Ruth Dirienzo-Whitehead Murders 11 Yr Old Son

Ruth Dirienzo-Whitehead Pennsylvania

Ruth Dirienzo-Whitehead is a convicted killer from Pennsylvania who would murder her eleven year old son

According to court documents Ruth Dirienzo-Whitehead would wait for her eleven year old son Matthew Whitehead to fall asleep and then she would wrap a belt around the neck of the boy strangling him until he died

Ruth Dirienzo-Whitehead would then jump into the family vehicle and drove to New Jersey and proceeded to drive into the ocean. When the vehicle could go no further she would get out and walked briefly before being taken into custody

Ruth Dirienzo-Whitehead would be arrested, convicted and will be sentenced this Friday where she faces life in prison

Ruth Dirienzo-Whitehead Case

A Horsham, Pennsylvania woman was found guilty of first-degree murder on Thursday in the strangling death of her 11-year-old son.

Ruth Dirienzo-Whitehead, 51, was also found guilty of possession of an instrument of crime in the death of Matthew Whitehead.

She was asserting an insanity defense in the non-jury trial.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Friday morning. Dirienzo-Whitehead is facing life in prison.

Victim impact statements will be read in court.

The murder happened in April 2023. Police were called to the family’s home in the 500 block of Privet Road after the boy’s father found him dead.

Ruth Dirienzo-Whitehead told police she didn’t want her son to grow up with her family’s financial problems, so she strangled him with her husband’s belt as he slept.

Investigators say DiRienzo-Whitehead killed her son after he went to sleep, then drove the family’s SUV to Cape May, New Jersey.

She drove the vehicle into the ocean off Beach Avenue, investigators say, and once the vehicle could no longer be driven she walked to Wildwood Crest.

That’s where DiRienzo-Whitehead was taken into custody.

Ruth Dirienzo-Whitehead News

Ruth Dirienzo-Whitehead, 51, has been convicted of killing her 11-year-old son before driving to a Jersey Shore beach where investigators said she drove her vehicle in the ocean in April of last year.

In delivering the guilty verdict on Thursday morning, a judge in a Montgomery County courtroom refused to find mental illness as a defense.

In hearings this week, Dirienzo-Whitehead’s defense argued that she strangled her son, Matthew Whitehead, to death with a belt on April 10 in a bedroom of their Horsham Township home because she was having a psychotic break and felt she was sparing her son a painful life.

After the killing, Dirienzo-Whitehead drove Cape May, where officials found her vehicle partially submerged in the ocean just off of Beach Avenue in Cape May, New Jersey.

Dirienzo-Whitehead was later found walking in Wildwood Crest, New Jersey, shortly after and taken into custody.

A defense expert testified that Dirienzo-Whitehead suffered from depression and mental illness at the time of the killing.

And, her lawyer told NBC10 that she felt her world was crashing in on her, financial pressures and her son’s awareness of them had become too much for the Horsham mom.

However, prosecutors argued that the killing was premeditated, revealing that she had numerous Google searches on how to strangle someone and she had done research on mental illnesses that lead moms to kill their own kids.

Also, family owned a beach house in Wildwood Crest, NJ, which they put up for sale just prior to the killing.

The home sold for more than $800,000.

Instead, prosecutors argued that Dirienzo-Whitehead blamed her husband for the family’s financial issues and said she was motivated to kill her child by a mix of anger and revenge.

Dirienzo-Whitehead has been convicted of first-degree murder, which carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison.

Her sentencing hearing is scheduled for Friday.

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