"Snapped": Glorification of female murderers. Stories of women who murder, mainly husbands or boyfriends.
- "Snapped" - Stories of real women who killed others, mainly husbands or boyfriends.
Glorification of female murderers/killers
"Snapped" is a true crime television series on the Oxygen Network that debuted in 2004 in the United States. It features stories of real women who killed others, mainly husbands or boyfriends. It is edited in a documentary style, using a central voice-over narration by reporter Sharon Martin, as well as interviews with people with first hand knowledge of the case, including friends and family members of the victims and sometimes even the killer herself. Snapped is produced in conjunction with Jupiter Entertainment.
"Snapped" has come under some scrutiny for the manner in which it often portrays the murderer/killer as the victim and for what is sometimes seen as glorification of female murderers/killers.
1.1 Season One (2004)
1.2 Season Two (2005)
1.3 Season Three (2005)
1.4 Season Four (2006)
1.5 Season Five (2007)
1.6 Season Six (2007)
1.7 Season Seven (2008)
2 Controversy 3 External links
Season One (2004)
Ruthann Aron -- Woman orders a hitman on her husband and political rival after she loses an election in the run for the U.S. Senate.
Debra Lynn Baker -- A bookkeeper and her friend poison her millionaire boss with arsenic and gets away with probation. And the boss' wife, who some insist was in on the murder, is never even charged.
Celeste Beard Johnson -- A bisexual Austin, Texas woman is accused of allegedly convincing her lesbian lover to kill her husband. Beard claimed to Tracy Tarlton her lover that they wouldn't be together no more unless her husband was out of the picture. Tracy Tarlton shoots Stephen Beard in the chest while he was asleep and after feeling better Celeste is accused of infecting his shotgun wound having him die of a staff infection. She gets away with her husbands murder until her former lesbian lover rates her out to the police after they questioned Tarlton before.
Joyce Cohen -- Woman is accused of allegedly hiring men to murder her wealthy husband after he threatened her with divorce.
Clara Harris -- A Houston dentist runs over philandering husband with her Mercedes with his 16-year old daughter in the car.
Kimberly Hricko -- Baltimore woman lethally injects husband with Succinylcholine and sets his body on fire in their hotel room while on a romantic weekend getaway, rather than rekindling their marriage.
Elena Kiejliches -- The wife of a wealthy Russian émigré shoots her husband in their Staten Island mansion and takes a trip to Disneyworld with her children before eventually winding up in prison in Bedford Hills.
Virginia Larzelere -- Her husband, a dentist, was found dead in his office in Edgewater, Florida, from a shotgun blast. Following the investigation police claimed the her son Jason killed hi step-father. At trial his verdict would be acquittal.
Lee Ann Reidel -- In a case of mistaken-identity, woman's lover kills her husband's business partner while intending to kill her husband. After the wrong guy gets whacked, the two lovebirds turn on each other and the jury is left wondering whom to believe.
Kristin Rossum -- San Diego toxicologist is accused of allegedly giving husband a fatal dose of Fentanyl but it would have been more likely to be her boss, Michael Robertson whom she had an affair with since he threatened their marriage. Ironically, he was dead with rose petals all over him which was similar to a scene from Rossum's favorite movie, American Beauty and that roses with baby's breath was also her favorite flower. During the investigation her secret was exposed. She was a regular crystal meth user.
Carolyn Warmus -- A New York Greenville Elementary School teacher and sexy millionaire heiress shoots the wife of her adulterous lover to be closer to him.
Susan Wright -- Houston, Texas housewife ties up her husband to their bed and stabs him 192 times in overkill. She tries to pass off his murder as self-defense.
Diane Zamora -- After her boyfriend cheats on her, a young woman at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, to make it up to her, she demands him to kill a 16-year-old classmate after the girl sleeps with him. Zamora still maintains her innocence saying she was in no part of her murder and that it was her boyfriend David.
Season Two (2005)
Brenda Andrew -- Her husband, an Oklahoma advertising executive, is gunned down at his home in the garage. When his wife called 911, she claims she and her husband were both shot by two masked men.
Dionne Baugh -- Atlanta, Georgia mistress bludgeons her millionaire boyfriend to death while he is asleep in the nude after breaking up with her.
Adele Craven - After successful Delta airlines pilot Steve Craven is found murdered in his basement, his wife pleads guilty to an affair and his murder at trial after a 3 1/2 year lie.
Amy DeChant -- When Las Vegas bookie Bruce Weinstein goes missing, his girlfriend, Amy DeChant becomes the prime suspect and a fugitive from justice.
Terri Gilbert - Attorney and county commissioner in Albuquerque, New Mexico is found dead in his estranged wife's home. Although she had also allegedly shot her previous ex-husband, she was found not guilty of all charges. She has left Mexico after her trial.
Rita Gluzman - While in the middle of a divorce, a woman forces her cousin to dismember her husband and dump his severed body parts into the Passaic River.
Linda Jones - After her husband has an affair with a teenage girl they were caring for, a woman hires hit-men to kill him.
Elisa McNabney -- A woman and best friend Sarah Dutra are accused of killing lawyer husband in California with overdoseing him with horse tranquilizer. A few months later, before she could go into trial for her husband's murder, Elisa committed suicide in her Florida jail cell. In March 2003 Sarah Dutra was convicted of voluntary manslaughter. She was sentenced to 11 years in prison and is serving her term at the Central California Women's Facility. Dutra will be eligible for release in October 2011.
Sharee Miller -- A housewife becomes a prime suspect when investigation leads officials to an ex-cop's suicide note, an internet chat room of sex chat and drug addiction after her husband an auto mechanic is found shot to death in his office by his brother and sister in-law. This led cops onto a trail of evidence that included internet sex chat, and an unsolved murder - and it all pointed to one person: Sharee Miller!
Donna Somerville - Woman is charged with murdering her wealthy fourth-husband. Her husband dies suddenly while eating dinner in his bed, the authorities assumed he died of natural causes until an autopsy revealed massive amounts of morphine, codeine, and oxycodone in Hamilton's stomach. At trial before a Virginia judge, there wasn't enough evidence to prove that Donna was responsible for her husband's death, and she was acquitted.
Dante Sutorius -- After her husband, a cardiologist, was found dead in a downstairs den in February 1996, police delve into his wife's violent past.
Pamela Smart -- Derry, New Hampshire media consultant teacher seduces her 15-year-old student into killing her husband. Her former teen lover Billy Flynn tells them that Pam begged him and his friends to kill Greg. Billy and his friend's testimony as well as extensive evidence were enough to convict Pam Smart of plotting her husband's murder. From this day she still claims that she had no involvement in her husband's murder.
Stephanie Stephens -- A woman wakes up next to her husband's dead body, in Hattiesburg, Mississippi in 2001. After her husband dies she re-marries, becomes a very wealthy woman and also becomes the focus of a murder investigation after police perform another autopsy on her husband and find etomidate located in her husband's system. When questioned by police she told authorities that she was not familiar with the drug, immediately they became suspicious and found it hard to believe that she had never heard of the drug. On October 14, 2006, Stephanie Stephens died of double pneumonia in a hospital outside of Jackson, Mississippi while serving her third year of a life sentence.
Season Three (2005)
Kimberly Anderson -- A woman shoots her ex-husband during a custody battle in self-defense, claiming he was molesting their youngest son. At trial she was found not guilty and moved on with her life. In 2003 after being acquitted in federal court her ex-husband's family sued Kimberly in civil court. The judge ordered her to pay $50,000 to his family.
Gail Bennett -- A woman shoots an ex-husband when he threatens her, and soon after she is raped by a policeman. She keeps silent, for fear of reprisal from the police, until after she is not indicted for the shooting.
Linda Lou Charbonneau -- A woman kills both her common-law husband and his nephew, whom she had also married.
Dora Cisneros -- An overprotective Brownsville woman orders a hit on daughter's ex-boyfriend after the daughter's heart is broken.
Manuela Garcia -- German-born woman kills abusive husband with an ax in self-defense. But as the investigation went on it is seen that she laced her husband's beer with a sleep medication and beats him with an ax while he was alseep.
Jeena Han -- South Korean native puts together with her two male friends a plan to kill her estranged twin sister Sunny Han and take over her life by stealing her identity.
Kimberley Kondejewski -- A woman shoots her husband to put an end to 17 years of abuse in self-defense. It comes to light that he had given her a deadly ultimatum: kill herself, or he would kill her and their children. Kimberley's horrifying story moves jurors to declare her not guilty.
Deidra Lane -- Charlotte, North Carolina woman kills football player husband Fred Lane, a Carolina Panthers running back, with a shotgun.
Stella Nickell -- A woman's husband was found dead with a lethal dose of tainted Excedrin in his system. The capsules were filled with cyanide. After her husband dies a Washington bank teller dies from Excedrin filled with the same substance.
Yesenia Patino -- Yesenia Patino was playing with fire when she began having an affair with a married man. She got burnt when police linked her to the murder of her lover's wife in Rocky Point, Mexico and, in the process, exposed a shocking secret about her past. At trial she was not who -- or what -- she seems she is.
Laura Rogers -- A woman kills her husband in self-defense after finding out he had raped their 16-year-old daughter, even impregnating the teen. Videotaped evidence of the rape encourages the judge to be lenient to Laura and set her free.
Michelle Theer -- A successful psychologist from North Carolina area conspires with her lover to kill her husband and he takes the rap for it.
Mary Thompson -- A woman posing as an anti-gang activist is actually the head of a street gang, and orders a hit on a high school senior who was set to testify against her troublemaking son in a court case.
Donna Yaklich -- Pueblo, Colorado woman hires teenaged hitmen to kill her abusive policeman husband. The investigation that followed would reveal a troubled home life and a conspiracy to murder.
Season Four (2006)
Carol Carr -- A woman ends the lives of two of her sons, who were suffering from Huntington's Disease. Before dying her son's asked her to kill them rather than let them suffer of their disease. In early 2005 Carol's youngest son developed early stages of Hungtington's and she was banned from becoming his care taker.
Sheila Davalloo -- It started out as fun and games when Iranian immigrant in Pleasantville, New York blindfolds and handcuffs husband to a chair, then stabs him twice while playing a kinky game of "guess what I'm touching you with" in order to remain with her former lover, Nelson Sessler. She didn't want her second marriage to end in another divorce.
Erin Dukes -- A woman's marriage to an abusive husband comes to a violent end with a gun. She was found not guilty at trial.
Donna Fryman -- A woman from Louisville, Kentucky shoots her husband and partner in an interior design firm, Danny, and claims self-defense.
Sarah Marie Johnson -- The parents of a 16-year-old turn up dead after grounding her. Although she was convicted for their murder, it is more likely that her ex-boyfriend, Bruno Santos, committed the crime. He was only convicted for drugs and had not only a history of legal run-ins but was also an illegal immigrant from Mexico and got deported back there.
Sandy Murphy -- A woman and her lover are suspected of murdering Las Vegas casino heir Ted Binion. At her first trial she was found guilty of murder and at her second trial she was found not guilty but was charged with larceny.
Phyllis Nelson -- A woman from Iowa stabs her estranged husband in the chest after she confronts him about an affair.
Melinda Raisch -- A soccer mom's story about her husband's murder doesn't hold up more than two decades after the crime. Melinda was a member of the Nazarene church and married very young. A devout woman, Melinda didn't want her marriage to end in divorce.
Nikki Redmond -- A former Savannah, Georgia beauty queen shoots her boyfriend after she learns he is seeing another woman. The boyfriend dies after botched medical care, and the assault charge is raised to a charge of murder.
Piper Rountree -- A Richmond, Virginia woman shoots her ex-husband in a driveway ambush.
Mary Ellen Samuels -- A husband involved in a messy divorce turns up dead by being killed by his widow. The investigation that followed would reveal a bewildering conspiracy to murder that included two hit men who'd been hired to kill the hit man who'd been hired to kill Mary Ellen's husband also her daughter's fiancée.
Dixie Shanahan -- Iowa woman kills husband in self-defense with a shotgun, then keeps his corpse hidden in the bedroom to be stored away from painful memories for a year.
Joan Shannon -- A woman claims a burglar shot her husband, but that does not seem to be the case. It surfaces that the couple had participated in sex clubs and that Joan had developed a close connection with one of her sex partners, Jeffrey Wilson who she wanted to be with instead of her husband. Evidence begins to point to both and her daughter, Elizabeth.
Season Five (2007)
Amy Bosley -- A woman is accused of allegedly killing her husband, also her partner in a roofing and chimney sweeping business after she didn't pay taxes for the family business. In September of 2006, she pleaded guilty in a deal strongly influenced by Bob's family. His parents, now raising the couple's two children, wanted to spare the kids from having to testify against their mother.
Kimberly Cunningham -- A woman kills the boyfriend of her sister in front of his workplace after finding out that he was responsible for the sexual molestation of her 16-year-old daughter over a period of seven years.
Jane Dorotik -- Health care executive is accused of allegedly murdering her soon-to-be ex-husband so she would not have to pay alimony.
Martha Freeman -- Tennessee woman allegedly kills her husband with the help of her Hispanic lover who did the job.
Mary Krueger -- A woman with a manly voice kills her husband when she catches him with a prostitute.
Melanie McGuire - A woman shoots her husband and dismembers his body after he walks out on their family. She continues to claim she is innocent and that she's being framed.
Vicki Monroe - A Louisville, Kentucky bar owner's son murders his step-father on his mother's request. Vicki and her son were found guilty and are both serving life sentences. In 2008 the Kentucky Supreme Court overturned Vicki's conviction no date has been set for that trial.
Susan Polk -- California woman kills her abusive psychiatrist husband in self defense, after a stormy relationship that lasted for almost thirty years, starting when she was only fifteen years old when she was in high school. Susan claimed she killed Felix in self-defense. During her trial, Susan fired a series of court appointed attorneys and represented herself. She was convicted of 2nd degree murder and sentenced to serve 16 years to life in prison.
Margaret Rudin -- A woman kills her husband, a wealthy Las Vegas real estate mogul, then burns his body in the desert near Lake Mojave. After being indicted for the murder, she becomes a fugitive and disappears for nearly two years. On May 2, 2001, seven years after Ron was killed, Margaret was found guilty of murder. She received a sentence of 20 years in prison.
Claire Welsh - After her fiancee ended their 2-year relationship, she wanted to punish him by committing suicide, but at last minute she murdered him and shot herself. At her trial in 1998, Claire pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity but the jury didn't buy it. She was found guilty of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. In 2003, the Colorado Supreme court granted her a new trial on appeal, but the second jury agreed with the first; she was found guilty again, and is now serving another life sentence at the Colorado Women's Correctional Facility. She still claims she was insane when she shot her boyfriend and her case is currently on appeal.
Brookey Lee West - Adult daughter of an alcoholic ex-convict suffocates her mother and then hides the body in a self storage unit. At trial she was found guilty of murdering her mother. She's now serving a life sentence without parole at Southern Nevada Correctional Center, where she leads a Bible study group and teaches art to the other inmates.
Daphne Wright -- Deaf lesbian kills a woman for being a friend to Daphne's ex-girlfriend, although the victim wasn't gay.
Season Six (2007)
Mary Winkler -- A housewife and substitute teacher shoots her preacher husband in self-defense.
Jessica McCord - After she and her ex-husband fought seven years for custody of their two children, a woman convinces her new husband to murder her ex-husband and his new wife.
Adrienne Emily Hickson - A young, self-centered college graduate law student kills her boyfriend in self-defense.
Sarah Brady - Expectant mother visits another after their baby registries are accidentally switched. A fight ensues and one woman is dead, the other claims self-defense. Police decide not to press charges against Sarah and delve into the victim's past.
Elizabeth Reynolds - Woman leaves her Navy husband for a border patrol agent. When she finds out that her new boyfriend is cheating on her, she hires a desperate hit man to murder him.
Julia Lynn Turner - A woman is found out to have poisoned both her current boyfriend and six years earlier, her husband with antifreeze.
Kathleen Denson - Fur store owner shoots her former boyfriend at her horse ranch but claims it was in self-defense.
Season Seven (2008)
Misty Witherspoon -- A woman who accidentally shoots her police officer husband with his weapon was embezzling money from her church to cover the family's debt.
Cynthia "Cindy" George -- Former beauty queen and Akron socialite was found linked to a secret life and murder.
Lisa Whedbee -- A woman and her lover's conspiracy to murder her husband backfires.
Erika Sifrit -- Young businesswoman, along with her husband, was caught with items belonging to a vacationing Virginia couple in Ocean City, Maryland that mysteriously disappeared.
Malaika Griffin -- A promising chemist is charged in the slaying of her neighbor, a Colorado man.
Sharon Daniels -- A woman becomes a suspect in the murder of her husband, a preacher and school bus driver in their community.
Michelle "Shelly" Michael -- Bored with her job and her marriage, a nurse gives her husband a lethal injection of rocuronium, sets the house on fire and tries to collect the insurance.
Linda Henning -- A fashion designer and her con man boyfriend become suspects in the murder of her boyfriend's estranged wife. They are both tried and convicted in the Hossencofft Case in 2003.
Darlene Gentry -- A housewife with money problems is charged with the shooting death of her husband after finding out he is worth more dead than alive.
Monique Berkley -- Navy Reservist Paul Berkley was proud of serving his country in the Middle East in President George W. Bush's war against Iraq since January 2005 and had left home for a tour of duty that was based out of Bahrain. In December 2005 he returns home to his wife and 2 kids. His wife welcomes him back home by taking him to the movies to watch King Kong, have a romantic picnic in the park late at night and having her teenaged lover and his friend shoot him to death in the park. To make it look like a robbery her lover Andrew Canty carefully shoots Monique to make it look more convincing.
Shayne Lovera -- Fed up with her math professor husband, a woman did some calculations of her own and decided his insurance policy was worth more than a divorce.
Ann Trexler -- A Grandmother moves to Florida to spend more time with her granddaughter. When the girl's father decided to move her to Montana, Ann hired a hitman to bring the relocation plan to a dead stop.
Kerri Faye Brown -- Nursing home administrator decides to shoot her employer.
And some feminist spin...
Run Date: 11/05/04
TV Show about Female Felons Sparks Outrage
By Sandy Kobrin, WeNews correspondent
Advocates for battered women would like Oxygen to cancel a true-crime series about women who kill their men. They call "Snapped" offensive and say it hurts the cause of women behind
A new show broadcast by Oxygen, the cable television network that caters to a female audience, is coming under strong criticism by people like Andrea Bible, who work for battered women.
"It's shocking that a network that supposedly caters to women would put on something like this," said Bible, project coordinator for San Francisco-based Free Battered Women.
"People need to tell Oxygen that they object to this portrayal . . . The vast majority of women in jail across the country are there for defending themselves."
Bible is talking about "Snapped," a half-hour weekly true-crime drama which, according to Oxygen, focuses on women who prove that "there's often something far more sinister to the fairer sex than sugar and spice and everything nice."
The show tells the stories of women who have lost control and murdered their mates or sinisterly planned and executed the killings. It chronicles a different female felon, striving to pinpoint the very moment at which she, well, "snapped" and slayed the man in her life.
Oxygen Media was founded in 1998 and was funded in part by Oprah Winfrey. It launched its TV channel in 2000 and now produces more original programming and delivers the youngest audience of all the women's networks. It is currently available in more than 52 million cable households. It also operates a Web site for women.
Neither Oxygen Media founder Geraldine Laybourne, nor Debbie Beece, the show's program director, responded to calls from Women's eNews to discuss criticism of the show. Before the show began airing, Beece answered questions from The Baltimore Sun about why it was created. "We thought it was interesting to learn what makes these seemingly normal wives snap and commit murder," she was quoted as saying.
Oxygen's communications manager, Mirian Arias, has said the decision to renew "Snapped" for another season will be made in December.
"'Snapped' profiles real life murders committed by women," Arias said in a press statement. "The series in no way glamorizes or celebrates the crimes these women committed. It tells the story of these women through actual interviews and testimony from the people who investigated the crime and the ones who lived through it. Oxygen is owned and operated by women. We do not condone any acts of violence."
Those who want to pull the plug on "Snapped" say it goes out of its way to portray incarcerated women as monsters. They say it makes their work to free battered women more difficult by sensationalizing and distorting the stories.
"Oxygen is so wrong to exploit people's fears about women and it is not an accurate portrayal of women in prison at all. More importantly this should not be the dialog and focus of intimate partner homicide," said Bible
"This show sensationalizes and at the same time trivializes the serious realities of many women's lives" said Sue Osthoff, director of the Philadelphia-based National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women. "Did they have a mission to take these complicated issues and slam them into a half-hour show? How can you take someone's life and shove it into a half-hour?"
Bible noted over the past 30 years the number of women who have killed their intimate partners have declined however the same has not been true for men.
More Women Killed by Intimate Partners
According to a recent report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, female murder victims are substantially more likely than male murder victims to have been killed by an intimate partner. In recent years about one third of female murder victims were killed by an intimate while only 3 percent to 4 percent of male murder victims were killed by an intimate.
The National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women and Free Battered Women in September began an e-mail, letter, fax and phone campaign to take the show off the air.
"We've sent this out to over 35 groups around the country, mostly national and state domestic violence organizations and we hope to get a good response," Osthoff said. "But it's hard with limited resources."
Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women, said this type of grass-root effort aimed at television can affect programming executives. But more importantly, she says, it alerts the public to the underlying issues.
'Dripping Water on a Stone'
"You wonder if it's like dripping water on a stone, but even that has an impact," Gandy said. "Efforts like this may not get people to take objectionable programs off TV. But we can at least educate women and girls to see things like that and think boy is that stupid and wrong."
"Snapped" is produced by Jupiter Entertainment which also produces A and E's "City Confidential" and Dominick Dunne's "Power, Privilege and Justice" for Court TV. It is hosted by Laura San Giacomo, the star of "Just Shoot Me," a recent popular NBC sitcom. The show uses the same tabloid-style re-enactment footage of "City Confidential" in depicting these women's crimes.
"Let's be honest," goes promotional wording about the show on the Oxygen Web site, "we've all had at least one moment in which we felt as though we could snap. Even if you're in the 'perfect relationship,' chances are, you've probably said (or even just fleetingly thought) 'I'm going to kill my husband!' So what separates those of us who do, from those who don't? Why can some women cope with the everyday--or even not-so-everyday--stresses of married life without ever resorting to violence, while others 'snap' and murder their mates?"
Sandy Kobrin is a Los Angeles based writer who specializes in writing about women's issues and criminal justice.
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