Femmes Fatales: Five women who took things too far in the name of ‘love’


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Romances can turn into fatal attractions.

They do for many female killers, according to a study by Northeastern University, which reported more than half of the homicides committed by women involve family members and intimate partners.

Only about 15% of all homicides are committed by women, according to the International Journal of Health and Services, including these five killers, who took the lives of their lovers, romantic rivals or both.

DAN BRODERICK, LINDA KOLKENA’S PAL, SPEAKS OUT IN DOC ON SHOCKING MURDERS: BETTY BRODERICK ‘LOST CONTROL’

Betty Broderick

Now behind bars at 76 years old, Betty Broderick enacted the ultimate revenge after her husband left her to marry his much younger secretary with whom he had been having an affair. 

Broderick was enraged to learn that Dan Broderick, her husband of nearly 20 years, was cheating on her with Linda Kolkena.

After a drawn-out, hostile divorce process in California, Dan took custody of their four children against Broderick’s wishes. Broderick said her attorney husband, who was a member of the San Diego Bar Association, made it difficult for her to find a good lawyer willing to represent her, putting her at a disadvantage in the separation, according to Esquire.

An undated mugshot of Betty Broderick, now 76. She has been denied parole twice and won’t be eligible for consideration again until 2032. (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation )

After her divorce was finalized in 1989, Broderick ignored numerous restraining orders and left hundreds of profane messages on her ex-husband’s answering machine, according to CBS8. 

On Nov. 5, 1989, about six months after her husband married Kolkena, Broderick drove to the house the new couple shared carrying a recently purchased revolver. 

Using a key she had taken from her daughter, she entered the house while the couple slept, shooting them both multiple times. Evidence presented at her trial showed she removed her husband’s phone from their bedroom, preventing him from calling for help. 

While Kolkena was shot in the head, Dan was shot in the chest and did not die immediately. Only after he breathed his final breath did Broderick see herself out and turn herself in to police.

Candy Montgomery

After carrying out an affair with a married man, Candy Montgomery paid a visit to his Texas house and struck his wife with an ax. 

Defense attorneys argued in her 1980 murder trial that Montgomery only killed Betty Gore in self-defense, saying that the woman brought the ax down on Montgomery’s toe when confronting her about Montgomery’s relationship with Betty’s husband, Allan Gore. 

But prosecutors argued that the 41 ax blows dealt — 28 to the head and face — indicated the killing was personal and far exceeded a simple act of self-defense. 

WHAT HAPPENED TO CANDY MONTGOMERY? GRUESOME STORY BEHIND HULU’S ‘CANDY’

Jessica Biel playing Candy Montgomery

This image released by Hulu shows Jessica Biel as Candy Montgomery in the series “Candy.”  (Hulu via AP)

Police initially suspected Allan of his wife’s murder, but a bloody footprint left at the scene after the June 13, 1980, killing was far too small to be his, Oxygen reported. 

But Allan led them to the correct suspect when, on the day of his wife’s burial, he told police he had been carrying on an affair with her friend Montgomery for the better part of a year. 

Montgomery was ultimately acquitted of Gore’s murder on the grounds of self-defense, a decision that was largely influenced by the testimony of a psychologist who explained that Gore had triggered a traumatic childhood memory when telling Montgomery to “Shhhhh!”

Since then, Montgomery has been working as a mental health therapist, according to the Daily Mail.

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Jodi Arias

Travis Alexander’s friends were wary of his girlfriend, Jodi Arias, whom he started dating in 2006. 

“I started seeing things that were just disturbing,” friend Sky Lovingier Hughes later told ABC News. 

“I said, ‘Travis, I’m afraid we’re gonna find you chopped up in her freezer’ … From very early on, she was obsessed with him.”

Arias moved back to California from her shared home with Alexander after the two had a blowout fight in April 2008. Alexander was reported missing that June before a planned trip to Cancun with friends. 

‘BAD BEHIND BARS: JODI ARIAS’ STAR CELINA SINDEN ON HOW SHE PREPARED TO PLAY CONVICTED MURDERER IN NEW MOVIE

Jodi Arias

Jodi Arias was first found guilty of first-degree murder in 2013 for the 2008 killing of her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander, but a mistrial was called after a jury could not decide whether she deserved the death penalty. She is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole. (Arizona Department of Corrections)

Investigators say Arias stabbed Alexander almost 30 times, slit his throat and shot him in the head in his Mesa, Arizona, home. 

In court, she argued that she killed Alexander in self-defense after he attacked her for dropping his new camera, according to People, but she claimed that she blacked out during the stabbing. 

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She was sentenced to life without parole April 13, 2015. Arias is serving her sentence at the Perryville state women’s prison and is not eligible for release. 

Stephanie Lazarus

Former LAPD Det. Stephanie Lazarus was sentenced in 2012 to 27 years in prison for murdering her former lover’s wife. She went over 25 years without arousing suspicion for the crime. 

Lazarus shot nurse Sherri Rasmussen to death after bludgeoning her in the condo she shared with John Ruetten, Rasmussen’s husband of three months and Lazarus’ former boyfriend. 

When Rasmussen’s body was discovered in 1986, detectives suspected two robbers who had attacked another woman in the area. However, Lazarus’ name was mentioned in Rasmussen’s case file because of her previous relationship with Ruetten, Fox News Digital previously reported. 

EX-LAPD DETECTIVE SENTENCED IN MURDER COLD CASE

Stephanie Lazarus

Veteran LAPD Det. Stephanie Lazarus appears at the Criminal Justice Center for her arraignment on murder charges June 9, 2009, in Los Angeles. Lazarus was charged with the Feb. 24, 1986, murder of Sherri Rasmussen, her ex-boyfriend’s wife. (Mark Boster-Pool/Getty Images)

The case went cold until undercover officers followed Lazarus and secreted away a sample of her saliva. The saliva matched DNA from a bite mark left on Rasmussen’s body. 

A California parole board recommended Lazarus for release last November, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Kaitlin Armstrong

Yoga instructor Kaitlin Armstrong was sentenced to 90 years in prison in November in the killing of gravel cycling pro Anna Moriah “Mo” Wilson, her perceived romantic rival. 

Armstrong, 37, shot Wilson, 25, twice in the head and once through the heart, minutes after Colin Strickland dropped the younger woman off at a friend’s Texas apartment. Strickland was Armstrong’s boyfriend at the time, but he had also had a past relationship with Wilson.

KAITLIN ARMSTRONG SENTENCED FOR MURDER OF MO WILSON, GRAVEL CYCLING STAR

A mugshot of Kaitlin Armstrong

Kaitlin Armstrong was convicted of murder in Austin, Texas, and sentenced to 90 years in prison for fatally shooting professional cyclist Anna Moriah “Mo” Wilson. (Travis County Sheriff’s Office)

Strickland dated Wilson during a breakup with Armstrong. After he got back together with the yoga instructor, Strickland maintained a friendship with Wilson. 

Armstrong was questioned after the May 11, 2022, killing. But after she was released from their custody, she sold her Jeep and fled the country.

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In Costa Rica, Armstrong changed her face with plastic surgery. When she was finally tracked down to Santa Teresa after 43 days on the run, police said, she had a plastic surgery receipt and a list of defense attorneys. 






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