Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

ANGELS OF DEATH: THE FEMALE NURSES

Death Spree Ends

All it did was let her know she could get away with medical abuse, and she moved on to the Kerrville clinic.  Despite the risk of exposure in such a small place to inject children to the point of seizure, she didn't stop.

Although Dr. Holland was warned in veiled tones not to hire Genene Jones, she went ahead and did it, viewing Jones as a victim of the male-dominated patriarchy but a competent nurse.  She had no idea that by teaming up with this woman, she was about to kill her own career, her marriage, and one of her young charges.

While awaiting trial, Jones told someone, "I always cry when babies die.  You can almost explain away an adult death.  When you look at an adult die, you can say they've had a full life.  When a baby dies, they've been cheated."

Prosecutors presented Jones as having a hero complex: She needed to take the children to the edge of death and then bring them back so that she could be acclaimed their savior.  One of her former colleagues reported that she wanted to get more sick children into the intensive care unit.  "They're out there," she supposedly said.  "All you have to do is find them."

Yet her actions may actually have been inspired by a more mundane motive: She liked the excitement and the attention it brought her.  The children couldn't tell on her; they were at her mercy.  So she was free to recreate emergencies over and over.

In a statistical report presented at the second trial, an investigator stated that children were 25% more likely to have a cardiac arrest when Jones was in charge, and 10% more likely to die.  A psychiatric exam failed to give her the testimony she would need for an insanity defense.

Bexar County Court
Bexar County Court

On February 15, Jones was convicted of murder.  Later that year, she was found guilty of injuring another child by injection.  The two sentences totaled 159 years, but she's eligible for parole after twenty.

Although she was suspected in the deaths of other children, the staff at the Bexar County Medical Center Hospital shredded numerous records, thus destroying potential evidence.  Most of those personnel who had protected her resigned, and the hospital settled a legal suit brought by the McClellans.

Despite that, Chelsea's mother will never forget something she witnessed shortly after her baby was buried.  Going to the cemetery, she spotted Genene Jones kneeling at the foot of Chelsea's grave, sobbing and wailing the child's name.  Confronted, Jones walked away without a word, but took with her a bow from Chelsea's grave.

As bizarre as it is to imagine a nurse putting babies at risk to the point of death, it may be easier to explain than the next strange story.

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