Velma Barfield Confesses To Seven Murders

Velma Barfield

Velma Barfield was a female serial killer from North Carolina who was executed for a murder and would later confess to six more.

Velma Barfield first marriage was to Thomas Burke who had a problem with alcohol while Velma was struggling with a drug addiction. Velma would take the kids and leave however when she returned the house and Thomas Burke were lost to a fire

Velma Barfield would then marry Jennings Barfield who would die a year later from heart complications

Velma Barfields mother Linda would start to have health problems and would be admitted to the hospital and later released. A year later Linda was readmitted to the hospital with the same symptoms and would pass away

Velma Barfield began to care for the elderly working for Montgomery and Dollie Edwards. Dollie Edwards would die a few month later

Velma Barfield would start to work for an elderly couple Record and John Lee, John would pass away a few months later

Velma Barfield began to date Rowland Stuart Taylor who was a relation to Dollie Edwards, she began to steal from him shortly after and decided the best way not to get caught was to kill him. Velma would poison him with arsenic

Velma Barfield would be arrested and charged for the murder of Rowland Stuart Taylor. Authorities took a closer look at her life and would exhume the bodies of her second husband Jennings Barfield and turns out he had arsenic in his system.

Velma Barfield would be convicted of the murder of Rowland Taylor and sentenced to death. She would later confess to the murders of Linda Bullard, Dollie, and John Henry Lee.

Velma Barfield was executed on November 2, 1984

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Velma Barfield

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When was Velma Barfield executed

Velma Barfield execution was on November 2, 1984

How was Velma Barfield executed

Velma Barfield was executed by lethal injection

Velma Barfield Execution

After two marriages ended with the death of her husbands, by 1977 Velma Barfield was in a relationship with Stuart Taylor, who was a widower and tobacco farmer. As she had been doing for years, she forged checks on Taylor’s account to pay for her addiction to prescription drugs. Fearing that she had been found out, she mixed an arsenic based rat poison into his beer and tea. Taylor became very ill and Velma volunteered to nurse him. As his condition worsened she took him to hospital where he died a few days later.

Unfortunately for her there was an autopsy which found that the cause of Taylor’s death was arsenic poisoning and Barfield was arrested and charged with his murder. At the trial her defense pleaded insanity but this was not accepted and she was convicted. The jury recommended the death sentence. Velma appeared cold and uncaring on the stand and actually gave the District Attorney a round of applause when he made his closing speech.

Velma later confessed to the 1974 murder of her own mother (in whose name she had taken out a loan) and of two elderly people, John Henry Lee (by whom she was being paid as a housekeeper/caregiver) and Dollie Edwards (a relative of Stuart Taylor). Barfield always attended the funerals of her victims and appeared to grieve genuinely for them.

The body of her late husband, Thomas Barfield, was later exhumed and also found to contain traces of arsenic. Velma denied that she had killed him. Her motives for these four murders were the same. She had misappropriated money from her victims and then according to her, tried to make them ill so she could nurse them whilst finding another job to enable her to repay the money. Needless to say, the jury was less than impressed by this defense.

Velma Barfield gained notoriety as the “Death Row Granny,” becoming the first woman to be executed in the U.S. since 1962, and the first since the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976.

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