Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Women Who Kill: Part Two

Desperation is No Excuse

Tiffany Hall
Tiffany Hall

On September 25, 2006, newspapers across the country reported that the latest fetal snatching incident, perpetrated in Illinois, was much worse than first believed. Twenty-four-year-old Tiffany Hall, the suspect, talked about what she had done in a desperate attempt to acquire a baby for herself.

According to the News Democrat, Hall indicated that she had drowned the three children of her one-time close friend, Jimella Tunstall, 23. The oldest, age seven, was found in the dryer and the others, ages one and two, in the washing machine at their East St. Louis apartment. But the appliances had not been turned on and there was little water in the washing machine, so it was clear that they'd been killed elsewhere, probably drowned in a bathtub, and then placed in the machines. It was five days before Hall finally led the police to them, but before she took their lives she'd committed another murder.

Jimella Tunstall
Jimella Tunstall

A few days earlier, on September 15, Hall had killed Tunstall, seven months pregnant, keeping the body in her mother's basement for several days before dumping it in a weed-strewn lot nearby. The mutilated corpse was found on September 21. The autopsy indicated that she'd been bludgeoned with a blunt object and while she was unconscious, her unborn female child was cut out of her womb with a sharp implement. A pair of scissors was found near the body, and St. Clair County Coroner Rick Stone indicated that the cause of death was bleeding from an abdominal wound.

However, the fetus had died on September 15 as well, probably during the attack, so Hall took it to a regional hospital and told the staff that she'd been raped, causing a miscarriage. Yet she left before she could be checked, and the staff who spoke with her thought she was too calm to have been through such an ordeal. The sex crimes detective, Carolyn Wiener, thought the same thing and found many holes in her story.

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