We’ve covered a lot of serial killers who were involved in wrongful death scenarios throughout the span of this series. Today we are covering Dorthea Puente. This blog will go into depth about Puente’s origins, crimes, and the aftermath of those crimes.
Who Is Dorthea Puente ?
Dorothea Helen Puente was a convicted serial killer. In the 1980s, she ran a boarding house in Sacramento, California. She murdered various elderly and mentally disabled clients/patients and then would cash out their Social Security checks.
She was born to two alcoholic parents who would abuse her. By age 6, both her parents had died, and she was sent to an orphanage till a relative from Fresno claimed her.
She was married in 1946; however, two years into the marriage, her husband died of a heart attack, and she was once again left alone.
She was found forging checks for money and sentenced to a year in jail.
She eventually found work as a nurse aid, leading to her managing boarding houses.
She married again; however, her husband began to abuse her, and she had to escape the marriage. From there, she began to spiral, seduce older men and then forge checks from them. She continually got caught and charged.
In 1981 Puente rented an upstairs apartment; nine murders she was charged with occurred in that upstairs apartment.
Ruth Monroe began living with Puente in her upstairs apartment and soon died from an overdose of Codeine and Tylenol. Puente told police that Monroe was depressed. They believed her and ruled the incident a suicide.
She then began a pen-pal friendship with a 77-year-old retiree, and the relationship turned to wed plans and a joint bank account. She then killed him and had her handyman deliver him to a river in a box claiming it was full of junk; however, when a fisherman found the box, it was the 77-year-old retiree Eversons body coming inside.
On November 11, 1988, police inquired after the disappearance of tenant Alvaro Montoya, one of Dorothea’s tenants. After noticing disturbed soil on Dorthea’s property, the police uncovered the body of tenant Leona Carpenter, 78. Seven bodies were eventually found, and Puente was charged with nine murders, convicted of three, and sentenced to two life sentences.
Capture and Prosecution
In court, it was addressed. She had used sleeping pills to put her tenants to sleep, then suffocated them and hired convicts to dig holes in her yard.
Puente received life without the possibility of parole.
She maintained her innocence for the rest of her life and insisted all her tenants had died of “natural causes.”
Wrongful Death Charges
There is no information on whether she was charged with wrongful death.
Although these extreme serial killer cases, wrongful death can occur in many different scenarios. If one of your loved ones passed away due to wrongful death, contact an attorney at Robert J. DeBry and Associates today.