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The Coroner: I Speak for the Dead unravels case of Bob Curley murdered with rat poison by wife

Joann Curley in prison
Joann Curley served 20 years for poisoning her husband Bob Curley

Hershey, Pa., in September 1991 and Robert Curley is brought to the E.R. with some quite odd symptoms. He’s got what seems like a flu, he has acute pain in his palms and soles of his feet, his hair is falling out and he has started to vomit.

His condition improved until his wife visited and brought him some pizza and tea.

As he began to deteriorate again he told a nurse that his wife was trying to kill him. Telling her: “Please help. My wife is trying to kill me, she’s not what she seems.”

Sadly Robert died the next morning…

It would take investigators years to work out exactly what had happened to Robert. They knew he’d been poisoned with thalium, which was used as a rat poison for many years but still has use in university labs like the one he worked in as an electrician. Initially they thought it might have been a prank gone wrong by someone in his work.

Test on his wife Joann Curley and their 4-year-old daughter also picked up traces of thalium.

However, it turned out just a few days before his death Joann had recieved a payout of more than a million dollars over the accidental decapitation of her previous husband in a tractor incident.

Robert’s sister also pushed for his body to be reexamined and tests found that he’d been poisoned over a long period, for months before he ever started working at the university.

They soon determined that his wife had been poisoning him for months and had administered some of the poison to herself and their daughter in order to keep suspicion away from her.

She made a plea deal in 1997 and was released from prison in December 2016.

Last week the show looked at the murder of soldier Sam Gore.

The Coroner: I Speak for the Dead airs at 10:00 PM on Investigation Discovery.


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