1988 – Dorothea Puente is arrested for murder

Over the course of seven years, from 1982 to 1988, Dorothea Puente killed 9 people. All of them were residents of her boarding house, which catered to the aged and the mentally retarded. Dorothea would cash her tenants’ social service checks, and keep the money from them. The nine she killed (although she was only convicted of three of the killings) were those who objected to this practice – Puente continued to collect and cash their checks long after their deaths.

A career criminal, this was hardly the first time that Puente had pulled off this scam, although it was the first time that it involved murder. She had also been convicted of owning and running a brothel in 1960, and was well-known to law enforcement in her area. Her increasing carelessness in concealing her crimes led to her arrest, and she remains in prison as of this writing.

Referenced in:

Dorothea’s Dead Folks Home — Macabre