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They were convicted of one murder, are known to have committed two more, and were suspected of having killed up to 20 victims during a spree between and After their arrest and trial for serial murder inthey became known as " The Lonely Hearts Killers " for meeting their unsuspecting victims through lonely hearts. A of films and television shows are based on this case.
Shortly thereafter, they moved to BridgeportConnecticut. Shortly after boarding a ship bound for the United Statesa steel hatch fell on him, fracturing his skull and injuring his frontal lobe. The damage caused by this injury may well have affected his social and sexual behavior. He later claimed black magic gave him irresistible power and charm over women.
At her trial, she claimed to have been raped by her brother. She went on to claim that, when she had told her mother what happened, her mother had beaten her, claiming that Martha was responsible. In writer Truman Capote said that he had also ed her for a short time when he was After Martha finished school, she studied nursing but had trouble finding a job due to her weight. She initially became an undertaker 's assistant and prepared female bodies for burial.
She then quit that job and moved to California, where she worked in an Army hospital as a nurse. While living in California as a hospital nurse, she eventually became pregnant. She tried to convince the father to marry her, but he refused. Single and pregnant, she returned to Florida.
Martha told people the father was a serviceman she had married, later claiming he had been killed in the Pacific Campaign. The town mourned her loss, and the story was published in the local newspaper. They married quickly and divorced six months thereafter, and she gave birth to a son.
Unemployed and the single mother of two young children, Beck escaped into a fantasy world, buying romance magazines and novelsand watching romantic movies. Inshe found employment at the Pensacola Hospital for Children. She placed a lonely hearts ad inwhich Raymond Fernandez answered.
Fernandez visited Beck and stayed for a short time; she told everyone they were to be married. When she was abruptly fired from her job, she packed up and arrived on his doorstep in New York. Fernandez enjoyed the way she catered to his every whim, and when he learned she had left her children for him, he thought it was a of an unconditional love.
He confessed his criminal enterprises to Beck, who quickly sent her children to the Salvation Army in order to assist Fernandez without hindrances. She posed as Fernandez's sister, giving him an air of respectability.
Their victims, feeling more secure knowing there was another woman in the house, often agreed to stay with the pair. Beck also convinced some victims that she lived alone and that her "brother" was only a guest.
Beck was extremely jealous and went to great lengths to make sure Fernandez and his "intended" never consummated their relationship. When he did have sex with a woman, Beck subjected both to her violent temper. Inthe pair committed the three murders for which they later were convicted.
Janet Fay, 66, became engaged to Fernandez and went to stay at his Long Island apartment. When Beck caught her in bed with Fernandez, she brutally attacked Fay's head with a hammer in a murderous rage. Fernandez then strangled Fay. Fay's family became suspicious when she disappeared, and Fernandez and Beck fled. Beck and Fernandez traveled to Byron Center Road in Wyoming Township, Michigana suburb of Grand Rapidswhere they met and stayed with Delphine Downing, a year-old widow with a two-year-old daughter.
On February 28, Downing became agitated, and Fernandez gave her sleeping pills to calm her. The daughter witnessed Downing's resulting stupor and began to cry, which enraged Beck. Panicked, Beck choked the child but didn't kill her. Fernandez thought Downing would become suspicious if she saw her bruised daughter, so he shot the unconscious woman. The couple then stayed for several days in Downing's house. Again enraged by the daughter's crying, Beck drowned her in a basin of water. They buried the bodies in the basement, but suspicious neighbors reported the Downings' disappearances, leading the police to arrive at the door on March 1, and arrest Beck and Fernandez.
Fernandez quickly confessed. The pair vehemently denied committing 17 murders that were attributed to them, and Fernandez tried to retract his confession, saying he made it only to protect Beck. Their trial was sensationalized, with lurid tales of sexual perversity. Newspaper reporters described Beck's appearance with derision, and she wrote protesting letters to the editors. Fernandez and Beck were convicted of Janet Fay's murder—the only one for which they were tried—and sentenced to death.
They were executed on March 8, American serial killer couple. Milton, FloridaU. Find a Grave. Journal of Neurosurgery.
PMID March 8, Archived from the original on September 17, Retrieved Retrieved February 1, ISBN : births births murders in the United States murders in the United States murders in the United States 20th-century executions by New York state 20th-century executions of American people American murderers of children American people convicted of murder American people of Spanish descent Criminal duos Criminals from New York City Executed American serial killers People convicted of murder by New York state People executed by New York state by electric chair Violence against women in the United States Executed people from New York state Inmates of Sing Sing deaths Women sentenced to death American female serial killers American serial killers Male serial killers People executed for murder.
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