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Velma Barfield
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    (October 29, 1932-November 2, 1984)
    Born in South Carolina
    Birth name was Margie Velma Bullard
    Convicted of killing her boyfriend by poisoning his beer
    Confessed to three other murders to police
    Admitted another pair of murders to her son
    Executed by lethal injection
    First woman executed after the US resumed capital punishment in 1976
    She complained about her husband's drinking while abusing tranquilizers.
    She went doctor shopping for multiple prescriptions, and forged prescriptions.
    She did time in jail for writing bad checks (1975).
    She killed two of her victims to cover up that she had been forging checks in their names.
    Her victims included her two husbands (the first one killed by setting the house on fire after he passed out), her mother, and two elderly people she worked for as a caretaker.
    When the prosecutor finished his summation, she responded with fake applause (bringing her hands together without making a sound), a sarcastic gesture that did not go over well with the jury.
    She had a last meal of Cheez Doodles and Coke.
    Her father was reportedly abusive.
    She became a born-again Christian in prison.
    Her ministering to other prisoners was praised by Billy Graham.
    There was speculation that the main reason Governor Jim Hunt rejected her request for clemency was that he was running for the US Senate against Jesse Helms and wanted to avoid 'soft on crime' accusations.
    She offered to donate her kidneys for transplant. (By the time a transplant team got access to her body, the kidneys were not salvagable.)

Credit: C. Fishel

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