Sunday 16 June 2024

Deadly Women Volume 17

20 classic true crime cases of women who kill, including;

Nicola Edgington: She’d already been convicted of murdering her mother. Now Nicola was free again, wandering the streets with a butcher’s knife in her pocket.

Helen Ryan: A marriage plagued by domestic violence, a divorce headed for a bitter court battle. But who needs courts when you have a 12-guage shotgun?

Stephanie & Gwen Hudnall: Bill has just survived a stroke, much to his wife’s annoyance. She wants him dead and is prepared to rope in her daughter to get the job done.

Jennifer Reali: A dissatisfied military wife begins an affair with a Bible-sprouting insurance salesman. Her new lover is married. Jennifer has a plan for that.

Martha Grinder: One person dying in agony under suspicious circumstances might be overlooked. But five? A classic case from 1860s Pennsylvania.

Shonda Dee Walter: Once she’d been a promising student. Now she was the member of a street gang, intent on earning her colors. Her elderly neighbor was in serious peril.

Rebecca Shuttleworth: He was a delightful little boy, loved by everyone who knew him. Everyone, that is, except his abusive mother.

Tausha Morton: Tausha was a sex addict with five failed marriages and several abandoned children behind her. Some people will kill to keep such secrets.

Click the "Read More" link below to read the first chapter of

Deadly Women Volume 17

Angela McAnulty


A mother’s job, indeed her core instinct, is to protect her children. This is true of humanity and it is true of most mammals. Mothers in the wild will fight to the death to defend their young, and they’ll literally starve themselves for the sake of their offspring. But then there are those mothers who run against the grain, those who not only fail to provide protection but who actively inflict harm. No one can say for certain what perverts the maternal instincts of these individuals, but their actions have devastating, even deadly, effects on their children. A prime example is a monster from Eugene, Oregon named Angela McAnulty.


Angela McAnulty was born in Sacramento, California on October 2, 1968. She suffered the first trauma of her young life when she was just five years old and her mother was murdered. Thereafter, she and her two brothers remained in the custody of their father, a brutal man who frequently beat his children and withheld food from them as punishment. Eager to escape this mistreatment, Angela ran away at age 16, eloping with a carnival worker. That relationship would be short-lived, drug-fueled, and turbulent. The next, with a man named Anthony Maples, would be slightly more stable. The couple had three children together – Anthony Jr., Brandon, and a daughter, Jeanette. There was also a fourth child, Patience, fathered by someone other than Maples.


By now, Angela’s drug habit had progressed to the point where it was getting her into trouble with the law. In 2000, she and Anthony Maples were locked up on possession charges and the children were placed in foster care. After they walked free in 2001, the couple split. At that time, Angela regained custody of the girls, Jeanette and Patience, but left her two boys in care. A year later, she fell pregnant by a trucker named Richard McAnulty and married him. Their son was born soon after the nuptials. In 2006, the family moved to Oregon. Angela wanted to take her sons with her, but a judge turned down her custody application after receiving an impassioned letter from the boys, begging to be allowed to stay with their foster parents.  


Jeanette Maples was seven years old when she was placed back in the dubious care of her mother. She had spent six of those seven years in foster homes. By the time the family moved to Oregon, Jeanette was twelve years of age and had already endured half a decade of abuse at her mother’s hand.

In truth, none of Angela’s children were well treated. But she seems to have singled out Jeanette for maltreatment. It is difficult to understand why. By all accounts, Jeanette was a shy, well-behaved little girl who was a diligent student and did well at school despite being a target for cruel taunts by her classmates. This was because of the unkempt condition in which she was sent to school. Jeanette usually wore grubby, ragged clothes, her hair hanging down in a limp mess. It is a testament to the child’s resilience that she not only endured but even made some friends. 


In 2008, one of those friends noticed bruises on Jeanette’s arms and legs during gym class. Asked about this, Jeanette admitted that her mother had beaten her with a belt buckle. That evening, Jeanette’s friend told her parents and they contacted Child Protection Services (CPS). A teacher at the school was then asked to interview Jeanette. During that interview, the child admitted that she was being abused and said that she was terrified of her mother. The subsequent report, made by the teacher, would bring a CPS caseworker to the McAnulty’s front door.


Had the agency done its job, then a little girl’s life might have been saved and we would not be discussing this terrible case. But CPS failed to take meaningful action. Angela claimed that the bruises were the result of “roughhousing” between siblings and said that Jeanette was a compulsive liar. The social worker accepted her version of events without question. The complaint was marked as resolved with “no further action required.” Shortly thereafter, Angela McAnulty withdrew her daughter from school, saying that she would take responsibility for her further education. If home-schooling can be taken as a euphemism for child abuse, then she was true to her word.


In 2009, the CPS was given another chance to redeem itself when an anonymous complaint was made with the agency. The caller (later revealed to be Lee McAnulty, Jeanette’s step-grandmother) said that the child was grossly underweight and carrying several fresh injuries. Mrs. McAnulty would make several follow-up calls over the months that followed, the last of these in early December. The agency did nothing. Their inaction would end up costing an innocent little girl her life. 


At around 8 p.m. on December 9, 2009, a 911 operator in Eugene, Oregon fielded a call from a frantic woman who said that her teenage daughter was unresponsive and wasn’t breathing. Units were rushed to the scene and arrived to find 15-year-old Jeanette Maples lying on the living room floor. The child was topless and her hair was wet. According to Angela McAnulty, her daughter had taken a fall about an hour earlier but had seemed fine until she suddenly collapsed. A quick check revealed that Jeanette still had a faint pulse. She was rushed to the emergency room but was pronounced dead on arrival at 8:42. Given the terrible physical condition the child was in, medical staff alerted the police.


Jeanette was found to be severely malnourished, so much so that she looked like a child several years younger than her age. She had severe bruising to her face, cuts above her eyes, and to her lips. There were scars and open wounds, some of them infected, on her head, legs, and back. Her front teeth were broken and the inside of her mouth had disfiguring scars from untreated injuries. These had not been caused by a fall, as Angela had claimed. They were the result of severe and sustained abuse.


And yet, Angela McAnulty was sticking to her story, sticking to it even as the evidence stacked up against her. At the McAnulty residence, detectives found a blood-spattered bedroom that someone had recently tried to clean up. They also found blood and slivers of flesh on various belts and on a pair of pliers. Pressed on this, Richard McAnulty admitted that his wife had scrubbed the room down in an effort to destroy evidence of the sustained abuse. She’d done so before calling 911, even as Jeanette lay on the floor, desperately in need of medical attention. McAnulty also said that Angela had wanted to bury Jeanette in the backyard, rather than call for help. She’d only dialed 911 because he had insisted on it. He admitted that he wasn’t blameless and that he sometimes “disciplined” his stepdaughter. He insisted, however, that it was Angela who was responsible for the child’s death.


It was only when an investigator interviewed Angela’s younger daughter, Patience, that the true extent of the horror was dragged out into the light. Patience said that her sister was routinely beaten and starved by their parents. Usually, their mother would drag Jeanette into her bedroom and then turn on the vacuum cleaner so that the rest of the household wouldn’t hear her screams. Jeanette would be stripped naked and beaten with whatever was at hand – belts, shoes, sticks, coat hangers. She would also be tortured with pliers. Jeanette would then be forced to sleep on the floor, on a sheet of cardboard, so that she wouldn’t get blood on her bedclothes or on the carpet.


As if that were not bad enough, the child would be deprived of food and water for days at a time. If she complained that she was thirsty, she’d be forced to drink water from the toilet bowl. Angela would send her other children out into the yard to collect dog feces, which she’d then rub on Jeanette’s face, into her mouth and into her hair. Jeanette would also be forced to stand facing the wall for hours on end, with her arms raised above her head. Often, she’d have to do this standing on one leg, since her foot was severely mangled from Angela stomping on it. Another favorite “treatment” of Angela’s was to cut away scar tissue from her daughter’s old injuries. This was probably intended to hide the scars. Instead, it caused the wounds to become infected. One such injury, on the child’s hip, ran right to the bone. 


Given the horrific abuse that Jeanette had endured, it was a minor miracle that she survived as long as she did. Now, someone was going to have to answer for her suffering, and that someone was Angela McAnulty. With the evidence stacked against her, Angela eventually cracked and admitted to mistreating her daughter. Even now, though, she failed to grasp the seriousness of what she had done. First, she tried to claim ignorance, saying that Jeanette’s malnourished condition was because she hadn’t known how to feed her after she fell and split her lip. Then she admitted, “I did wrong. I should never have spanked my daughter with a belt. I shouldn't have done that. That was horrible of me.” As though all she’d done was to get a little overzealous in applying discipline.


And even if Angela now admitted to striking Jeanette, she still refused to concede that she had caused her death. Regarding the blow to the head that was considered to have ended the child’s life, she told investigators. “I didn't do the injury on the head. I know that she probably died because of the injury on her head, through the skull when she fell. I did not kill my daughter over a spanking. I didn't do that.” She then made the absurd statement that she should probably have “taken up smoking” as a way to relieve the stress that Jeanette had caused her. 


Angela and Richard McAnulty were arrested and charged with aggravated murder. The key prosecution witness at their trial was Jeanette’s half-sister, Patience. Her graphic testimony shocked the packed courtroom and left little doubt as to who was responsible for the horrific suffering and death of Jeanette Maples. It was no surprise to anyone when the jury returned guilty verdicts against both defendants.  


Richard McAnulty was sentenced to life in prison and must serve at least 25 years before he becomes eligible for parole. For Angela, the consequences were even more dire. She was sentenced to death and currently awaits execution at the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility.


FOOTNOTE: In the aftermath of the trial, Jeanette’s biological father, Anthony Maples, sued the Oregon Department of Human Services for the wrongful death of his daughter. The state eventually agreed to settle with Jeanette’s estate, of which her father was the sole beneficiary. Anthony Maples, who had not seen his daughter for ten years before her death and did not attend her memorial service, benefitted to the tune of $1.5 million.

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