Whoever said the root of all evil is money knew what she was talking about.
Female killers are the creepiest of them all. I mean, a psychopath is a psychopath but there is something so anti-female, anti-woman about a female psychopath that it makes my skin crawl more than a male. We expect criminals to come in the male form….they are aggressive, loud, strong, nuts. 93% of killers are, in fact, men. We expect women to be the “gentler sex“. Clearly, whoever coined that term never heard about Dana Sue Gray.
Most women resort to poison when they shuffle a victim off his mortal coil. Not Dana. Dana was a real hands-on type of gal. Her third attempt murder victim was 57-year-old Dorinda Hawkins. Dana tried vainly to kill Dorinda in a store where she worked part-time. Dana made a valiant effort to choke Dorinda to death with a strong, yellow rope. When Dorinda passed out, Dana assumed she was dead and made good her escape. She netted an extravagant $25 from the till and some money from Dorinda`s purse. Dana offered police a sketch of the murderous woman and it was released to the public.
Unfortunately, Dana had already claimed two murder victims, 87-year-old Norma Davis and 66-year-old June Roberts weeks before her attack on Dorinda. Dana stabbed Norma to death with 2 different knives and manually strangled her. She used a heavy glass decanter to bludgeon June to death. Oddly, Dana escaped with no valuables from either scene. watch most evil – murderous women part 3 of 5
It was Dana`s 3rd cold-blooded murder that led to her downfall (and that of her victim, of course). Dora Beebe, an elderly woman, was found blood-spattered on her bathroom floor. Dana was caught after a bank clerk notified June Roberts’s relatives that her credit cards had been used after her death. Dana had known both Norma Davis and June Roberts, so access to both deceased women had been easy. watch most evil – murderous women
When police interrogated Dana she played the sympathy card, volunteering the information that she was depressed and had suffered many setbacks. Dana told the police, “I got desperate to buy things. Shopping puts me at rest I’m lost without it.” Certainly puts a new spin on `shopaholic“. Norma was related by marriage to Dana`s mother, who was Norma`s daughter-in-law. Dana had been born after her mother was widowed and remarried to another man. That made Norma her step-grandmother. Still with me…
Dana may have suffered exposure to a dysfunctional wealthy family from Newport Beach. There was a lot of depression in the home and a lot of fighting. Dana`s brother, Ward, said he raised her after her mother died from cancer, and had noticed her issues with money from an early age. She often asked people to give her money, and she stole it on a whim. From prison, Dana wrote letters to people, asking them to judge her “with their hearts`.`She insisted the police were lying about certain issues. “I am very scared and very alone,” she said in one letter. watch dealing with mommy issues – deadly women
Dana`s lawyer, Sachs, enlisted several mental health experts to verify his belief that Dana was in a state of diminished capacity, due to the circumstances of her life in 1994. Job loss, bankruptcy, a divorce and foreclosure upon her home were among the stressors Sachs claimed Dana suffered during that time. Dana pled insanity; Dora reminded her of her mother when she was dying of cancer, and it affected her terribly. After killing in response to feelings of nausea generated by each victim, Dana swore she felt a need to shop. Sounds like reasonable therapy for two homicides. watch deadly women – kate webster, season 5
The prosecution`s expert witness, Dr. Martha Rogers, disagreed. Rogers attributed Dana`s crimes to three motives: “a desire for money, a desire for power and domination, and displaced family anger.” She was an impulsive narcissist who went after what she wanted, regardless of the expense to others. You think! Rogers`expert opinion“ must have caused Sachs concern about his defence. On September 9, 1998, Dana changed her plea from insanity to robbing and murdering two women and attempting to murder another. Of course this carried an ulterior motive: by accepting a life sentence for murder, she evaded the death sentence. She also avoided conviction for the murder of her step-grandmother. watch deadly women – intellect used for evil
Dana received life without parole and was incarcerated in the California Women’s Prison in Chowchilla.