leaving Minton and before the police caught up to her. She was returned to prison, leaving her stunned husband, who described her as a model wife, behind.

The Warden Rudd:

Once back in prison, Lydia had one last trick up her sleeve. This time she convinced George Rudd, the prison warden, to grant her special privileges such as day trips to a local resort and special visitation to her sick mother. When an investigation into prison conditions was performed and the truth came out about her getting special treatment, Rudd was forced to resign. What happened to Lydia Trueblood afterwards is unknown.
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