You would think spending the rest of your life in prison would put an end to your love life. But for some reason, there are people in the world that are fascinated by criminals, serial killers in particular. For whatever reason, some people become obsessed with murderers, and even consider themselves fans.
A lot of serial killers, like Charles Manson, and Ted Bundy, have a certain kind of charm that not only helped them kill (and recruit people to kill for him in Manson’s case), but has also allowed them to accumulate a wealth of groupies. But it takes a certain kind of person to be sucked in by someone they know has committed terrible crimes. Some possible reasons serial killer super fans might be drawn to their object of obsession include the desire to rescue, and change someone for the better, a need for attention and drama, and a fear of being alone. For whatever reason, sometimes a simple correspondence turns into a legally binding contract. Here are 10 people who went so far as to marry a convicted murderer.
Doreen Lioy – married “The Night Stalker”
Richard Ramirez was better known in the Los Angeles and San Francisco area as the “Night Stalker” during his year-long crime spree. He killed both men and women, young and old, using a variety of different methods. He was caught on August 31, 1985, and sentenced to death 13 times over in September 1989. Ramirez was also a known Satanist, who never showed any remorse for his actions and when he was sentenced, he said “Big deal. Death always went with the territory.” During the trial, many woman sent him letters professing their love for him, but it was freelance magazine editor, Doreen Lioy who made the biggest impression. Ramirez proposed to her in 1988, and they got married in 1996. Lioy stated many times that she would commit suicide when her husband was executed, but they ended up divorcing in 2013, and he died of lymphoma the same year, still awaiting the gas chamber.
Carole Ann Boone – married Ted Bundy
Ted Bundy was a serial killer known for his charm, charisma, and intellect. He was able to lure women and play on their sympathy by pretending he needed help due to a physical disability. He had multiple girlfriends during the time period he was killing young women consistently, and one of them was Carole Ann Boone. She testified for him as a character witness during his trials, and was open about the fact that she truly did not believe he was guilty. During one trial, Bundy decided to take advantage of an obscure Florida law that a marriage declaration made in front of a judge constituted a legal union. He asked Boone to marry him, she accepted, and they were then considered legally married. After Bundy was convicted, Boone got pregnant and gave birth to a daughter she claimed was fathered by Bundy, despite the fact that conjugal visits weren’t allowed. Boone eventually divorced Bundy and fled with her daughter, and Bundy was put to death by electric chair in 1989, at age 42.
Tammi Saccoman married Erik Menendez
Brothers, Lyle and Erik Menendez murdered their parents on August 20, 1989, and were close to getting away with it due to lack of evidence. But their lavish spending right after the death of their parents started to spark suspicion. It wasn’t until Erik confessed the crime to his psychiatrist, that the brothers were arrested and charged. In 1997, Erik (28) married Tammi Saccoman (37) in a prison waiting room ceremony which included a Twinkie as wedding cake. They are still together today, even though Tammi says her family does not understand their relationship. She published a book in 2005, entitled They Said We’d Never Make It– My Life With Erik Menendez, and in 2010 A&E released a documentary about Tammi called, Mrs. Menendez. Both Erik and Lyle are expected to spend the rest of their lives behind bars.
Rachelle Short married Phillip Spector
Phil Spector was an award-winning, legendary record producer who had worked with musicians like The Beatles, and Tina Turner, before he threw that all away. He shot his girlfriend, actress, Lana Clarkson point blank in the face in his home, and then claimed it had been an accidental suicide. He was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to 19 years to life in prison. He met Short (41 years his junior) shortly before going to prison, and they got married in 2006. She continued to run his business while he did his time. Short vehemently believes in her husband’s innocence, and hopes he will one day make parole so they can have a life together.
Rosalie Martinez married “Bolin the Butcher”
Oscar Ray Bolin, AKA “Bolin the Butcher” had already been through multiple trials, and appeals in connection with the murders of multiple young girls by the time he met Rosalie. She was well-off, married to a lawyer, with four daughters, but left that all behind to marry Bolin in a ceremony performed over the phone. Rosalie has stuck by her husband through eight more murder trials, and a death sentence, and fittingly continues to work with a private investigator that helps lawyers overturn death sentences. Despite all the evidence to the contrary, Rosalie maintains her belief that her husband is innocent.
Christine Kizuka married “The Hillside Strangler”
One half of the infamous serial killing duo nicknamed “The Hillside Stranger”, Angelo Buono, caught his future wife’s eye when she was at the prison visiting her current husband, also a criminal. Christine Kizuka clearly has a type, because she left her husband, and father of her three kids and married Buono shortly after they first met. They were never allowed time alone to consummate their marriage, due to the nature of Buono’s crimes against women. Kizuka and Buono had been married for 16 years when Buono died of a heart attack in his cell while serving a life sentence.
Shirlee Book married “The Hillside Strangler”
Not one to be left out, the other half of “The Hillside Strangler” team, Kenneth Bianchi (also Angelo Buono’s cousin) married Shirlee Book, a woman who clearly had her heart set on an inmate as a husband. She had previously written to Ted Bundy, but when that didn’t work out, she moved on to Bianchi. She was so devoted to their romance that she reportedly bought her wedding dress and the invitations before they were even engaged. Before Book, Bianchi had a relationship with another of his groupies, Veronica Compton. He convinced her to murder a young woman to make it look like the real Hillside Strangler was still on the loose, but the scheme didn’t work. Bianchi is currently serving a life sentence, but eligible for parole in 2025.
James Whitehouse married Susan Atkins (of The Manson Family)
Susan Atkins was a stand-out member of The Manson Family, led by Charles Manson, for a couple reasons. First, she was the one who wrote the word ‘PIG’ on the front door in Sharon Tate’s blood during their murder spree, and she was also the one who blabbed about their crimes, which led to the arrest and conviction of the entire family. In 1981, Atkins began corresponding with Donald Laisure, who claimed to be a millionaire. They got married, but divorced a year later after Atkins found out he had lied about his money, and had been married 35 times before. In 1987, she married a Harvard law student, James Whitehouse. He represented her in subsequent appeals, but she was never granted parole. Atkins died of brain cancer in 2009, after being denied her request for compassionate release from prison so she could die at home.
Kristin Svege married Tex Watson (of The Manson Family)
Charles “Tex” Watson was a key member of the Manson Family during their murder spree in 1969. Although he was tried separately from the other family members, he was found guilty of first degree murder, and sentenced to death, which was later converted to life in prison. In 1979, he married 20-year-old Kristin Svenge, who had moved closer to the prison to be near him. They were allowed a honeymoon in a trailer on the prison grounds, and through conjugal visits they were able to have 4 children together. After conjugal visits were banned for life prisoners, Svenge ended up meeting someone else in 2003, and divorcing Watson. They remain friends, and Watson is now a born-again Christian. He has been denied parole 14 times, but his next parole date is in November 2016
Carol Spadoni married Philip Carl Jablonski
It wasn’t until after Carol Spadoni married Philip Carl Jablonski, who was serving a 12 year sentence for brutally murdering the mother of his child, that she realized he might actually be dangerous. They were married in 1982, and Jablonski was released from prison in 1990. Spadoni had expressed her fear and distress over her husband coming home to live with her to his parole officer, but Jablonski was released anyway. He ended up killing both his wife, Carol, and her mother Eva, as well as two other women before being caught, charged, and sentenced to death. Hopefully this is a warning to any future Mrs. Jablonski’s that even his wives aren’t off limits to his murderous rage.
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