In this week’s wrongful death serial series, we’re going to be covering American serial killer Waneta Hoyt. There’s something more disturbing about Waneta Hoyt when compared to the other serial killers which we have talked about previously, and her story is a reminder that these serial killers will cross any boundaries without hesitation. We bring you today the case of Waneta Hoyt.
Who Was Waneta?
Waneta Hoyt was born in Richford, New York on May 13th, 1946. Hoyt dropped out of her local high school, Newark Valley, in the 10th grade and married Tim Hoyt on January 11th, 1964.
The Death of Her Children
Not long after their first marriage, Waneta and Tim had five healthy babies between the years of 1965 and 19971, who died suddenly. The children and their dates of birth and death are as follows:
· Eric Hoyt, October 17th, 1964- January 26th, 1965
· Julie Hoyt, July 19th, 1968- September 5th, 1968
· James Hoyt, May 31st, 1966- September 26th, 1968
· Molly Hoyt, March 18th, 1970- June 5th, 1970
· Noah Hoyt, May 9th, 1971- July 28th, 1971
The wrongful death of her children was believed to be sudden infant death syndrome for more than 20 years.
Years Following the Deaths
Following the wrongful death of her their last child, the Hoyts adopted a child, Jay, who remained healthy throughout his childhood. It wasn’t until 1985 that this case was investigated when a prosecutor in a neighboring county dealing with a SIDS case heard about the Hoyt kids. The case was eventually tracked down and sent to a forensic pathologist, who found that these deaths weren’t accidents, instead the result of murder.
The police questioned Hoyt, and she ultimately confessed to the wrongful deaths of her children, which she murdered by suffocation. The reason that she gave for the murders of her children was that they were crying, and she wanted to silence them.
Waneta Hoyt was sentenced to 75 years to life on September 11th of 1995, and it has been speculated since her conviction that Hoyt suffered from Munchausen syndrome by proxy. While incarcerated, Hoyt died of pancreatic cancer in August of 1998. To our understanding, no one has sued Hoyt’s estate for wrongful death.