A Texas millionaire rancher discovered his wife and bookkeeper had stolen thousands of dollars from him. After he demanded the money back, he started getting sick. The dying man told everyone that his wife and bookkeeper were killing him.A Texas millionaire rancher discovered his wife and bookkeeper had stolen thousands of dollars from him. After he demanded the money back, he started getting sick. While in the hospital, doctors were mystified as to how an otherwise healthy, energetic man could become so deathly ill. The dying man told everyone within earshot that his wife and bookkeeper were killing him. The man's wife said her husband was hallucinating from drugs the doctors were giving him. The millionaire rancher succumbed in the hospital while strapped down to his bed with restraints on his hands and feet and tubes in every orifice. After the rancher died, an anonymous caller tipped off the police. The widow was the sole beneficiary of the estate and a $350,000 life insurance policy. A week before the man's death, a teenager visited the rancher's home and became deathly ill after he drank juice that was in the rancher's refrigerator. Two years after the millionaire's death, a bottle of arsenic was found in a storage locker rented by a woman under an assumed name. The millionaire's ex-wife, the mother of his children, became a sleuth to help solve the murder. No one could have predicted the aftermath with its strange twists and unexpected results.Fighting the Devil is a ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year 2010 True Crime Finalist and a Reader's Choice.
In the midst of Texas ranch country, on a peaceful spring day in 1990, a 49-year-old millionaire rancher sat down to lunch with his wife and bookkeeper, as he often did. Less than half an hour later, he was deathly ill, with stomach pains, severe vomiting and intense intestinal distress. Three weeks later, he was dead from a mysterious illness. His wife seemed to show no emotion when she learned of his death. However, his bookkeeper became very nervous and upset upon hearing the news, and ran through the hospital corridor to the elevator.
The Texas millionaire rancher discovered his wife and bookkeeper had stolen thousands of dollars from him, he demanded the money back by Memorial Day, or else. Instead of getting his money back, the millionaire became very sick from some mysterious illness and was hospitalized, within a few weeks he was dead.
Doctors were mystified as to what had caused this otherwise healthy forty-nine-year-old man to become so deathly ill. The rancher did not smoke or drink and exercised daily. On the rancher's last stay in the hospital toxicology tests showed 4,895 mcg of arsenic in his system. Even while he was a patient in the hospital the arsenic level in the rancher’s system continued to climb. The dying man told his friends and everyone within earshot that his wife and bookkeeper were killing him. The man's wife said her husband was hallucinating from the drugs the doctors were giving him. The millionaire rancher became a virtual prisoner when hospital personnel strapped him down to his hospital bed with restraints on his hands and feet. The man's wife and bookkeeper were constantly at the hospital and at his bedside, keeping visitors at bay. In the last days of his life, the millionaire would scream out that the two women were killing him and beg for someone to help him. On June 12, 1990, the rancher died a horrific and very painful death while still strapped down to the hospital bed with leather restraints on his hands and feet and tubes in every orifice. Immediately after the rancher's death, a doctor called the police anonymously to report the arsenic poisoning death. An autopsy later proved the rancher died from extreme arsenic poisoning. The Death Certificate read: Patient was given arsenic over a period of time until lethal amounts finally killed him.
The widow was the sole beneficiary on his $350,000 Life Insurance Policy and his Estate.
Jeannie Walker is a freelance writer and award winning songwriter. She studied creative writing in New York and Connecticut and is a member of the International Association of Writers. She is an avid reader of mystery novels and the ex-wife of a murdered man. She resides in Texas.
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