Sunday, 22 June 2014

Susan Barber - Poisoner

Susan Barber was a poisoner, one of the most often used methods to kill, employed by women.  Born in 1953, she married 24 year old Michael Barber in 1970, but despite the fact she was only 17 at the time, she had a child already.  By 1980, they had three children.  But now her dirty linen emerged.  She had been having an affair with Richard Collins, a neighbour, for ten years.  This affair started just weeks after the wedding, when Collins was just 15!!!  The dirt hit the fan, when Michael Barber returned home after an aborted fishing trip.  He found them both in bed.  Furious, he hit the two of them.  But tempers were cooled and "stability" returned.  Only for a very short while.  She put some weedkiller in a meal, resulting in him falling ill and entering Southend General Hospital.  Later, he was transferred to Hammersmith Hospital in West London, but died days later.  It was June 27th 1981.

    Dr David Evans performed the autopsy and diagnosed pneumonia and kidney failure, but had lingering doubts, and preserved samples from the body of Mr Barber.  Michael Barber was cremated and after the funeral, the "griefstricken" widow moved her lover into her home.  She received £15,000, a payout from her husband`s pension fund.  They carried on blissfully, until she began to tire of him, and using CB radio, and calling herself "Nympho" met other men for sex.  But the doubts of Dr Evans, resulted him in sending the samples to ICI, who found the weedkiller Gramoxone, in the samples.  Police were informed and began a murder inquiry.  In April 1982, they were both arrested, charged and put on trial.  Collins received two years for conspiracy to murder, with Susan Barber receiving life for murder.