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Dorothea Puente
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    (January 9, 1929-March 27, 2011)
    Born in Redlands, California
    Birth name was Dorothea Helen Gray
    Ran a boarding house for the elderly and mentally ill in Sacramento, California
    Believed to have killed nine boarders
    Convicted on three counts of murder (1993)
    Sentenced to life without parole
    She was arrested on 34 counts of forging boarders' signatures to cash their social security checks and was sentenced to five years probation (1978).
    She was convicted of drugging three boarders and stealing their valuables and sentenced to five years in prison (1982).
    She was paroled after three years on the condition that she stay away from the elderly.
    Instead, she re-opened the boarding house and resumed stealing checks from her tenants, collecting $5,000 a month.
    She spent her ill-gotten gains on silk dresses, Giorgio perfume and a face-lift.
    She began killing off boarders who complained or otherwise made trouble.
    Typically, before a tenant disappeared, she would observe that they were not feeling well then announce that she was 'taking them upstairs to make them feel better.'
    Her father died of tuberculosis when she was eight, her mother died in a motorcycle accident a year later, and she lived in an orphanage until relatives from Fresno took her in.
    She gave two daughters up for adoption and suffered a miscarriage.
    She was a heck of a cook and prepared generous breakfasts for her boarders.
    She was popular with social workers because she accepted tough cases, such as drug addicts and abusive tenants.
    Somehow, federal parole officers visited her fifteen times without noticing that she was running a boarding house for the elderly in direct violation of her parole.

Credit: C. Fishel

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