Gwendolyn Graham and Catherine May Wood
Rap Sheet: Five murders in January and February 1987.
Crime History: Known as "The Lethal Lovers," Graham and Wood both worked at a nursing home in 1986 and fell in love. In early 1987, according to Wood's account, Graham smothered an elderly woman with Alzheimer's disease in order to "relieve tension." Over the next two months, in what Wood characterized as a sort of love ritual, they killed four more patients in a similar manner and the deaths were never considered suspicious.
The couple eventually broke up, but their crimes came to light in 1988 when Wood's ex-husband, whom she had told about the murders, went to police. Wood agreed to a plea bargain in exchange for her testimony against Graham, whom she characterized as the mastermind and perpetrator, while she was merely a lookout. Graham, meanwhile, claimed the opposite – that Wood was responsible and she was manipulated into being an accomplice. In the end, Graham was convicted of five counts of murder and sentenced to five life sentences without the possibility of parole. Wood pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 40 years in prison. While Wood has been eligible for parole since 2005, she remains imprisoned in Tallahassee, Florida, with a release date of June 6, 2021. Graham is currently imprisoned in Michigan.
Lowell Cauffiel's 1992 book Forever and Five Days presents the theory that Wood was a manipulative psychopath who manipulated the prosecutor and jury, and was the actual mastermind behind the nursing home murders. In the book, he presents evidence that Wood planned the murders after discovering Graham with another woman, and involved Graham as a sort of insurance policy so that she could never leave her. When Graham left her anyway, Cauffiel's book claims, Wood was willing to sacrifice herself in order to get her revenge by going to police and implicating Graham as the mastermind.