Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Dorothea Puente, Killing for Profit

Black Widow

But she'd already violated this parole condition in prison, when she started corresponding with a 77-year-old pen pal from Oregon named Everson Gillmouth, who made the mistake of telling Puente he earned a cozy pension and owned a Airstream trailer.

Everson Gillmouth
Everson Gillmouth

When Puente was given her walking ticket, Gillmouth was there to pick her up. He drove her to 1426 F Street, the place Puente resided before she was sent to prison. Gillmouth had told his sister he was going to marry Puente, and he'd made her a signatory on his checking account.

Not long afterward, his body was dumped unceremoniously along the Sacramento River in a homemade coffin wrapped in plastic and surrounded by mothballs. Three months after she killed Gillmouth, Puente sent a "thinking of you" card to his sister in an attempt to cover her tracks.

The pensioner's body rotted in silence by the Sacramento river until January 1986, when a fisherman found his plywood coffin. His remains would remain unidentified for three more years in the city morgue while his fiancée continued her killing spree.