Annals of Crime #65


Original Caption:

Mobile -- Mrs. Rhonda Bell Martin, 49 year old waitress, is shown shortly after her arrest on charges of killing one of her former husbands, Claude Martin. Later, on being taken to Montgomery, Alabama, Mrs. Martin is said by police to have admitted killing two of her five former husbands, three children and her mother with arsenic poisoning. The man at right is unidentified. Authorities said she also admitted poisoning Ronald Martin, her former stepson and now her fifth husband. Martin is in a Biloxi, Mississippi, hospital, paralyzed from the waist down by arsenic poisoning. (1956)

8 comments:

Tommy O'C said...

"The man at right is unidentified."

I'd say he's one of her (currently) surviving ex-husbands, here to support her in her time of trouble. Judging by that deer-in-the-headlights look, I'd say he just realized he could be number three on her hit parade.

Marshall P. Smith said...

And they say there are no women serial killers.

Ann oDyne said...

The trade must have really dropped off at the diner where she worked; and the bio-pic, with or without 'Lace', clearly is no place for Cary Grant.

rookgaroo said...

Being a one-woman death squad must take a toll on a gal. She doesn't look a day over 70.

Julie Veal said...

My grandmother lived in a boarding house with her family in Montgomery as a child, when this woman lived there as well with at least one of her daughters! She started noticing that her friend Ellyn started getting weak and falling down a lot when my grandmother was walking home from school with her. They believe her mother was putting the rat poison or arsenic in her daily glass of milk, a little at a time, slowly,over many months. My grandmother's family moved away after less than a year there, and much later learned that Ellyn had died. It would still be almost 20 yrs later before she was arrested, and my family saw an article in the newspaper about her being sentenced to death for the other murders as well! My mom said that she worked at a Dairy Queen. Crazy!

Julie Veal said...

I doubt this man was her current husband, actually it could not have been, because suspicions about her wetter finally investigated only after her stepson-turned hubby, son of the last hubby that she killed, became a paraplegic instead of dying from the poisoning, the only one of at least 5 or 6 victims to survive!
This unlucky fellow may have been her lawyer, brother or something else. Creepy!

Julie Veal said...

Not wetter, *were*

Julie Veal said...

I'm just trying to figure out how she got all these guys to marry her! Especially the stepson...😯😯😯