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Female murderers Rhonda Orr, Florence Ransom, and Patricia Hill investigated on Deadly Women

Mugshots of Rhonda Orr and Patricia Hill
Rhonda Orr of Texas and Patricia Hill of Arkansas were both found guilty of murdering their husbands. Pic credit: Denton County Sheriff’s Office and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office

Three female murderers are investigated on ID’s Deadly Women this week — Rhonda Orr, who killed her disabled husband James Orr; Florence Ransom, who murdered her lover’s family; and Patricia Hill, who shot her husband Frank Hill.

Rhonda Orr from Little Elm, Texas, killed her husband when she deliberately started a fire in the hope of claiming a large sum of money from insurance policies.

Florence Ransom was a 1940s English killer who was jealous of her lover’s family, so she shot dead mother and daughter Dorothy and Freda Fisher in their cottage garden. She then turned the shotgun on their maid, Charlotte Saunders.

ID’s third deadly woman is Patricia Hill from Pine Bluff, Arkansas, who appears to have snapped during an argument with her semi-estranged husband, Frank Hill, and shot him in the head.

The Murder of James Orr by Rhonda Orr

Rhonda Orr had been married to James for approximately four years when she decided to murder him and claim more than $1 million in insurance policies. James had used a wheelchair following a childhood injury.

On May 14, 2003, 32-year-old James died from smoke inhalation and burns after a fire engulfed his home in Little Elm, a suburb of Dallas, Texas. The police concluded that Rhonda had set the fire.

Rhonda and James were thought to be undergoing marital difficulties, and the prosecution argued that she had been having an affair with another man and was pregnant with their child.

In 2008, a jury convicted her of murder and she was sentenced to 88 years in prison.

Florence Ransom murdered three out of jealousy

In England in 1940, Florence Ransom moved in with her lover,  Lawrence Fisher, after his wife, Dorothy Fisher, and 19-year-old daughter, Freda, had moved out.

However, Florence was clearly wracked with jealously as on July 9, 1940, she traveled by train to Matfield in southern England with murder on her mind. She approached their cottage with a shotgun hidden in a brown paper bag and gunned down her two victims in the garden.

Tragically, the maid, Charlotte Saunders, came running to investigate, and was also gunned down by Ransom.

Ransom was eventually identified by an eyewitness who had spotted her looking suspicious outside the cottage. And most damning for the killer was a leather glove she had accidentally dropped as she fled the crime scene, which was later traced back to her.

The murderess was initially sentenced to die for her crimes, but a subsequent review judged that she was insane, which led to her imprisonment at a psychiatric hospital.

Murder of Frank Hill by Patricia Hill

The police believe that Patricia Hill snapped when she once again caught her husband, Frank Hill, watching porn in his shed on their property.

Patricia and Frank had been married for 17 years, but their relationship had hit a rocky road, and they were even considering divorce. Hill would later tell the authorities that Frank had become reclusive and had turned the shed into a “man cave” and that to her, it “felt like the devil was in that shed.”

This God-fearing woman was particularly angered by her husband’s pornography habit, and when she learned he had ordered a porn channel, she went to confront him and shot him in the head.

She claimed that she had fired a warning shot at his feet, but somehow the bullet had hit the 65-year-old in the head. After the shooting, Hill dialed 911 and told the dispatcher that she’d killed Frank.

In 2019, the 69-year-old Hill was found guilty of murder and was sentenced to 16 years in prison.

More from Deadly Women

Follow the links to read about more female murderers profiled on Deadly Women.

In the last episode, the show investigated the bizarre case of Barbara Rogers, who killed boyfriend Steven Mineo after he decided that the leader of their religious cult had become possessed by an alien reptile. They also examined two other killers, Leonarda Cianciulli and Geraldine Parrish.

Previously the show examined Ciera Harp, Linda Ricchio, and Loretta Burroughs, all of whom tried to get away with the murder of their boyfriend or husband.

Deadly Women airs at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.

Jerry was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, but is now based in the UK. He specializes in true crime and entertainment news stories. When not writing for Monsters and Critics he loves watching history and political documentaries, as well as any comedy show. He spent many years as a retail manager in the wine and whisky industry before trying his hand at writing. He holds a Degree of Master of Arts in History from Edinburgh University.

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