Greedy people. We have discussed some greedy women on this podcast.  Josephine Gray is the first one to have used voodoo as a way to scare the people around her to keep quiet. She was able to murder her partners for about 20 years, and nothing stuck until a detective had the ingenious idea to catch her by not using murder charges. 

Two Husbands

On March 3, 1974, Norman Stribbling was found dead.  He had been shot by a single bullet to the right side of his head.  The prime suspect was his wife Josephine Gray.  Two witnesses came forward and said that Josephine had tried to get the to murder Norman.  Norman was also heard to be fearful off his wife.  Josephine Gray was a voodoo practitioner.  People would say that Norman saw his name written in spells that his wife had wrote.  One night, he woke up to find Josephine pointing a gun at him.  Norman told his friends about the incident, and that the gun misfired or he would be dead.  A few weeks later, he was. Even with all this, Josephine Gray was never charged for Norman’s death.  More shocking is that she even got $16,000 from his life insurance.  

During the last few years of her marriage with Norman, Josephine was having an affair with William Robert Gray.  A little over a year after Norman had been murdered, Josephine and Wiliam got married in November 1975. The two were married for about 16 years. In 1990, Josephine and Robert were separated.  Similar to Norman, Josephine had been having affairs with two men.  One of them being Clarence Good. Wiliam also started telling friends that he feared for his life.  He told them that Josephine had physically assaulted him a few times.  Assistant U.S. Attorney James Trusty would say that Josephine had assaulted Wiliam with a screwdriver and bat. William went to great lengths to remove Josephine as the beneficiary if something were to happen to him.  One day, Wiliam was waiting at a red light when Josephine and Clarence pulled up next to him.  When he looked, William saw that Clarence was pointing a gun at him.  Wiliam his reverse and went the other way.  

William went to the police and told them that he wanted to put a restraining order against Josephine, and that he was afraid she would kill him.  Josephine had a son, and he even went to the police with his fears that his mom was going to kill his stepfather. A few weeks later, on November 9, 1990, Wiliam was found shot to death in his apartment.  Josephine was again the main suspect. Josephine was charged with the murders of Norman Stribbling and William Robert Gray. Two witnesses came forward.  However, fear of Josephine’s voodoo spells and hexes cause them to not testify.  Josephine was released and was able to get $54,000 from Wiliam’s life insurance policy.  It was later discovered the Josephine had put hexes on the police officers who worked on William’s case. 

Two Lovers

After William Robert Gray’s death, Josephine moved in with the man she was having an affair with. Clarence Goode. They were together for six years.  On March 1996, Clarence took out a life insurance policy naming Josephine as the beneficiary. The detective, Joseph Mudano, who had been on William’s case tried to reason with Clarence. But, Clarence wouldn’t leave Josephine. On June 21, 1996, Clarence was found dead. Shot in the back, and his body was found in the back of the trunk. 

A few weeks later, Josephine’s house was searched.  In the basement, a large stain was found.  Next to it was a vacuum cleaner.  When they tested it, the stain and the vacuum cleaner tested positive for blood.  Even with this, Josephine was not arrested.  She was also able to get $90,000 from Clarence’s life insurance.  His son received $10,000.

Josephine moved on to her next boyfriend.  His name was Andre Savoy.  Detective Mudano reached out to Andre and warned him about this girlfriend. Andrew had no idea about the three murdered men.  He decided to work with the police.

Insurance Fraud

Detective Mudano reached out to federal authorities to see if they could get Josephine on insurance fraud charges. Assistant US Attorney Sandra Wilkinson agreed with the plan.  They had to prove the fraud under the Slayer’s Rule.  This is where you can receive insurance money if you caused it.  While in prison for the insurance fraud, Josephine called Andre Savoy and threated to kill him if he spoke. She told him to “take the fifth.” 

In 1998, Clarence Goode’s relatives filed a suit with the Baltimore City Circuit Court. Clarence’s brother Vernie Goode said that Clarence and Josephine had stopped seeing each other and Clarence 

Nothing came out of the suit.  However,  federal authorities charged Josephine Gray with fraud. 

Caught

When the trial began, Josephine was 55.  She was described as a mother of six and a grandmother of 11. Josephine was providing child care services for 11 years, and was a retired custodial worker in public schools. On August 8, 2002, A grand jury convicted Josephine Gray of all counts.  She was sentenced to 40 years in prison, three years of supervised released and having to pay back $170,000. 

In 2006, Josephine tried to appeal, but the judge re-sentenced her to the 40 years without parole. 

Closing Remarks

Josephine Gray scared a lot of people.  She was known to be a voodoo practitioner, and this caused people to let her get away with murdering two husbands and a boyfriend.  I thought it was smart of Detective Mudano to get her through the insurance fraud angle being that the murder charges were not holding.  I still can’t believe that they didn’t especially with the blood splatters found.  People are living longer, so Josephine might still be alive when she gets out of prison at the age of 95.  However, let’s just hope that she doesn’t find a partner at that ripe age if she is still around.

Josephine Gray