About 50% of marriages end up in divorce. Divorce does get more complicated when you mingle your finances together and you have kids together. However, what would make someone murder her husband instead of separating and eventually getting a divorce? These five women did just that and thought it’d be easier killing their husbands. This is called “Mariticide.” This is the killing of one’s spouse. In a 2007 research paper, Adkinrah says, “‘the female killer knows very well what the balance of power is when it comes to attacking her husband or lover. The sleeping situation is a propitious one.” It is an area that has not extensive study, but it is recurrent and continues to occur even til this day.
In 1984, Johnnie Allbritton was shot to death. It remained unsolved until 2015 when it aired on a detective show called “Cold Justice.” After hearing the investigation done by the show’s experts, Buffalo’s sheriff’s office reopened the case. His wife Norma Allbritton was indicted on murder on June 27, 2019. Investigators are currently looking into the suicide of the couple’s 13-year old daughter Pam Allbritton that happened three years before Johnnie was murdered.
Johnnie’s daughter Judie Robinson said, “That part wasn’t a shock but it was an emotional day when she was arrested because I have a younger brother that was raised by her. That is my main concern right now.”
Mariticide, the act of murdering one’s husband, is not a modern phenomenon. We go back to 23 AD when Livilla poisoned her husband Drusus, who was the son of the emperor in power at the time, so she could be with her lover. When her boyfriend Sejanus asked the emperor for Livilla’s hand in marriage, he refused. A few years later, he found out that his son was murdered, and the emperor ordered the execution of Livilla, which was death by starvation. However, there are accounts that the emperor actually spared Livilla from being executed because of his fondness for her mother Antonia. It was actually her mother who decided to starve her to death.
Susan Wright was a pretty blonde from Houston, TX who married her husband Jeff Wright in 1998. They went on to have two children together. On January 13, 2003, Susan tired her husband to their bed and went on to stab him over 193 times with two different knives.
She tried covering up the crime by burying her husband and painting the room. However, five days later, she went to her attorney and confessed. Wright claims she suffered years of abuse in the hands of her husband. She says he repeatedly raped and beat her. Susan said what finally made her kill him was when he turned his abuse towards their older child. This didn’t seem to sway the court, and she was sentenced to 25 years in prison. She has been denied parole several times, and her next parole hearing is in July 2020.
In Sudan, 19-year Noura Hussein was sentenced to death when she killed her husband. Hussein was forced to marry her husband by her parents three years. She had tried running away and refused to consummate the marriage. He found her, took her away, and raped her while his relatives watched. When he tried raping her again the next day while they were alone, she grabbed a knife he had on him and stabbed him to death.
A Sudanese court overturned the death sentence and gave her a five-year sentence in its place. Her family also were ordered to pay 337,000 Sudanese pounds, which is $7,472.04 in US Dollars, to Noura’s husband’s relatives.
Jordan Linn Graham
In 2013, newlyweds Jordan Linn Graham and Cody Lee Johnson went for a walk in Glacier National Park. They got in a heated argument. Jordan would admit that she could have walked away, but instead, she let rage get to her to the point that she pushed Johnson off a cliff where he died. It was the first murder at the park. It seemed Graham had reservations about getting married and conveyed this to Johnson, which resulted in an argument.
A few friends of Johnson warned him not to get married. They found Jordan unfriendly. Johnson’s friend Cameron Fredrickson would say in an interview, “ Their interaction with each other, it didn’t seem like a happy, loving relationship that you would normally see. It was just very awkward, I guess.”
Marriage takes commitment, and there are times that it can get messy. The people within the marriage become desperate and feel that all they can do is murder their spouses. Hopefully, in the near future, there will be more studies done in this area to understand the different variations of mariticide and if there is any way to prevent it.