Deadly Women Premiered ‘Twisted Minds’ on Investigation Discovery: Sylvia Seegrist, Christina Riggs, and Bobbie Sue Dudley Terrell (October 23, 2008)

1. Sylvia Seegrist

When a deranged mind of a Deadly Women snaps, there’s no telling when the killing will stop. -Twisted Minds, Deadly Women (S2, E3)

Date: October 30, 1985
Victims: Recife Cosmen, 2, Ernest Trout, 67, and Augusto Ferrara, 64 (she also injured 7 others in the shooting incident)
Location: Springfield Mall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Circumstances: Sylvia dressed in fatigues began shooting at people in the Springfield Mall with a 22 caliber rifle; victims were diving behind racks of clothing and hiding in the backs of stores; store owners realized that it was a familiar face; Sylvia would go into the Springfield Mall and complain to store owners that the bright lights bothered her; she would also march up and down the hall in the mall; Sylvia was obsessed with the military and the Army discharged her early; the Army recognized that Sylvia was not right in her mind; she muttered to herself and used obscenities because Sylvia had schizophrenia; she couldn’t perceive reality for what it was; she responded to the negative voices in her head; she was diagnosed 10 years earlier but refused to take her medication; Sylvia’s mother tried to get her to take the medication but she wouldn’t; her delusional system involved military power and control over people; her history revealed the potential for violence; she had been working up to the violence at the mall for a long time; Sylvia was driven by paranoid schizophrenia, the delusions centered around the fact that one is being persecuted and people are after them; she was in and out of mental institutions for years and feared her mother wanted to send her back; she refused to take medication and was suspicious of the medication and anyone who wanted her to take it; she thought her family wanted to hurt her and was out to get her, she was fearful that they wanted to send her back to the hospital; to Sylvia, the shooting was a ticket to a better life in prison; for some reason she decided that the hospital was worse than prison and she would do something to get her to prison instead; thankfully someone in the mall walked up to her and took the gun from her thinking it was a prank; John Loufer was an accidental hero; once medicated again, Sylvia displayed remorse for her actions; she was angry that she was free to buy a gun despite her mental illness; but she checked “no” on the form and was able to purchase a gun with no problems whatsoever; Sylvia criticized her ability to buy a weapon and wrote to Congress, the President, etc telling them she should not have been allowed to buy the gun
Motive: Mental Illness (paranoid schizophrenia)
Disposition: Sylvia Seegrist, 24, was found guilty but mentally ill of 3 counts of murder and 7 counts of attempted murder; she received 3 life sentences

Related Links:
Wikipedia: Sylvia Seegrist
2 Killed in Shopping Mall as Woman Fired on Crowd
Cousins Huddled to Protect Each Other as Woman Opened Fire
Shooting suspect said to be abusive
Sylvia Seegrist, the fatigue-clad woman who shot 10 people…
Mall Insurers Settle with Rampage Victims
She’s sorry she killed, but victims’ kin don’t want her freed Medicine curbs psychotic urges of woman who went on rampage
Middletown native, Springfield mall hero named as Coatesville police chief
Springfield Mall’s 1985 Shooter: Where is She Now?
Sylvia Seegrist went psycho and killed three innocent people at the Springfield, Pa., mall
Decades After Sylvia Seegrist, Mentally Ill People Are Still Murdering Innocents
Flashbacks To A Pennsylvania Mall Massacre In 1985
Coatesville Will Again Try To Hire Maj. John Laufer As Police Chief
“I Didn’t Mean to Do It” (Part 1 of 2)
“I Didn’t Mean to Do It” (Part 2 of 2)
The Anomaly of a Female Mass Shooter: San Bernardino Wife Joins Small Group of Shooters
Many factors make San Bernardino rare among mass shootings
‘Why is it men who commit mass shootings?’
Where’d They Get Their Guns?
Extreme Killing: Understanding Serial and Mass Murder
Miss Rambo: The True Story of Spree Killer Sylvia Seegrist
Twisted Minds | Deadly Women | Sylvia Seegrist | S2, E3 (website)
Twisted Minds | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery | S2, E3 (Amazon)
Sylvia Seegrist | Episode 51 | Misconduct, A True Crime Podcast
HISTORY – Twisted Philly – Episode 14: PART 1 – Ms. Rambo
HISTORY – Twisted Philly – Episode 15: PART 2 – Ms. Rambo
Army Veteran Sylvia Seegrist Went on Shooting Spree at Shopping Mall Killing Recife Cosmen, Ernest Trout and Augusto Ferrara; Sentenced to Life in Prison (October 30, 1985)

2. Christina Marie Riggs

When a deranged mind of a Deadly Women snaps, there’s no telling when the killing will stop. -Twisted Minds, Deadly Women (S2, E3)

Date: November 4, 1997
Victims: Justin Thomas, 5, and Shelby Alexis Riggs, 2
Location: Sherwood, Arkansas
Circumstances: Single mother Christina Riggs killed her own children; something snapped in her mind because she killed two defenseless children that didn’t know what was coming; Christina was going to kill her children with potassium chloride which she thought would stop their heart; what she didn’t understand is that a diluted form through IV would burn the skin and destroy the vein in the process; the potassium chloride binds and burns all of the blood vessels on the way to the heart; trouble followed Christina through her entire life; Christina was separated from her siblings and raised alone by her mother; in her diary, she wrote of sexual abuse by a neighbor and a family member; by 13, she was desperately unhappy and overweight; it was a psychological barrier for offenders; if I look unattractive, they won’t be interested in me; when she got older, she turned to sex because that’s all she knew; she got pregnant at 20 with her son Justin and his father skipped town; she married John Riggs and had another child Shelby but the marriage didn’t last; she was alone and raising the children by herself; she lost a cousin to suicide, her mother made a suicide attempt when she was growing up, and she had a grandmother who was institutionalized; potassium chloride is often used in prison executions; she thought she would give the children a quick and painless death but Justin was in pain and agony; she reached for another injection and tried to give him morphine; he was in so much pain and wiggling about that it was impossible for Christina to get the needle in the vein; Christina was a nurse known for always helping people; her sister wanted to know why she did this (filicide); her sister said she was great with her kids and worked long hours at the hospital to provide for her kids; after her divorce, she started another relationship but this guy broke her heart and stole her credit card; he left her broke and destitute; she told a doctor she was depressed and was prescribed Prozac; it was unclear if she was taking meds at the time of the homicide; the combination of mood swings, irritability and depression was the perfect storm; her plan to poison her two children failed so she resorted to suffocation and smothered both the children; she carefully laid their bodies on her bed and then tried to take her own life; she took 28 anti-depressants and injected herself with potassium chloride but it burned a hole and collapsed the vein; she decided to kill her children 2 days before she did it; she was afraid if she died, the children would be separated and go with their respective fathers, she thought she would prevent future sadness; 19 hours after the suicide attempt, Christina’s mom found her shortly before she died; Christina was demonized once the community learned what she had done; if she had died, nobody would have cared and would have wrote this off as another horrible tragedy; her sister hopes to shed light on the issue to help others learn from their experience; at trial, many discounted Christina’s state of mind and thought she wanted to rid herself of the children; in the end, the State of Arkansas finished what she started; Christina was obsessed with a black depression and didn’t want her children to live the same way
Motive: Mental Illness (depression)
Disposition: Christina Riggs, 26, was found guilty of two counts of first degree murder and sentenced to death by the State of Arkansas; she was executed by lethal injection (potassium chloride) on May 2, 2000

“There is no way words can express how sorry I am for taking the lives of my babies. Now I can be with my babies, as I always intended.” -Christina Marie Riggs (last words before execution)

Related Links:
Christina Marie Thomas Riggs | Find A Grave
Judge Orders Convicted Child Killer to File Appeal
Christina Marie Riggs v. State of Arkansas | Supreme Court of Arkansas (November 04, 1999)
Arkansas is set to execute its first woman in 150 years
Christina Marie Riggs #629 | Clark County Prosecuting Attorney
Mother executed for killing her children
Arkansas Executes a Woman Who Killed Both Her Children
Arkansas Executes Mother Who Murdered Her 2 Children
Arkansas Executes Its 1st Woman in 155 Years
Arkansas woman executed for death of her children
Woman executed in Arkansas
Sexism and the death chamber
Why I Changed My Mind on the Death Penalty
These Are The Only 13 Women Executed In America In The Past 40 Years
On Death Row, Women Want Salad for Last Meal
13 Female Murderers’ Last Meals Serve A Plate Of Bizarre Requests, From Sweet Peas To A Nice Bowl Of Apricots
Last Supper of a Black Widow and More Women of Death Row
Women Who Were Given the Death Penalty in the U.S.
10 Recently Executed American Murderesses
The Exchange: Last Words
Last words on Death Row
Christina Marie Riggs | Death Penalty USA
Christina Riggs | Death Penalty Information Center
Executing Women in the USA | Amnesty International
Christina Marie Riggs Documentary | Female Killers
Killer Women – Christina Marie Riggs Documentary
Baby Killer Christina Riggs: An anthology of True Crime by Diane Ullmer

3. Bobbie Sue Dudley Terrell

When a deranged mind of a Deadly Women snaps, there’s no telling when the killing will stop. -Twisted Minds, Deadly Women (S2, E3)

Date: November 1984
Victims: Aggie Marsh, 97, Stella Bradham, 85, Leathy McKnight, 85, and Mary Rae Carter, 79 (Anna Larsen, 94, was injected with insulin but rushed to the hospital and saved)
Location: North Horizon, St. Petersburg, Florida
Circumstances: In a 50 bed nursing facility, 12 people died in 13 days; Bobbie was an angel of death and killed her patients; she had an intense compulsion to murder because of what it did for her; Bobbie Sue had deep rooted psychological issues that surfaced after the investigation began; she used to mutilate herself to attract attention; she had Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy; she had a long history of self-harm; she had her ovaries removed, stomach tumors, a broken arm that wouldn’t heal, hysterectomy, gall bladder problems, ulcers and pneumonia; it brought her the attention she craved; she would faint in between surgeries; she craved attention so she hurt herself to get it; her mind was twisted at an early age because four of her siblings had muscular dystrophy so she didn’t get the attention she wanted; at a young age, she learned the way to get love and attention was to be sick; her life revolved around sickness; it lead her to a career in nursing; she saw the power her mother had taking care of sick children and she wanted that; her desire switched from harming herself to harming others; detectives found a common thread with each death; Bobbie Sue was working when they died; they learned she had a long history of harming herself for attention; somehow she got a license in nursing in 1975 despite being in and out of institutions for years in Illinois prior to her move to Florida; the victims in the nursing facility showed no signs of injury; the cops needed to substantiate their gut feelings; one of the individuals who died had several injection points and there seemed to be a trace of zync, maybe possible use of insulin; it’s used to help diabetic patients from becoming hypoglycemic; the use of insulin overdose would cause blood sugars to drop, stop the heart, and cause insulin death; Anna Larsen was sent to the hospital with insulin shock but she wasn’t a diabetic; someone injected the insulin and staffing records revealed Bobbie Sue was the common theme; cops investigated records and exhumed the bodies; they finally had enough to charge Bobbie Sue; they not only proved that she committed murder but they got a conviction; detectives believe that she probably has more victims that we don’t know about; Bobbie Sue died of an infection in prison on August 27, 2007
Motive: Mental Illness (Munchausen syndrome by proxy)
Disposition: Prosecutors wanted first degree murder charges for Bobbie Sue Dudley, 35, but she plead guilty to second degree murder in a plea bargain and was sentenced to 65 years in prison for 4 homicides; she also received 30 years for the attempted murder of Anna Larsen to be served concurrently with the 65 year sentence; the plea bargain locked her away for the rest of her life; she died of an infection in 2007

Related Links:
Obituary: Bobbie Sue Dudley (August 27, 2007)
Ex-Nurse is Charged in Slayings
Nurse pleads guilty to four murders
Suspected Nurse Had History Of Mental Illness
Bobbie Sue Dudley: The Angel of Death
Bobbie Sue Dudley Documentary | Female Killers
Killer Women – Bobbie Sue Dudley Documentary
Bobbie Sue Terrell | Murderpedia

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