Martha Woods (1 Viewer)


Martha Woods

Victims - 7
Years Crimes commited - 1946-1969
Location - nationwide

Martha Woods, a dutiful Army wife that followed her husband to every military base he was stationed at, was a female killer that suffered from Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy. A rare disease typically affecting women, Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy drives its victims to seek attention or sympathy by fabricating illnesses or causing deliberate harm to their loved ones. From 1946 to 1969, Woods accrued victims that included three of her own children, a nephew and niece, a neighbor’s child, and an adopted son.

Her pattern commonly involved rushing to the hospital with an unconscious baby that had curiously stopped breathing while alone in Woods’ care, consequently suffering more attacks after being sent home. Although the children’s symptoms were consistent with deliberate strangulation, because of the frequency with which the family relocated, the authorities never once connected the twenty-seven severe respiratory attacks, and six of the seven deaths that Woods caused were listed as natural.

As another symptom of Munchausen’s by Proxy, Woods was also a skilled pathological liar, complaining of threats from the biological parents of an adopted daughter, who, as Woods claimed, threatened her life when she refused to release custody of the girl. The police officers who investigated Woods’ allegations dismissed the case as a hoax, however, and no charges were brought forth against the parents who were found to be living in a different state.

After the death of her seven month old adopted son in Baltimore, Maryland turned up suspicious evidence against Woods, the authorities finally discovered the pattern linking the deaths of all the other children, and they conducted intensive psychiatric testing that found her sane and fit for a trial. Following five months of testimony, which included the evidence surrounding the previous deaths, Martha Woods was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.

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