Death Sentence. The True Story of Velma Barfield's Life, by Jerry Bledsoe

By Jerry Bledsoe

A stunning precise tale of a double existence undone via murder.

When North Carolina farmer Stuart Taylor died after a unexpected disease, his 46-year-old fianc\u00e9e Velma Barfield, used to be conquer with grief. Taylor's kin grieved with her—until the post-mortem published strains of arsenic poisoning. became over to the experts by means of her personal son, Velma shocked her family members with extra revelations. This wasn't the 1st time the born-again Christian and religious Sunday university instructor had devoted cold-blooded homicide. attempted through the "world's deadliest prosecutor," and sentenced to loss of life, Velma became her lifestyles round and won around the world attention.

With chilling precision, ny instances bestselling writer Bledsoe probes Velma's stark descent into insanity. From her harrowing formative years to the surprising crimes that incited a countrywide debate over the loss of life penalty, to the darkish, ultimate moments of her execution—broadcast live to tell the tale CNN—Velma Barfield's riveting lifetime of crime and punishment,...

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Extra info for Death Sentence. The True Story of Velma Barfield's Life, Crimes, and Punishment

Sample text

In time it receded but not completely, leaving her with a small, permanent knot about which she was extremely sensitive (playmates who dared call her “Knothead” never did it but once). She never could quite devise a hairstyle to hide the hardly noticeable disfigurement adequately. Velma thought her teeth were ugly, too. She had a gap that she thought far too wide between the two in front. And her legs were far too short in her mind—she stood only five feet three—and she worried that they were bowed.

He wasn’t the best-looking boy Velma had ever taken note of, but he was the first to pay attention to her. Velma was surprised. She had thought she never would be able to interest any boy. Although others thought her pretty, she felt unattractive, aware only of her defects. In the fourth grade, she had run head-on into a boy on the playground at school and was briefly knocked unconscious. A big contusion grew on her forehead. In time it receded but not completely, leaving her with a small, permanent knot about which she was extremely sensitive (playmates who dared call her “Knothead” never did it but once).

Faye screamed and bolted for the door, running out into the rain that evening had brought, still screaming. Pam collapsed in her husband’s arms, sobbing. Arlene stood rooted. ” Arlene pleaded. ” Many people soon would be asking that question. With time even Velma Barfield herself. For after her bitter encounter with Joe Freeman Britt had sent her to death row, she would begin an examination of her life that would lead her to repentance and would cause many people to believe in her redemption. And as she fought for her life in a society torn about the death penalty, she would draw more attention to the morality of capital punishment than any other murderer to that point, her case raising issues that still were being debated two decades later.

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