On February 3, 1978, North Carolina farmer Stuart Taylor was rushed to the hospital. His forty-six-year-old fiancee, Velma Barfield, a devout Sunday school teacher, held vigil at his bedside. But prayers couldn't save him. An autopsy revealed that arsenic had killed him. To those who knew her, Velma was a devoted mother and grandmother, a sweet and selfless caregiver. But her life was a fragile web of lies that unraveled with alarming speed, exposing a deeply disturbed woman addicted to prescription drugs, driven to bouts of suicidal despair. And murder. Turned over to the police by her son, Velma stunned her family by admitting to having murdered four people over the course of ten years including her own mother. But there were secrets she held back... secrets not known until now. At her trial, facing "the world's deadliest prosecutor," Velma's angry defiance assured her the death sentence. But after freeing herself from drugs on death row, she found redemption and a new reason to live. And her looming execution attracted the world's attention. In this eye-opening account of a tragic American story, Jerry Bledsoe takes us from the peaceful beauty of rural North Carolina to the grim finality of the execution chamber, where last-minute appeals for clemency from influential allies went unheeded. On a foggy November night, with the eyes of the nation on her and the families of her victims awaiting justice, Velma calmly faced her own death from poison. But only after a shocking final confession to her son.... DEATH SENTENCE is an intimate, illuminating exploration of the passions that drive women to kill and of a justice system that exacts its own chilling retribution.
This stated first printing hardcover book is in as-new condition. The dust jacket has edge wear and the remains of a store sticker. The flap has a price of $24.95. There are several pages of photographs.