Despite her white-colored hair and kindly attitude, Dorothea Puente wasn’t a sweet old lady. No, rather Puente was accountable for certainly one of Sacramento’s most well known murder sprees.
The murderer who earned the nickname “The Dying House Landlady” may be the focus of Archiweekend’s new two-part special “Murders in the Boarding House.” Puente grew to become well known in 1988 after seven physiques were found hidden within the backyard of the boarding house she ran in Sacramento, California for that disabled, seniors, and sick. It switched out Puente had not really been taking care of them, in the end — rather she was stealing their Social Security and disability checks and intentionally overdosing all of them with drugs.
She required within $87,000 in the plan and spent a few of the money on a facelift, prosecutors at her trial alleged, based on a 2011 La Occasions article.
Regardless of the seven physiques present in her yard (and also the two other murders she was charged with), Puente pled not liable towards the nine charges against her. She was ultimately only charged of three murders and sentenced to existence imprisonment, the opening reported. So, did she ever confess to murdering her boarders?
Well, since Puente’s tenants were “shadow people,” as the la Occasions place it, the string of deaths her boarding house went largely undetected until 1988. An outreach volunteer who’d placed Bert Montoya, a guy with intellectual disabilities, at Puente’s home, became concerned as he apparently disappeared, based on a 2009 Sactown Magazine article. Puente attempted to place the volunteer off by insisting Montoya had run away to Mexico, however the concerned lady soon filed military services weapons persons report.
When a police officer stopped through the residence, he interviewed Puente and the other tenant in Puente’s presence. The tenant appeared to corroborate Puente’s story — until he passed an email towards the officer claiming Puente was forcing him to lie, based on Sactown Magazine. The tenant then says another boarder had apparently disappeared which Puente had hired prisoners on furlough to dig holes in her own backyard.
Police came back towards the home on November. 11, 1988 to investigate further and located an individual leg bone and decomposing feet within the yard. Puente was adamant she understood nothing concerning the body, and the very next day, as government bodies converged on her behalf the place to find excavate the whole yard, she requested for permission to visit a close hotel to satisfy a nephew for coffee, based on Sactown Magazine. It had been once she left investigators found another body. Once they visited arrest her, she’d disappeared.
Puente did not last lengthy around the lam, though. She was discovered just four days later in a California motel following a man she’d been consuming with in a bar switched her in. Eerily enough, she had become thinking about spending time with him after learning he received disability checks, The La Occasions reported.
When Puente was arrested, she firmly denied getting anything related to the deaths. “I haven’t wiped out anybody. The checks I cashed, yes,” she told a reporter, based on Sactown Magazine.
Puente was trial in 1993 for that murders from the seven boarders, an ex-boyfriend whose body was discovered floating inside a coffin within the Sacramento River, and her old business partner, Ruth Monroe, who died from the drug overdose. Her defense claimed the tenants died of either natural causes or had overdosed themselves, The La Occasions reported.
The prosecution, meanwhile, contended she would be a “cold, calculating” murderer, based on the outlet.
William Vicary, a forensic psychiatrist who labored with Puente after her arrest, stated he prevented directly asking her whether she would be a killer while he understood she wouldn’t answer.
“Her eyes would fill with tears, but she’d never be honest,” he told Sactown Magazine. “It was too humiliating, too shameful on her to confess responsibility of these crimes. Also it am counter to her strenuous effort her existence to become someone who was respected, somebody important.”
Within the finish, she was charged of just three murders and delivered to spend out the rest of her existence imprisonment. There, she maintained her innocence.
Throughout a jailhouse interview with Sactown Magazine, she was adamant she wasn’t guilty, saying, “It normally won’t have the details … But God always puts obstacles in people’s way. Take a look at Job, John, Paul, Moses. Unexpected things happen for any reason.”
She did discuss her prison sentence when requested if she sometimes wanted if she’d become the dying penalty, saying, “Maybe I could have been best. It’s exactly the same factor. I’m here until I die.”
Puente eventually died of natural causes at 82 in March 2011, The La Occasions reported. She never did confess to the murders.
For additional on Puente, watch “Murders in the Boarding House” on Archiweekend.
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