Suzanne Basso, 59, was executed last night in Texas for the brutal murder of Louis “Buddy” Musso, a mentally ill man who was found lacerated, beaten, and covered with bleach in a ditch near Houston in 1998, the Associated Press reports.
Originally from New York, Basso was convicted of the murder of 59-year-old Musso at trial in 1999. Basso convinced Musso to move with her from New Jersey to Texas, promising she would marry him. But, instead of wedding bells in Texas, she, her son and four others allegedly tortured, kicked and beat him to death with belts, baseball bats, steel-toed boots, hands and feet. He was found dead in a ditch in a Houston suburb.
Basso’s five co-defendants, including her son, were convicted of participating in Musso’s murder but not sentenced to death. Prosecutors suggested at trial that Basso schemed to cash in on his life insurance payout or social security payments.
Prosecutors say Basso had a habit of making up stories about herself. She admitted that she lied about being a triplet, working for the Governor of New York, and having a relationship with Nelson Rockefeller. She also spoke like a little girl in court, claimed she was blind, and said she was paralyzed from a jail beating.
Basso’s defense attorney, Winston Cochran, claims that the evidence is circumstantial: no testimony or evidence directly showed that she killed Musso or proves exactly how he died.
“The prosecution could not to this day tell you who did it,” Cochran told the Guardian. “They had bad forensics in this case and they didn’t do a thing about it… she was a fat, unattractive woman and it made a good show case. A couple of prosecutors made their careers out of this.”
Basso was executed Wednesday evening shortly after 6pm by lethal injection of pentobarbital at the Huntsville facility. The AP reports, “As the lethal dose of took effect, Basso, dressed in a white prison uniform, began to snore. Her deep snoring became less audible and eventually stopped.” She was pronounced dead at 6:26pm.