Number of victims: 3
Date of murders: 1974 - 1996
Method of murder: Shooting
A “Black Widow” who saw off two husbands and a lover, Josephine Gray was obsessed with the idea of easy money, and was not afraid to use murder to get it. Her first victim was her husband, Norman Stribbling, who died of a single gunshot to the head on March 3, 1974. Gray was suspected of murder after two men testified that she had tried to hire them to kill Stribbling. But in the end, there was insufficient evidence to make the case and the insurance company paid out on Stribbling’s $16,000 life policy.
In November 1975, Josephine married William Robert Gray, with whom she had been having a long term affair. William Gray was shot to death on November 9, 1990. Again foul play was suspected but again there was no evidence and Josephine collected an insurance payout of over $54,000.
Gray’s next beau was Clarence Good, who she had already been living with at the time of her husband’s death. In March 1996 Goode took out a $100,000 life insurance policy, with Gray as the sole beneficiary. On June 21, 1996 his body was found in the trunk of his car with a bullet wound to the head. A subsequent investigation found blood in the home he had shared with Gray, but still no charges were brought. Gray did, however, receive a check of $90,000 from the insurance company.
So far Josephine Gray had profited from three murders without so much as a charge being brought against her. But her luck eventually ran out when the US States attorney charged her with fraud in collecting on the three life policies. Found guilty, she was sentenced to 40 years in prison.