This week on Deadly Women, the team focuses on three murderers who killed purely out of greed. The first killer is Michele Willams from Keller, Texas, who decided to fund her lavish lifestyle by murdering her husband, Greg Williams so that she could live off the money from his life insurance policy.
Deadly Women often like to look at a case from the past, so they’re examining Maria Manning, a 19th-century working maid from London, England, who craved the luxurious lifestyle of the aristocracy and was prepared to murder to get it.
Finally, the third deadly woman is Kemia Hassel from Benton Harbor, Michigan. She started cheating on her soldier husband, Sgt. Tyrone Hassel and decided to have her boyfriend kill him so that they could claim his life insurance and military benefits.
Murder of Greg Williams by Michele Williams
In 2011, Greg and Michele Williams were living in their dream house with their 4-year-old daughter. Greg had a well-paying job, which was just as well because his wife enjoyed the finer things in life. Michele liked large parties, foreign travel, and shopping sprees.
Unfortunately, Greg’s salary began struggling to keep up with Michele’s spending habits. But rather than limit her spending Michele decided that she could kill her husband and help herself to three life insurance policies.
On October 13, 2011, Michele waited for Greg to fall asleep and then shot him in the head. When the police arrived, she told them an intruder had killed him.
When the police cast doubt on the intruder story, Michele changed her story and said he had committed suicide. At one point, she even accused one of her sons from a previous marriage of being the killer.
In the end, Michele Williams was found guilty of murder and was sentenced to 60 years in prison.
Murder of Patrick O’Connor by Maria Manning
Maria Manning was a maid in 19th century London, who just like Williams, also liked the finer things in life. She worked for the aristocracy and hoped, one day, emulate their lifestyle.
Luckily for her, she had two suitors who asked for her hand in marriage. Frederick Manning was her own age but didn’t have much wealth; however, he claimed to have a big inheritance coming their way. The other gentleman was Patrick O’Conner; he was much older but was a man of means with a good job and plenty of money.
Maria chose Frederick, and the pair were soon married. However, she stayed in contact with O’Connor and is suspected of having a romantic affair with him.
Unfortunately, Frederick’s inheritance never materialized, which led to Maria deciding to kill O’Connor so she could steal his money. On August 9, 1849, Maria invited her victim to her home, where she shot him in the head. Federick finished him off by hitting him with a crowbar. They buried the remains under the stone slabs in their kitchen.
The problem for the Manning’s was that O’Connor had told friends that he was having dinner with Maria. When the victim disappeared, his friends told the police.
The Mannings fled London, and the police uncovered O’Connor’s body at their home. Maria was subsequently arrested in Edinburgh, Scotland, and Frederick was caught on the island of Jersey. The pair were found guilty of murder and were executed.
Murder of Sgt. Tyrone Hassel by Kemia Hassel
Tyrone and Kemia Hassel met and fell in love while serving in the armed forces. The pair married, and Tyrone was reportedly head over heels in love with Kemia, who he treated like a queen.
Sadly, Kemia must have grown bored in their relationship because she began having an affair with another soldier, Jeremy Cuellar. And worst of all, Kemia and Cuellar decided to kill Tyrone so they could help themselves to his life insurance money and army benefits and start a new life together. Kemia had falsely convinced Cuellar that Tyrone was abusive towards her.
On December 31, 2018, Kemia planned the ambush and lured her husband to where Cuellar was waiting to pull the trigger.
Hassel was convicted of conspiracy to murder and will spend the rest of her life behind bars. Cuellar pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 65 to 90 years in prison. He has since tried to withdraw his guilty plea claiming he was coerced, but so far, his requests have been denied.
More from Deadly Women
Follow the links to read about more murderers profiled on Deadly Women.
Uloma Curry, Robyn Lindholm, and Chansamorn Pokai were deadly women who all persuaded a lover or hired another to kill someone close to them.
Catherina Voss and Angela Taylor conspired with others to kill someone who had become inconvenient to them. And Grace Lusk killed the wife of her lover after she was ordered to stay away.
Deadly Women airs at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.