Home » Episodes » Episode 36 – Los Angeles, CA (A Trauma Trifle)

This week, Rachel and Emily both travel to Los Angeles, CA. First Rachel tackles a big story, another tale of folie à deux and two of the 70s’ most feared serial killers: the Hillside Stranglers. Then, Emily tells the story of obstetrics nurse Norma Jean Armistead, a horrible woman that went way too far to have a baby. Hopefully, you’re horrified.

Trigger Warning: sexual assault, gruesome violence, stillbirth/miscarriage


Emily 0:14
Hi, welcome to horrible history. I’m Emily Barlean.

Rachel 0:17
And I’m Rachel Everett-Lozon. We’re on episode 36, can you fucking believe it

Emily 0:22
Is it episode 36? Yeah. And because of terrible today, I think this is like, technically, if you look on Apple podcasts, Episode 70, which like, that’s 70 pieces of content that people have access to. Yeah, here’s more on patreon.com/horriblehistory.

Rachel 0:42
We want to say thank you to our new patron, Elli. Thank you, our first international patron.

Emily 0:48
So exciting. Oh, my gosh, I love it. Thank you for joining us, Elli.

Rachel 0:53
Yeah. Welcome to the morbid, curious community. So for those of you who are new Emily and I do not know the stories that each other are going to share, we only know the place. So we’re going to LA both of us this week. However, I we did make sure I’m like, mine’s heavy as yours heavy. And she’s all not so much. So we know they’re not the same story. But we don’t actually know we don’t have an assistant yet. Because our Patreon is not that big. So join Patreon, if you’d like us to get an assistant and be even more anal.

Chapter 1 – The Hillside Stranglers

Rachel’s LA Travel Tips

So I haven’t spent a ton of time in LA, like, really? I’ve only been stuck in traffic there before. Have you spent a lot of time out there?

Emily 1:34
Well, just the trip that I talked about where I went to Disneyland and the beach and stuff. But on that trip I do you mentioned being stuck in traffic, which is like, very like, traditionally how you think of La their traffic is terrible. And I remember being stuck in traffic and looking over and the woman driving the car next to me was reading a book, because that’s how slow we were going. And I was like, That’s bad. Yeah,

Rachel 2:02
yeah. And obviously, there’s a ton to do in LA. So the first thing that I want to do is check out the Wizarding World of Harry Potter for what I think are obvious reasons.

Emily 2:14
Oh my gosh, totally.

Rachel 2:15
Emily, I know you consider yourself a Gryffindor. I am 1,000,000% of Ravenclaw. And proud of it. You bet your ass I am buying a wand and I am having that full interactive experience.

Emily 2:32
oh my gosh, I went to the like platform nine and three quarters when I was in London, and it was so fun, but the line was so long to take it because there’s a picture of like, there’s half of a trolley car like a luggage cart, like coming out of a wall and so you can take your picture there, but super long, so I just went and bought Susie’s gift shop.

Rachel 2:57
Oh I have one for sure. And I also checked with my friend Hoa. I’m so sorry. Who I can’t remember if you lived. I she’s from California, but I can’t remember if she lived in LA I think near LA for a long time. But she spent a lot of time there so she gave me a long list of places to eat.

And one that stuck out to me was Dim Tai Fung, which is a Taiwanese dumpling and noodle place. Their menu online has pictures. I am not joking when I started doing this research. I was not even a little bit hungry. And then I started scrolling that menu and immediately my whole mouth filled up with saliva. They have a kimchi and kurabuta pork dumplings.

Emily 3:42
I love kimchi. It’s so good.

Rachel 3:45
Mm hmm. And on pork dumplings whole sounds incredible. And they have a ton of different bao bun options, including, are you ready for this? Yes. Dessert bao buns? Wow, I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before. No mean either. Like the flavor combinations. They have one that’s chocolate and mochi or red bean and mochi and I’m like yesss.

Emily 4:07
now please put that in my mouth. And now it’s like when we were at the farmers market in Omaha and they had like dessert egg rolls, and I was like, why didn’t I think of that? That’s genius. dessert. Wow, that’s so yeah.

Rachel 4:19
Yes. Because bao is one of those things that you could flavor with anything.

Emily 4:22
It’s basically like a flat flavor. It’s like a cloud. You know, it’s like, yes, it’s like, um, taste, but it’s not like fluffy bread. Yeah, it’s an order for the texture, right?

Rachel 4:32
Yeah, yeah. Well, that bread. I don’t know. What would you call it? Like it’s bread, but it’s not like yeah, it doesn’t Google it. If you know, there’s

Emily 4:39
nothing else that I’ve ever eaten. That is like, that’s like a bao bun.

Rachel 4:44
Yeah, it’s it’s so good. No, yeah, it’s so yummy. If you’ve never had it, stop this podcast. Well keep this podcast on while you drive to your nearest place that serves it. Taiwanese place a Vietnamese place whatever you got to do.

Emily 4:58
I even have it in Omaha So I know It’s where you’re at unless you’re in a tiny town.

Rachel 5:02
Yes. And then in which case you can listen to us longer while you drive farther further and I’m also going to make us go to Madame Tussauds Hollywood. Is that on your list too?

Emily 5:15
No it’s I didn’t I went like very deep dive into things that okay cuz I was like we’re gonna end up doing the same thing like that’s

Rachel 5:23
why I was like help me Hoa

Emily 5:27
but I have wanted to go to Madame Tussauds for ever.

Rachel 5:30
Yeah, yeah the idea of seeing a bunch of wax figures kind of creeps me out. But we are morbid curious. We are all about facing our fears. Right now they have a 4d Marvel Universe exhibit that I know we would be very into.

Emily 5:44
Oh my god all the Avengers

Rachel 5:46
and not to mention they have a whole 90s section that I think is one of the regular rotation. Classic Britney Tupac Selena. All your favorites. Free Britney okay Britney hashtag free Britney and although LA is famous for so many things morbid curious might think about la as mostly a hotbed for serial killers in the 70s Whoo, question mark. Ooh, that I don’t know.

Emily 6:18
We’re whoo girls for serial killers.

Hillside Stranglers

Rachel 6:21
God I have no we’re not No, no, no, no, we make fun of serial killers because they’re terrible. But we’ve got the nightstalker the scorecard killer, the Grim Sleeper, the freeway killer, the dating game killer. And although I had many, many, many to choose from in LA, I am again going to be taking on folly ADO. The hillside Stranglers oh

Emily 6:47
my gosh un big girl.

Rachel 6:49
I went big. I went big, so exciting. weird, weird what we get excited for? I’m going to start our story in November of 1977. A sweet nine year old boy was searching for buried treasure with some friends which is precious, and instead of digging in his backyard, he was straight in digging through some trash. Okay. And from a distance, he said to mannequins,

Emily 7:20
it’s never a mannequin.

Rachel 7:23
Intrigued, he climbed over some dirty mattresses and some trash and horrifyingly, he found the bodies of two girls ages 12 and 14. Oh,

Emily 7:36
barely his age probably are a little Yeah. A little older. Yeah,

Rachel 7:40
the girls were naked. And they had been in the sun for about a week. They were covered in insects. The girls were later identified as Dolly Cepeda and Sonja Jackson. And before the end of the day, another body would be found sending Los Angeles into a frenzy trying to discover the man, or in this case, men who did this.

Emily 8:04
Wow. I didn’t realize three were discovered at first, like at one time and at first.

Rachel 8:11
What’s interesting about the hillside Stranglers that I didn’t realize either before I started doing this research is all of their killings happened within about a three month period. Whoa Yeah. And they had a lot of killings I just

Emily 8:25
assumed based on how many there were that it was like years of time like Iran or or whatever Golden’s State Killer

Rachel 8:32
it was like a summer of Sam situation it was maybe six months I’ll get into it, obviously but good time to say trigger warning sexual assault, murder. All the all the triggers. Okay. Let’s back up to January 1976. KENNETH Bianchi. moved from New York to live with his cousin Angelo Buono who lived in LA obviously because this is la story

Emily 9:00
can keep up people.

Rachel 9:03
This is me not being able to read my own story and then yelling it because I can’t read my writing. Okay. Is this gonna be great? KENNETH had a rough past. He had been adopted as a child because his biological mother was unable to care for him. I did read in a couple places that she was a sex worker. I do want to put a big fat Asterix on that. Not necessarily a reason that someone would choose to give up their child for adoption. know he got into some minor legal issues as a teen. And as an adult. He was he was like petty theft kind of a thing. He had trouble holding down a job.

And for lack of a more creative word, Kenneth thought Angelo, his cousin who the family also called Tony, but I don’t know I’m like that, so I’m gonna call him Angelo was the tits.

Emily 10:00
I don’t know why that made me laugh so hard. He’s the tits.

Rachel 10:07
I had a very Ron Burgundy sort of mindset when I was reading the story. He was the tits. He had only met him once before moving to LA to live with him. Oh, my there was immediate admiration for his cousin, who was 17 years older than he was.

Emily 10:25
That makes sense. It’s like you meet your older cousin. They seem so cool and grown up and it’s just like, Oh, wow. You know, like, I had older cousins that I felt that way about it was just like, Oh my gosh, I want to be just like her when I grow up. And yeah, they’re just normal people.

Rachel 10:40
Yeah, people are. They’re just people. Angelo was raised by a single mom. And he was one of those special kinds of psychopaths who seemed to hate women, but still got married a bunch of times. Yeah, yeah. And he was cocky. Apparently, you’re gonna hate this guy. He likes to call himself the Italian Stallion. sickening. I’m sad. And yeah, maybe we should put that in a trigger warning, trigger warning. Terrible self described things.

Emily 11:12
egotistical assholes.

Rachel 11:14
Unsurprisingly, he was an abusive husband. And he also had some trouble as a youth youth. He went away to some sort of reformatory school for Grand Theft Auto on his record when he was a teenager,

Emily 11:30
as a teenager.

Rachel 11:32
Yeah, it was one of those. We could send him to juvie or reform school, which I’m guessing is code for a lot of abuse and unethical practices have been there too. Because Angelo was born in the 40s so he would have gone in the 50s 60s to reform school now when you want to be there No. Allegedly, so

Emily 11:53
it was like a precious perfect reform school they they’re listening later like DAMNIT!

Rachel 12:00
no, I honestly I didn’t do a ton of research into their childhoods, because fuck those guys. We are. We try to be victim oriented on this podcast. I don’t care.

Emily 12:09
And what’s irritating to me is how hard it is to be victim oriented. Yeah, like my story later, you’ll hear barely anything about the victims because there’s nothing out there. It’s like all about the killer.

Rachel 12:23
Yeah, I was like googling Find a Grave.com and it was just like, yes. This 12 year old got murdered by the hillside Stranglers? Great. Thank you. I knew that. Yeah, exactly. So right away, you have this weird power dynamic in which Angelo had some psychological sway over Kenneth. And he had a woman low, they mindset Like I said, I am always so curious about folly, adieu and how it comes into play. Like, were they just eating dinner one night, and Angela was all he can? Do you know, and I’m thinking, let’s become pimps so we can start murdering sex workers. And Kenneth is all john Stamos, like. Yeah, I

Emily 13:10
do wonder that too. Like, I mean, I guess I’ve met you and we realized like, Oh my gosh, we both love like creepy weird stuff. But like, that’s not saying to someone like, Hey, I fantasize about murdering people. Like how do you get there? Yes. You feel the vibe from the other person? Maybe?

Rachel 13:29
Yeah. I think it’s a different thing to be all Hey, what true crime podcast do you listen to? Or like, what podcasts are you listening to right now? And we’re like, oh, true crime. Me too. versus being like, hey, do you want to go murder a sex worker later? Yeah, no, thanks. And you know, like,

Emily 13:45
I try to think if there’s anything that it was like, a very odd thing about myself and a friend that it was like we discovered we shared that and there’s just nothing comparable. Oh,

Rachel 13:56
no, no, there’s nothing comparable to Hey, do you want to go get murdery? No,

Emily 14:03
I noticed you have a lot of knives. Is this maniac dinner, murder people?

Rachel 14:08
No, I’m a professional knife thrower. Regardless, it was Angelo’s idea to lure teenagers who had run away and forced them into sex work. And this horrible plan was unfortunately pretty easy for them to put into action. The pair abducted two girls, Sabra Hannon and Becky Spears. The teens were locked up and forced to sell their bodies. And when they weren’t making money for Angelo and Kenneth, the psychopathic cousins raped them and beat them. They were only allowed out of the house a handful of times over a week’s long period. And only when Sabra and Becky would beg for your permission first, and they would keep coming back. They were threatened with violence.

Emily 14:59

Rachel 14:59
Yeah, yeah, the details are a little murky in the research. But from what I can tell, one of the times they were out Sabri somehow met a lawyer named David Wood. And he was able to advocate for them, Sabra and Becky, and help them escape from this really terrible situation. So I don’t know if Angelo and Kenneth were planning to murder these girls or not. But we’ve talked some in a couple of our recent episodes about serial killers, using logic that only works for them. It doesn’t work for people who don’t have the psychopathic traits and the psychopathic mindsets.

But if I had to guess, they are pissed that their first foray into what’s essentially sex slavery doesn’t work out for them. So they decided to pay a sex worker named Deborah noble for a checklist, which is like a list of regulars are John’s who solicited sex work with their names and numbers. Because if they have the list of the people who want the sex workers, they can provide them the sex workers.

Emily 16:10
Yeah. Fair now.

Rachel 16:11
Deborah was a business woman. So she sees these crazy dude asking for this list. And she’s Oh, cool. So she shows up at Angelo’s home with another sex worker, Yolanda Washington. They together sold Angelo and Kenneth the fake list. A fake list. Oh, jugs.

Emily 16:33
They were like amazing. Police officers. We got that’d be

Rachel 16:38
amazing. I’m imagining they’re just making up the most fake names possible. They’re all Whew. direction.

Mike hunt. I’m sorry. What?

Emily 16:54
Oh, me a second to realize I was like, that’s just the normal name. Yeah. Michael Hunt.

Rachel 17:02
Mike, for sure. But I’m guessing they tried to call these numbers and realize pretty quickly, it was a fake list. And Kenneth and Angelo, were infuriated. They want to pay back.

Emily 17:16
Do you remember? Or did you ever do this? There was some timeframe, it was probably like 2010 2000. And then it was this big trend where there was this rejection hotline where it’s like I asked for your number. You could give them the note? Yeah. When they call that they’re like, this is the rejection hotline. The person that you asked for their number. does not want to see you again. Yeah.

Rachel 17:37
Oh, yeah. We were in college, I think when it came out, but there’s a guy on tik tok, who does it now. And he basically will do these videos. And he routes them through a computer or something, but I think it is his actual number. Oh, it might be a Google Voice number or something like that. And it’s a lot of pictures of penises. Like, Oh, no. And this is a middle-aged dude who’s like, this young lady who you met at this bar? Even if she did like you didn’t want to see your penis. I think just like lecture six guys. is pretty funny.

Emily 18:09
I’m calling your mom.

Rachel 18:10
Seriously. Um, unfortunately, after they realized it was a fake list. They knew where to find Yolanda because she had told them where she typically works. Oh, yeah. On October 18 1977. Yolanda Washington’s body was found naked on a hillside near the Ventura freeway. Her neck, wrists and legs were bound. She was violently raped, and her body was washed and cleaned. Not I have any respect for her but to remove evidence before she was discarded on the hillside.

Ronald Lemieux a music store owner witnessed Yolanda’s abduction. He would later testified that he saw two men flash police badges at Yolanda. The men handcuffed her and put her into the back of an unmarked car. So that, to me is infuriating.

Emily 19:10
Oh my gosh, totally. People shouldn’t be allowed to buy fake police badges like I know Halloween costume, whatever. But like, yeah, it can be used for such creepy negative. Yeah, stuff. Yeah, well, and

Rachel 19:21
this is October. I didn’t even think about that. I wonder if it was I just like, do you know how all of a sudden it’s like there’s no store there. And then it becomes August. Time and spirit of Halloween are just everywhere? Yes. It’s

Emily 19:34
like wait a minute. That was nothing early.

Rachel 19:37
What used to be their pets. What was it a TCP? Why, like, no idea what it was.

Emily 19:42
There’s one place in St. Louis where it’s literally like it’s just a empty store that they populate it with different things throughout the year. It’s like Halloween, Christmas. And then during like the beginning of sports seasons, like it’s like a Cardinals shirt. Store only.

Rachel 19:58
Yeah, that is funny, but Halloween are no three Bs mo was born. It’s to me that special kind of fucked up when you’re pretending to have some authority and people feel as though they can’t say no to you. Angelo and Kenneth would flash a bag, tell a woman a bag, flash getting the car ladies like nice things. Flash a badge, tell a woman she needed to come with them and then they would go back to Angelo’s house, where the man would rape, torture and kill her and she’d never be seen again.

Yeah, yeah. So less than two weeks after the murder of Yolanda Washington, Kenneth in Angelo decided it was time to do it again. November 1 1977. The body of teenage JUnit judith miller, who invited Judy was found naked face up in the middle of the street in a middle class suburb, which is especially ominous to me. As someone who lives in a middle class suburb like Ryan imagine walking out my house and seeing a naked dead teenager. That is my nightmare. Like I can’t fathom something like that

Emily 21:06
it would be so out of place and so unsettling and just it’s like extra creepy.

Rachel 21:11
So the homeowner because she was you know, on somebody’s property had covered up Judy’s body and a tarp to keep the body from scarring the neighborhood children on their way to school, which is technically tampering with evidence but theory well-meaning and I can’t blame that.

Emily 21:28
What else are you gonna do? I don’t Yeah,

Rachel 21:30
just lever. I mean, if it’s me, I’m calling the police immediately. Yeah. And I know not to tamper with evidence, but I’m going to keep my kids away and and text all my friends in the neighborhood and be like, keep your kid Tom.

Emily 21:41
I’d be like, okay, the teachers aren’t gonna understand why you’re late for school today. You’re not leaving the house yet.

Rachel 21:47
So anywho Judith, or duty, like Yolanda had been found strangled and raped. Her body had been dumped in the residential area, like I said, so police knew she had been killed elsewhere. They were just like, there’s no way this kind of violent crime. Not that violent crimes like that don’t happen in the suburbs. But typically, they’re sneakier. Like you got a basement or garage somewhere you’re not dealt with them. In the middle of a suburban street room, Detective Salerno, whose name you might recognize if you watch the Nightstalker documentary on Netflix, also found this small piece of light-colored fluff on Judas eyelid, which he saved for forensic experts.

Emily 22:28
That’s some good shit. I love it when detectives are like this tiny, insignificant thing. I’m gonna keep it and it’s gonna swab the gates.

Rachel 22:38
Yeah, yeah. But he but he did. I mean, I will say, I don’t get as into it. So Angelo and Kenneth are living together. But Angelo also works at an auto repair shop, where you might find upholstery. So, and an auto repair shop where things are allowed anywhere, it’s private, or anyway, and it’s private, and it’s big, and you’ve got a lot of tools is the place that they committed most of these murders and sexual assaults. I don’t actually. I as I was reading it, it was sounding more like they did it in the auto store versus their house, which makes sense.

So Judy Miller was originally Jane Doe. But finally after a little bit of time she was able to be named. She was a 15 year old high school student who had dropped out and ran away from home. Judy occasionally engaged in sex work to pay the bills. She was last seen on Halloween 1977 speaking with a man and a two tailed sedan on Sunset Boulevard. Of course, both Angelo and Kenneth were in this large sedan. They flashed their fake badges, handcuffed her and took her to Angelo’s auto upholstery shop in Glendale, where she was raped, sodomized and murdered just five days later. Another naked female body was discovered in Glendale with no cooling.

They like I said, they’re practically spree killers. But I think because of how many there were and because of the way that they executed them, you know, kind of that this woman was 21 year old with Lissa caston. She was a waitress and a professional dancer in the group the LA knockers. Oh, cute. Yeah, I thought she was last seen driving home from her shift at a restaurant where she worked, after which Angelo and kind of followed her, pulled her over on the street that she lived on, which is especially ominous to me. Blush their fake badge, handcuffed her and told her they needed to take her and ProQuest and

Emily 24:48
it’s like, one of my worst fears is like someone following me home or I just feel like home should be a safe place. And so do you do the thing where it’s like if someone’s phone You too close, like when you’re on the road home like it’s actually nothing but I’m always like, why are they following me so close? And then if like, you turn, I’ll like turn down my street and if they turn to which it’s like, it’s the entrance to like 18 different culdesecs so like, it’s probable that they live there, but I’m always like, if they turn down my street after me, I’m going to circle that cul de sac and drive somewhere else.

Like I’m not pulling into my driveway. Like, so scary. Same.

Rachel 25:29
Now I do that same thing. Yeah. I will pass my house. Absolutely. Um, I have no idea what charges they would have said that they had Lissa caston on. She wasn’t a sex worker. She wasn’t a runaway. Regardless, she had the same trademark ligature marks and had also been brutally raped. Around this same time. Angela, Kenneth had a bit of a Whoopsie Daisy. So the hippo approached 24 year old Catherine Laurie Baker, who was Oh, sorry, Catherine, Laura Baker, who was Peter leray, his daughter.

So a side note, Peter larae was ironically famous for playing a serial killer in the film, M. But they found a picture of her and her father when they were going through her shit. So because they like polar over there, like can I see some ID right? And so they find her. Like, I think the picture said she was sitting on her father’s lap, just like we’re concerned, you know, 25 year old woman. But they they let her go without incident because they didn’t want to murder such a high profile victim. And she was only identified as a potential victim later when she saw the story break after their eventual arrest. Spoiler alert. She’s like, holy shit.

Emily 26:56
I had a close call.

Rachel 26:58
Yeah, yeah. Remember two men flashing her those police badges? Yeah, spoiler alert. They are arrested. That’s how we know this story. So now we finally come to the beginning of this story. November 13 1977, when 12 year old Dolly Sophia and 14 year old Sonia Marie Jackson were seen getting a bus to head home. Then later they were seen talking with two men and a two down sedan. The girls were found on November 20, by that nine year old boy. And they had been strangled and raped. 12 and 14. Yeah.

Emily 27:34
So they were getting on a bus to go home from school. I’m asleep, I’m sure. Yeah. Which is just like God. They’re just unabashedly about who they’re going to take. Yeah,

Rachel 27:46
although, you know, in the 70s, it would have been pretty common for for kids, who like whose family didn’t have a car or whose family only had one car to take the bus just for general transportation. So they might have just been like going to the mall or going to see friends or wherever. I didn’t see anything that said it was a school bus, but they could have just easily been traveling a little bit that poor little nine year old boy know. Earlier that day.

The naked body of 20 year old Christina weckler was found by hikers on a hillside between Glendale and eager Eagle Rock. Christina was an honor student with a lot of potential. And although all of these murders are gruesome, hers is extra horrible, so we’re just going to go ahead and throw out an extra trigger warning. Christina was found with two puncture marks on her arm. However, no signs of drug addiction, no track marks nothing like that. She had been injected with Windex, in addition to the telltale ligature marks on her neck, wrists and ankles.

Emily 29:01
They’re like testing out some new fun torture methods. Like what the hell yeah,

Rachel 29:05
yeah. And her breasts were bruised and her rectum was oozing blood. Oh, God. Yeah. Yeah. So like no eating would be a good time to say no eating. Little three days. Look, rewind, listen to it again. I’m just please don’t please don’t do that. Three days later, on November 23 1977. Another body was discovered near the lows for us off ramp off the freeway. It was 28 year old aspiring actress Evelyn Jane Kane, who had been reported missing on November 9. It was unclear whether she had been raped and tortured because her body was too far into decomp.

So remember, she was taken or lasting on November 9, and they didn’t find her body until November 23. So if you’re not You know, yeah, off the side of the highway for a couple of weeks out in the sun. Yeah, right. Right. And in California in November, it’s still hot. She did have the same ligature marks, and it was determined that she had been strangled.

At this point, the LAPD goes from normal investigation to task force. So they’re which I think just sounds cooler. So they combined forces with the Sheriff’s Department and the Glendale police department. And they’re looking for the serial killer, they’ve dubbed the hillside strangler. They still think it’s one dude at this point. Which makes sense because like folly I do. It’s although we talk a lot about it, it’s really not that common. Right. Right.

Emily 30:45
Well, and other than them finding the two girls who had been taken together, was it real obvious that there were multiple, right? It was like one at a time, basically. So

Rachel 30:58
yeah, and this was, you know, way, way too premature for DNA testing so they can tell you been raped, but they can’t test your semen. They can tell there’s two different dudes in there.

So, November 29, six days later, another body was found. 18 year old Lauren Ray Wagner. She was a business student who lives with her parents. Lauren’s parents reported her missing when she didn’t come home one night. And then the next morning they found her car parked across the street with the door open. Lauren’s dad starts asking around and he found out that one of his neighbors The one who lived in the house that Lauren’s car had been parked in front of actually saw the abduction.

And I’m like, bitch call the cops with the hopes. Like I have no idea what happened. Like like I do I absolutely want to be nosy and if you live in the suburbs, you deserve to be nosy. Just say in my neighborhood like text me and be like

Emily 31:58
is someone supposed to be at your house looking right now? I’m just like that’s awesome. Yes, neighborhood watch.

Rachel 32:06
Well, yeah, and not that you can’t be nosy if you don’t live in the suburbs, but like, I am totally that stereotypical suburban bitch like I will be creeping through the curtains. I absolutely will do it.

Emily 32:18
And it’s like a tiny slit so you can see or I’ll turn on my cameras like and watch what’s going on.

Rachel 32:23
Yeah. Hey, you know I have a ring doorbell so don’t push it if you don’t want me to look at your face badly. Okay, so this neighbor who is failing it nosiness described to police or to Lauren stat. I’m not really sure I didn’t write that part down. But she described two men, one young and tall, which would be Kenneth the older, shorter and bushy, bushy tailed, bushy haired to be Angelo. Also, every time you say Kenneth, I

Emily 32:56
just think of Kenneth from 30. Rock.

Rachel 32:58
Not him. Obviously, I’ll post pictures of these assholes. He looks nothing. sweet and innocent. Like kind of Nope. Nope. their neighbor also said she heard Lauren cry. You won’t get away with this. How do you not call the police immediately if you hear that,

Emily 33:15
right? That is insane. What was she thinking?

Rachel 33:19
I have no idea. Regardless, Lauren’s body was found with ligature marks on her ankles, wrists and her neck. Investigators also discovered burn marks on her hand indicating torture. So the Windex was like one way they experimented with torture, then they had the burn marks. They’re just like, how can we inflict as much pain as possible? These guys are they’re awful,

Emily 33:45
really terrible.

Rachel 33:48
December 14 1977. So this is a couple weeks later, it’s like, at least every two weeks I find the another body. The body of Kimberly Diane Martin, a 17 year old sex worker was found naked with electrical burns on her hands. This one is another they’re all heartbreaking. This one is another especially emotionally heartbreaking one to me because Kimberly had heard about the hillside strangler Stranglers and so she had joined an agency like for protection, like a sex worker agency, like she was trying to be

Emily 34:27
safe. And it still was Yes.

Rachel 34:28
Yeah, she didn’t want to be just soliciting herself, like on a street corner, because she’s like, okay, I could get swept into a car and not be safe. So like, let me get an extra layer between me and then. Unfortunately, Angelo and Kenneth had called set aside agency from a payphone. Police did investigate the address these assholes had given to Kimberly on the phone, but it wasn’t their apartment and of course They’re calling from Angeles house slash auto shop. And it was just an address that they had broken into and then left empty. So they Yeah.

Emily 35:10
It’s interesting how varied their victims are. It makes me wonder if one of them had certain preferences and the other had others and like they got to alternate picking or so like, high risk, low risk. Teenagers and younger 28. I think I heard like, which is much older than a 12 year old, like,

Rachel 35:33
yeah, and they’re all different ethnicities as well.

Emily 35:35
And different. Yeah, like, sex worker versus just a business lady or whatever. It’s just, it’s strange. I bet the I bet the police are confused. Mm hmm.

Rachel 35:45
Yeah. Yeah. And then apparently, these douche canoes decide to take a break for Christmas, because the final victim wasn’t discovered until February 17 1978. So this is October to February. short, short time period. Cindy Lee Hudspeth, who was a student and part time server was found in the trunk of her own car in orange Datsun once on my own. I’ll tell you why. So she had been raped, tortured, and strangled before being placed in the trunk.

And then her car was they tried to like push it off a cliff, it seemed because it was like sitting on the edge of a cliff, but they weren’t fed to it. Look, these guys are

Emily 36:30
half assed. But

Rachel 36:33
yeah, they’re like, we’re tired. We’ve helped so many people and we just we don’t have the energy in it today to give it our 100% apparently, Cindy’s death was more impulsive than the others because she was a customer and Angelo’s upholstery shop. Oh, Kenneth drops in at the shop pulls Angelo aside. And then he’s like, hey, that one. Right. So maybe there’s something to your theory. So together, they decided that they would rape torture and strangle Cindy.

Emily 37:03
And when you say that again, there was a loud bomb.

Rachel 37:06
Yeah. So together, the pair decided that together. And then together, the pair decided that they would rape torture and strangle Cindy. Yeah. And then, as suddenly as this string of murders started, they stopped. Why? You ask? Why? Only? Why? Only the purest of reasons Emily. KENNETH Bianca fell in love grows. Like, please hear the eye rolls.

Emily 37:42
Oh my God. He’s like, kaboo I love you so much that I’m not gonna murder you. Boom, romance. Roll man’s,

Rachel 37:54
like in Princess Bride. He’s all true. For now. KENNETH propose to Kelly Boyd and romantically said no. He. He strikes me as a multiple proposer. Oh, yeah. Now, let me ask you again. Because obviously you said no,

Emily 38:12
that just means that I shall pursue you harder.

Rachel 38:15
Try harder. Yeah. It’s like the stories that you think are romantic because they’re old people. And they’re like, when I first saw your grandma from across a crowded room. Oh, she wanted nothing to do with me. But I asked her out every day for a year. No, Grandpa that’s harassment. Right. My grandpa. It’s like,

Emily 38:35
let’s rewatch the notebook with a different lens. You tell me if it

Unknown Speaker 38:41
brought you a letter every day. Get over it. Ah,

Rachel 38:47
yeah, yeah, for the record, not my grandpa.

Emily 38:53
Hashtag not my grandpa.

Rachel 38:55
Hashtag not my grandpa. So even though Kelly said no, the two did have a son together named Ryan. And Kelly broke up with Kenneth a few weeks after Ryan was born probably because he’s a fucking weirdo editorializing. And Kelly took the baby and they moved to Washington and Kenneth followed her because he’s the worst. He’s a soccer. Yeah, yeah. And although Angelo is probably the alpha in this family, I do relationship. KENNETH was a murderer and a psychopath in his own right. He just wasn’t as smart as Angelo.

So on January 12 1979, Kenneth Yaki kidnapped and murdered two female college students from Western Washington University. Wow. But he was sloppy. And he really needed Angelo to keep him discreet. KENNETH was caught by police A day later, hmm. One day,

Emily 39:57
how does one pass and kidnap two people that It’s crazy.

Rachel 40:01
I’m assuming he must have like, lured them into his car like at Bundy situations so

Emily 40:06
did the cop situation to like if he still was

Rachel 40:09
made? Oh yeah, the cop. Oh yeah. And then you asked me and I looked at my next sentence and it says, and he didn’t change his mo I’m assuming the cop thing but also with the the ligature marks, probably some torture, rape, sodomized, etc, horrible horrible things.

Emily 40:27
Also from stalking his girlfriend Yeah, there his child to do some quick torture.

Rachel 40:32
Yeah. And so police find Kenneth carrying a California license. And they see his very specific mo and so they connect him with the hillside strangler murders. KENNETH has done so yeah. And he sang his little heart out when he was threatened with the death penalty. He immediately threw Angelo under the bus, and then later tried to plead insanity, stating that he had what was then called multiple personality disorder, which is now called dissociative identity disorder.

Of course, he was full of shit. We all know you don’t try to hide what you’ve done if you’re actually mentally ill enough to plead insanity and get away with it. So after Kenneth gave police Angelo’s name, Angela did confess but then he backpedaled and was like forced confession, forced confession, and I’m like, like, maybe I’m not saying that doesn’t happen.

I think it absolutely does. But like, Listen, asshole, you kill people.

But he did plead innocent, to 10 counts of murder. KENNETH, on the other hand, pled guilty to the murders of the two women in Washington, and five of the murders in California. And he testified against Angelo to avoid the death penalty. The judge whose name was Ronald George was unable to sentence Angelo and Kenneth to death without the approval of the jury. Because, you know, that’s how court works, I think. I don’t really know. But I’m assuming

Emily 42:05
you can select a non jury trial.

Rachel 42:09
Yeah, yeah. But if you’re the judge, and you want to give these guys the death penalty, you have to have the jury vote for it, I think, or at least it was then I don’t really know. But he had a really good quote, so I’m going to read it, he said, Angelo buono, and kind of be onkey slowly squeezed out of their victims, their last breath of air and their promise for future life. And all for what the momentary, sadistic thrill of enjoying a brief perverted sexual satisfaction and the venting of their hatred for women, the judge railed if ever there was a case with a death penalty is appropriate. This is the case.

Emily 42:49
Yeah, Jaeger. I drop. I know. Yeah. I like to say yeah, girl to anything. Yeah. When I was with him, and he was like, and I was like, Yes, girl, and he was like, Yeah,

Rachel 43:01
come again for big fat. They, Kenneth ended up with six life sentences. And Angelo ended up with life without parole. So ultimately, the jury did vote against the death penalty for the killers. Interesting. The Angelo got.

Emily 43:18
I don’t know. I’m like, which one is worse? life without parole or six. Life’s like, I feel like six life sentences seems worse.

Rachel 43:29
I think though, he can be up for parole, because you can serve them concurrently all at the same time.

Emily 43:36
I gotcha. That makes sense. Because Angela, feels like the worst one. Right. Right. And I mean, he was pretty

Rachel 43:46
he was probably the mastermind but like, even when Angelo and kind of we’re not living the same place. Angelo. I don’t know if he stopped murdering. Because that money was found in February, so probably not. But he was sneaky about it. So he is probably more dangerous in terms of being able to keep killing consistently. Yeah, that’s very true. Angelo died in prison in 2002.

Emily 44:10
That’s close. That’s like recent.

Rachel 44:11
Recent. Yeah.

Emily 44:12
I mean, Sandy’s wasn’t that long ago either. Technically.

Rachel 44:16
It feels longer. Yeah. 50 years. Yeah. I do have a bit of a side story about Kenneth. So in 1980 while Kenneth was in prison, a woman named Veronica Compton started writing to him, allegedly because she was writing a script about a female serial killer and wanted to pick his brain which yuck. And after a few months of talking to Kenneth, she became incredibly infatuated with him. And the two of them devise a plan for Veronica to lure a woman to a motel burrow and strangle her.

Wow. Kenneth was in prison so that people would think that an innocent man was in jail. It’s like another follow you do like Yeah. Yeah, for ice, volleyball. Wha, wha? Yeah. Except the Angela wasn’t involved in this part. But she was caught immediately.

The woman got away from her was able to fight her off and didn’t work out. So she was indicted and was imprisoned until 2003. And then Kenneth ended up marrying a different prison then, in 1989. He’s still alive, and was last denied parole in 2010.

And a little teaser, if you are into the psychology behind women who are serial killer groupies, it’s called hybris to philia. That is what I’m going to be talking about on this week’s happy hour, which all $5 and up patrons have access to immediately after this episode patreon.com slash horrible history. The second you started talking. So

Emily 45:54
like Rachel said, we don’t know what stories each other is doing. And so that means we don’t know what topic someone’s covering for horrible history or for happy hour with horrible history either. So at the beginning, before we started recording, Rachel was like, I have such a good happy hour and so, but she said, but I’m not gonna you’re not gonna find out what it is until the end of my story. Right when you started talking about someone coming to visit him in prison, I was like, Huh, I know what

Rachel 46:25
I went down a rabbit hole, guys, for those of you who don’t know, I am a licensed therapist. I don’t work with paraphilias, which is like sexual attraction to things that are abnormal. But I am very fascinated by them. And hydrous to philia is actually not a diagnosable disorder would have to be like an other specified paraphilia. So I don’t get super into that. But I do nerd out for a hot minute. So if you’re into psychology behind women who write serial killers and fall in love with them, and maybe try to murder people for them, definitely you’re going to want to check out this this episode of happy hour.

Emily 47:04
I’m so freaking excited because it’s always like, how how did these men get? Why was while they’re in prison? It’s like Ted Bundy. Come on.

Rachel 47:14
Oh, yeah. No, and I talked about Ted Bundy. I talked a lot about the psychology and then I will be talking about two specific cases. Ted Bundy and Richard Ramirez. So I’m not talking about them and their murderers, but I am talking about the winner. Yeah, the serial killers and the women who love them. So that’s an happy hour. I’m stoked. I was really excited to get to that and I literally base this episode, I was like, I have to choose a serial killer, who has some groupies so that I can make this a happy hour. So excited.

Chapter 2 – Norma Jean Armistead

Emily’s LA Recommendations

Emily 48:37
Oh, it’s my turn. And if my voice sounds crazy, it’s because I’m still sick. Three weeks in a row. Keep somebody kill me now. Okay, so as we talked about the beginning, Rachel and I both went to LA this week. Totally coincidentally, that’s only happened one other time and all 36 episodes. Did we both go to Boston? Yeah, one time we both went to Boston.

And so I as Rachel said she contacted a friend to get some like deep dive secret stuff. And I based all of my searching on berry best kept secrets of LA. So I found places that now when we eventually go to LA, I want us to check out. Okay, so the first place is in the arts district. And I guess the arts district is like a big maze of brick warehouses. And you’re supposed to look for one that has a big mural of a woman in a top hat.

Rachel 49:43
Sure, and that’s totally our vibe or aesthetic. We wait. I mean, I do you have a son named Lincoln. So there’s your

Emily 49:50
guys there. And so that is where you’ll find something called Lost spirits distillery and it’s a bizarre booze experience that offers wimzie at every turn. Okay, so

Rachel 50:05
do you have to wear suspenders to be like, what is the dress code, particular establishment?

Emily 50:12
Well, maybe we’ll decide based on the activities you do. So it’s really kitschy and I guess it’s also like semi-scientific, in terms of you know, they’re explaining to you how the distilling process works out. But it’s reservation only, and it feels like a theme park. Apparently, you began with like a chatty computer system named Tessa who introduced a journey in like this velvet draped entry hall, which I saw a picture that kinda reminded me of, remember, Melania Trump’s White House Christmas with like, all the red Christmas trees, it was like that, but like with red curtains like in a fun, cheery, like theme park in a way and not in an appropriate White House decoration.

And so then you go through that, and then you’re, before you know it, you’re sampling high octane rum and climbing aboard a raft, which floats you down a river? That’s part of the distilleries cooling system. What how cool, is that? Right?

Rachel 51:19
So I’m wearing a life jacket.

Emily 51:24
And then, so you’ll have to maybe bring more props, because then you track through a jungle, which they’d say, is actually like a room that’s got so many potted plants and stuff in it that you have to like, get your way through it. And then you visit the Island of Dr. Moreau, which is an HG Wells inspired hideout. All the while you’re learning about and tasting the Mad Science of lost spirits process, which is, you know, the barreling process and all that kind of stuff. I guess there’s even talking birds in the gift shop that tried to sell you bottles of liquor. I mean, the old How do you say no to a talking bird, right?

Rachel 52:07
Yeah, no, thank you, Winston.

Emily 52:13
So you’re they like? Well, thank you. And then the next place I’d want to go after we get our buzz on at the distillery is very on brand, the Museum of death, which was founded in June of 1995. And it used to be in a controversial Art Gallery. Oh, and it was originally located in San Diego’s first mortuary which was once owned by Wyatt Earp, which is just like a weird fact. Right? If you’ve ever seen any old westerns, he’s like someone that you would recognize. He was an American law enforcement officer and he worked at like Deadwood and tombstone and all those places. Okay, wild west Wild Wild West. Yep.

So then they moved it to Hollywood and also New Orleans. So there’s actually two museums of death. But the Museum of Yeah, that’s why I thought it was in New Orleans. The Museum of death in LA houses the world’s largest collection of serial killer artwork, and awesome funeral ephemera? mortician and coroner instruments, which I’m like, Yes. Now I’m into that. Thank you. Yeah. Manson Family memorabilia, pet death, taxidermy, crime scene photographs, and more.

And so okay. I guess it’s like a self guided tour that takes about an hour. But there’s hundreds of items on display. And so they were just saying, like, come close. Don’t come like an hour before closing. You’re gonna want to spend more time than that. And then yeah, on their website, it was really funny. There’s like, not an age limit for the museum. But they were like, We strongly recommend that this is only for mature audiences and then don’t bring

Rachel 54:15
your fucking kid right.

Emily 54:17
And then it’s they said, there have been a number of falling down ovations aka people fainting throughout the year.

Rachel 54:26
So I’m not gonna lie. I’m a pass out. painter. Yeah. I will just make sure that I’ve eaten I will have some snacky snacks, not around those crime seats.

Emily 54:38
I’ll go before you and I’ll be like way and I’ll like look at it all. And I’m like, Okay, this is Rachel approved and all.

Rachel 54:44
Yeah, maybe we could carry around a toboggan and then if I pass out, you can just

Emily 54:50
drag me and I’m like, She’s fine.

Rachel 54:52
She’s fine. She’ll come to in a few

Emily 54:54
minutes. Everything’s fine, sensitive stomach. It’s okay.

Unknown Speaker 54:57
She’s mature ish.

Rachel 55:00
mature in age not in personality, it’s fine.

Emily 55:05
Only with that you’re very mature.

Rachel 55:07
Okay, so

Emily 55:08
those are two places that I thought would be fun and I guess are like, best kept secrets quote-unquote, that you wouldn’t Yeah, you know, it’s not Disneyland sounds like just some fun ones but Museum of death. Yeah. I don’t want to get drunk at that distillery and like, talk to a raft. Right? Like sounds kind of,

Rachel 55:27
I want to yell at a parent.

Baby snatcher: Norma Jean Armistead

Emily 55:30
Oh my goodness. Okay, so, let’s talk about some shit. Alrighty, okay. Our story begins also in the 70s. In September of 1974. A woman named Mary childs, who was 26 was a pregnant la grocery store employee who had had a very routine pregnancy. She was working, she was doing well, very healthy, and she went into labor. And so she went to Kaiser Hospital in Hollywood to prepare to give birth to her baby.

So after, you know, enduring what I assume is hours of pain, and 44 years, not great, and it’s not been a 44 year old obstetric obstetrics nurse named Norma Jean Armistead came into the room and offered Mary some pain medication. So Norma gave Mary several drugs and Mary fell asleep. And when Mary woke in the middle of the night, everything seemed wrong. She couldn’t control her limbs. She couldn’t focus her mind. And when she looked down, she noticed that her stomach looked different. It wasn’t as big anymore.

So nurse Armistead brought in several doctors. And there was no baby in sight wasn’t in a bassinet in the room. The nurse didn’t bring it in. So Mary and her husband, William are sitting there waiting to find out like what happened. He had arrived at some point in the night too. And, to their dismay, Norma Jean spoke the words I’m certain no new parents want to hear. She said that she had visited the ward earlier and found Mary unconscious with a stillborn baby between her legs. Which is horrifying. And sounded so weird to me. Like I was like, Can someone who’s totally unconscious, give birth? Like,

Rachel 57:43
how does that even work? And then I mean, there’s pushing that needs to happen. Like you would need to have someone physically like pushing a baby out of you, you know, not apparently not there have been sale just slip out and out of there. They’re not like a greasy peg that you’re trying to catch it a fair like, you have to help.

Emily 58:04
Well, it’s not necessarily true. There has been several instances of women in comas completely unconscious, fully giving birth naturally, because it’s such a primitive, instinctive process that a woman’s body literally knows just how to get a baby out, like you just go into straight up autopilot, I

Rachel 58:27
guess at some point. So that’s crazy. Women are amazing. Our bodies are capable of all sorts of crazy structure,

Emily 58:34
right? We’re like freaking machines, because so it was I looked it up. And it was talking about how like, there’s literally this like set of things that happen physically to a woman during birth, like, the cervix ripens, a uterus, you know, starts rhythmically, like working the baby out, the baby’s like, inch down and the muscles in the womb short in and then, you know, basically move the baby to the birth canal. And there is a powerful reflex that does not require conscious assistance from the muscles of a woman’s abdomen.

Like, although she may feel very much like going with those urges when she’s awake. If she’s not conscious, it’ll just happen. I even it was saying like the neocortex is extremely quieted. And it just like, let innate instincts take over body flows through the process, especially when someone’s not conscious, because they’re not fighting it. Yeah. So if a woman’s unconscious and her body goes into labor, it can and will work the baby out of your body, which is crazy to me.

Yeah, and there were several instances of it happening in the past like very recently, and some very disturbing and horrible instances of like women who were in comas for 10 years, suddenly getting press And then finding out that there was like a rapist in that nursing home, you know, like, oh, great great great, so back to poor Mary.

So Mary’s obviously inconsolable. She’s just been told that her baby was born stillborn. And so she asked to see the baby. Norma leaves and goes and gets the baby and puts the small little bundle in her arms.

I’m sure that she’s in like excruciating pain mentally physically, like having to see her baby this way is horrible. And so she maybe just didn’t notice that the baby she was morning was a bit off. Because you see the baby that nurse Armistead produced was dead. But if they’d have looked closer, they’d have found out that it had been dead for nine days. In fact that they looked even closer, they’d noticed that the baby had a little freezer burn, and was deteriorating and had foul smell and was noticeably smaller than a full-term baby. It was definitely from the morgue, no. And just over here, like,

Rachel 1:01:07
maybe this is a stupid question. How long did hospitals need to keep corpses before they go elsewhere?

Emily 1:01:16
Right? I have no idea. But I do not assume it’s that long. 19th seems long. That seems really long. Well, and I did not read this anywhere. So it’s totally just like my conjecture. But to me, as we’ll hear about Norma, who is the criminal in this case, I have a she was keeping it like stashed somewhere for this specific reason,

Rachel 1:01:44
you know, so she could steal someone’s life basically.

Emily 1:01:48
And so the other thing that they like, should have noticed the other doctors and the rest of the hospital like should have noticed this is that the bundle that this decaying corpse that nurse Armistead had been like, here’s your baby that was just born. It was like three pounds. It was a very premature baby. But yeah, the doctor when Mary had gone in and had like her final exams and stuff had said like, you should expect to help the eight pound baby like you’re doing great. Yeah. And so it was like shocking and horrible. And

Rachel 1:02:21
yeah, and the doctor I might expect to catch up. But you know, how close is Doctor looking now because you’re trying to give the mom privacy and time to grieve. And honestly, at that point, if you’re the parent, you’re in shock, oh, you’re not looking closely. You’re not examining you’re just taking a moment and trying to grieve

Emily 1:02:39
when they probably have it wrapped up maybe they can only see the face You know, like Yeah, yeah, I’m sure. Like I said, like they’re probably inconsolable, there’s they’re in excruciating pain, like it’s meant to be a closure healing, like say goodbye, but it’s still terrible. So you’re not gonna Yeah, be in the right headspace to be like, I think a crime was committed here, you know?

Rachel 1:03:06
Yeah. But like also after the fact, I, this is one of those things. And Emily, right. You and I have talked about this before where there are certain things that our brains just will not let us picture because it’s too horrible. Like, we can talk about them. But we can’t actually empathize really, we can’t do it because it’s like a self preservation

Emily 1:03:24
wall kicks in.

Rachel 1:03:26
So like, I I have never lost a child alive child in that way. And so I have no idea what it would be like, but like to find out after the fact that I held a dead body that was not actually my child.

Emily 1:03:49
Like gives me like, it’s a different kind of horrifying, really horrifying, like trauma on top of trauma for sure. Yeah.

Rachel 1:03:57
Yeah. Well, it’s a trauma trifle,

Emily 1:04:01
layers and layers me potatoes. And then JM ladyfingers. Okay, so Marian William childs bury their baby, quote, unquote, their baby and move on with their life. So we’re gonna put a pin in that story. And I’m gonna do a quick aside here, and probably give some major hints as to what to expect out of the rest of the story. But I’m going to talk a little bit about who nurse Norma Jean is, and her personal life a little bit because her personal life is not going well.

She is in a common law relationship with Charles Armistead and he is unhappy. He’s basically threatening to leave Norma He’s like, you know, I’m going to go back to my ex wife. We have kids together. Like I should go be with her. And so Norma gets into her head like I I need like, he doesn’t wanna stay with me because we don’t have children like I need to have a child. But Norma had had a full on his directo

Rachel 1:05:12
real hard to have a baby with no uterus,

Emily 1:05:17
which PS full on his directo is a happy ending square. I love that show. So, so good. She had had a hysterectomy 15 years earlier when she was in her early 30s.

Rachel 1:05:30
So not only does she not have a uterus, but she’s she’s getting in the 70s 45 years old to have a baby. Exactly. My mom was born in the 60s. So like, yeah, I mean, a decade earlier, but so. And she said, so I was 30 when I had my first kid, but she’s my mom’s the youngest of three. And she goes, Yeah, my mom was 30 when she had me and she was the old mom.

Emily 1:05:54
Yeah, my mom’s mom. So my mom was born when her mom was like, 40

Rachel 1:06:01
unheard of then.

Emily 1:06:02
Yeah, her oldest brother’s 20 years older than her like, yeah, there’s significant gaps because it was like unheard of that someone in their 40s would have a baby now I mean, freakin celebrities do all the time normal people like it’s just more it’s easier to do and medicine living longer. Yes. Whoo. You know. Thank God. Maybe I have a chance. Wow, Debbie Downer over here. No. But yeah, so she’s she strikes again.

So she’s 44. You’re right. Like she’s had a hysterectomy? She’s 44. If you see a picture of her, which obviously I’ll post one. She’s to take a note out of the assholes who talked about Tilly Klimek she was 44. But she looked 54 was she lumpy? She was lumpy, too. Yeah, so she did not look like someone who would be pregnant or have a newborn by any means. So we don’t know this yet, technically, quote-unquote, as like the public or if we were the police, but she now has a newborn at home because she has taken Marion Williams child home with her and I’ll touch on that a little bit more later.

So instead though, before we get to that, I’m going to fast forward a few months, norm as a no and or any suspicion by anyone at the hospital, even though I think it was a very suspicious situation. But like we said it was probably like, let’s just get this behind us and move on. But so she continues on with her life. And while she’s working because she is still an obstetrics nurse. She met a woman named Catherine Viramontes and Catherine was a single mother of three and she was pregnant with her fourth child. Now, Katherine’s boyfriend, the father of her unborn child had recently left her and which I’m like, What a dick. Yeah.

And so she was obviously in a vulnerable place. She needed a friend, maybe a mother figure. And so she met Norma at the hospital, and they hit it off. I mean, Catherine was 20. I think I said 20. She was 28. Norma is 44. So they’re like, it’s a significant amount of age between them. It can definitely be like a mother-daughter relationship. Sure. And so Norma just took a great interest in Katherine and spent a lot of time with her and was very concerned with Catherine’s health, making sure she went to all of her doctor’s appointments and everything like that.

So in mid May of 1975, doctors gave Catherine a clean bill of health, told her to expect her baby to arrive probably the first week of June. Sounds like a joyous time, right? Sure. That’s not what this podcast is about them. No foo, just four days after that doctor’s appointment after being granted this bill of health.

Catherine’s neighbor, was interrupted by someone banging frantically on her door. And when they open the door, it was a little boy. eight year old Richie Catherine’s son, and he was crying and saying there was something wrong with his Mom, can you please come help? So the neighbor heads over to see what’s wrong. And what they found was horrible, completely bloody scene. Katherine’s body is laying on the bedroom floor in a pool of blood. bed sheets and clothing are tossed about the room. And there is a noticeable, gaping wound in her previously pregnant belly and no baby anywhere to be seen

Rachel 1:10:04
she cut out the baby. Yeah. I

Emily 1:10:08
Meanwhile, across town, Norma Armistead strolls into the hospital where she works by the way with a newborn baby probably covered and all the gross stuff that babies are covered with when they emerge from their mother’s body. Yes, not cute. not cute looks like grape jelly.

Rachel 1:10:26
Kind of but I wouldn’t recommend licking it. Oh

Emily 1:10:27
no, God, no. Well, that made me sick. So she walks up to one of her colleagues, and asks for help, saying that she was on her way to the hospital in labor, and gave birth in her car. She hadn’t made it there. She tried to make the hospital babies came too quickly. And she gave birth in route,

Rachel 1:10:51
which and everybody’s like, Listen, I know you’re lumpy, but you didn’t look pregnant.

Emily 1:10:56
Well, let me get to that. But like, I will say, I’ve never been pregnant. But I think if I ever do have a baby, this is going to be a very intense fear of mine as I get closer to my due date, like, not knowing exactly when it’s gonna happen and having this whole like, what if I give birth on a bus or a car in a grocery store or whatever?

Rachel 1:11:20
Yeah, I mean, I think you don’t take the bus.

Emily 1:11:25
You start taking the bus you don’t know.

Rachel 1:11:28
You’re gonna be eight months pregnant and buy a bus?

Emily 1:11:31
I think taking the bus.

Rachel 1:11:34
Yeah, no, it’s you, you route. Like you plan out all the routes to the hospital, as you’re doing it. And, and you know, because your body you go, you have like Braxton Hicks as you get closer and your body just like you said and instinctively knows what to do. And so you feel your uterus contracting, like having practice contractions as you get closer and closer, so that your body is like raped and ready to get out of baby.

Emily 1:12:05
Well, that is definitely true, I’m sure for 95% of the population. But it happens quite a bit that people have babies in cars on the way to the doctor

Rachel 1:12:17
because you research it, you’re more of a curious batch.

Emily 1:12:21
That is what mom is going to do. Her terrible today on so few days when terrible today comes out. I’m gonna share three stories of women who unexpectedly had babies in unexpected places. Because you didn’t know I was pregnant. Yeah, I was like, we’ve been to LA before Rachel’s going to LA like, there’s the rest that will pick the same crazy stories. So I was like, I’m just gonna do a theme

Rachel 1:12:49
and so surprisingly hard to find, like recent stories that are a little bit lighter. Yeah, LA to like, I had to do some digging. Yeah.

Emily 1:12:58
So enjoy. Coming soon.

Rachel 1:13:01
I’m excited about that. Yeah. Soon to a player near you.

Emily 1:13:06
Okay, so anyways, normal walks in the hospital. She’s all I just had this baby in my car. And the doctors, you know, first they take the baby and make sure it’s okay. Which it was, it was totally fine. And then the doctors are like, sorry, Norma, we’re gonna need to examine you. Like you just had a baby in a car. Like, there’s a lot of stuff and liquids and centers and all this crap. And so it’s, she was like, No, no, no, I don’t need any help. And they’re like, get on the table. we’re examining you. Because yes.

As you know, she’s 44 years old. Yeah. So they’re a little suspicious already. But they look at her like employee records or whatever. And there is a pregnancy on her records. That is supposedly coming to term right about now. So they’re like, what the hell That’s weird. But, you know, seems like she’s past the age where she could give birth but it’s on her records. But they examine her and they are shocked to see no physical signs of having had a baby anytime soon. Yeah, and no uterus. Ya know? My,

Rachel 1:14:25
my daughter who’s three has been doing this thing that I’m sure she saw on TV. Somewhere where she like said everything. She does it around mealtime. She’ll set everything around her plate, and then she’ll be like, hmm, something’s missing.

Emily 1:14:42
Like, sure, doctor say very important part of your body that you need for this exam. The purpose

Rachel 1:15:02
the uterus, it has one job.

Emily 1:15:05
And so they of course are like something’s very wrong here. They call the police because they’re like, I don’t know where she got this baby, but it definitely hurts. So her story very quickly unfolded, especially when across town. Catherine’s neighbor calls the police to report that her neighbor has been murdered and the baby’s missing. They’re like, yeah, this is not a detective is not needed to put this case together. Like anyone can say, hey, two plus two is far.

Rachel 1:15:35
Yeah, a small child, but

Emily 1:15:36
two puzzle. puzzle pieces together. Exactly. So let’s rewind a little bit and talk about exactly how Norma thought this was all going to play out.

Rachel 1:15:49
Yeah. And you’re going to cover What Happened to Baby number one? Yes. Okay.

Emily 1:15:53
Yes. So, step one, is that shortly after Norma met Catherine, she snuck into hospital records and put a pregnancy on her file. She’s like, Hey, I’m so sneaky. Step two. She purposefully started gaining weight, so she would look pregnant, which I’m like, Oh, my God, like you freak of nature seriously. Step three, she poses as a friend to Catherine, which is the cruelest part of all of this. Like, yes, seriously. Step Four. On May 16 1975, she went over to her friend’s house, claimed she was coming over to give her some medicine to help induce labor she was getting close to time have you know, she’s probably uncomfortable. She’s like, oh, help. I’m your nurse friend.

But instead, she put a ton of narcotics in this woman system. Once Catherine was unconscious, Norma put tape over her mouth, just in case she woke up to make sure she couldn’t scream, and then repeatedly stabbed the woman, slit her throat, and then performed a Syrian section on the dead woman taking the baby. Wow. Later, Katherine’s autopsy revealed that she had bled to death from her stab wounds. So that was cause of death. And then step five, as we know was to take the brand new baby boy and try to pass it off for her own at the hospital where she works

Rachel 1:17:24
so stupid like that you weren’t going to be examined. And also whether you have a uterus or not, well, this wouldn’t happen if you didn’t have a uterus because then you wouldn’t have given birth physically, but like, it is a disaster down there. Looks like a train wreck. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I don’t know. It’s funny because like, you still look like immediately after giving birth, you still look like six months pregnant and Mina, like and you’re bloated and full of like, like you said all sorts of Don’t you have to wear like,

Emily 1:17:55
essentially a diaper for a week or something? Because you leak? Yeah, I mean, not a week. But yeah, maybe not. Maybe not the same when you’re have a Syrian? I don’t know.

Rachel 1:18:06
Well, you bleed. Like you haven’t had trigger warning, I guess if you don’t like Lady stuff, but you haven’t had a period for 910 months. And then even after a C section because I had c sections with my kids. You still bleed?

Emily 1:18:21
That’s still the only way for all the blood that’s trapped in your uterus to escape your bodies. So

Rachel 1:18:26
yeah, yeah, you bleed and it’s still like, everything is really, really sore down there. And like, I can’t imagine it looks crazy. Like because I was still looking so pregnant. Like I couldn’t see anything. Right. Right. You know? Yeah. So yeah, it’s like, there’s no way you could give birth and not look like you gave her Right,

Emily 1:18:45
right. Okay. So obviously the hospital realized what was going on, called the police Norma is arrested especially for God’s sakes after Katherine’s body is found. Yeah, so when the police go over to normas home to investigate it, I mean, to talk to her husband, all that kind of stuff. It was revealed that this was not the first newborn that she had kidnapped. They found an eight month old baby at Norman Charles’s home and after digging deeper and looking back eight months, they remember that kind of odd situation from 1974 The year before the death of Mary child’s daughter.

So one thing that I think is it just like made me laugh that again that they no one noticed that this was going on like it just crazy. Just me but like So Mary and William child were black, and Norma was very white. And so like the baby was a lighter skinned black baby. Yeah, but it’s still they were like, this is not your baby like no, like, you’re very pale husband did not have this baby. And so they brought this baby Back to the hospital or wherever and we’re like,

Okay, we got to figure out whose baby this is.

Then they were remembering back to how they, they thought Mary was on drugs. That’s why her baby had died because I didn’t mention that back before. But when Mary was like, why did this happen? Like what’s going on? Sure. The doctors did like a blood test and the toxicology screen and there was a bunch of narcotics in her system. Yeah, because Norma put them there.

Rachel 1:20:27
Yeah. Because Norma drugged her. Yeah. And I’m imagining in the 70s. Like, there’s still some Yeah, racism, sort of, something’s going on. And not that there’s not now but I would think more out in the open then they are now.

Emily 1:20:43
Yeah, they literally just were like, well, you’re on drugs. And so that’s why your baby died. And you know, that’s why they when she was like, No, I’ve never done drugs before. Like, it’s that’s not what happened. They didn’t right. Listen to her. They just were like, whatever leave, you know.

Rachel 1:20:58
Yeah, like your blood, your tox screen came back differently. So yeah,

Emily 1:21:02
we don’t they would never believe their colleague and like nurse who’s like an esteemed professional. I guess. So. Sure. Yeah. And and not only was Mary black, but remember, she was like, a grocery store worker. So like, I can just see a lot of doctors being like taking it at face value.

Rachel 1:21:20
Yeah, I mean, especially, especially in the 70s. Yeah,

Emily 1:21:25
yeah. Well, so as it turns out, Mary’s baby was not stillborn. Norma had taken Mary’s baby and presented Mary with a dead baby from the morgue. And then Norma had walked over to another hospital in town with the new baby and told them that she had given birth in the car. This is her move, apparently. But then while she was at that hospital, she refused medical help and just left right after getting a birth certificate for her baby, which she named Carrie Armistead so I guess she probably had the hubris of thinking she could get away with it because she had once before.

Rachel 1:22:06
Yeah, but at least it was at a different hospital.

Emily 1:22:12
Yeah, but it’s like, I don’t know, I guess you can refuse service at a hospital. But it’s like, well, why did you come to the hospital? If you didn’t want the doctors to examine it just for the birth certificate? Yeah, I just want to make sure this is on the books that there’s a baby at my home now. So obviously, they arrest Norma. And when the trial began, she attempted to claim insanity, which is like you planned for months for this stuff like that’s no, you had foresight into this and like planning,

Rachel 1:22:42
we can literally look at the record or you’re like boop, I’m pregnant.

Emily 1:22:46
Think this right now. But so she claimed that she went over to Catherine’s apartment to administer labor-inducing medication. And that then she had a vision. She saw what she thought was her, her boyfriend’s former wife, and that’s who she thought she was attacking during the murder. Then she finished killing her husband’s ex and washed her hands of the blood. She realized it wasn’t his ex but her friend Catherine, and saw that she was dead or dying and cut the baby out to save his life.

Oh, wow. How nice of you. So noble, so noble. Yeah. So just highlight that very believable story. psychiatrists found that she definitely knew the difference between right and wrong and acted with full knowledge and planning of the consequences of what you know what’s going to happen from this. So she was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. Good in two pieces of silver lining. The baby she took from Catherine’s womb survived and was returned to its father. Even though he loved he sounds like so it’s kind of like I don’t know how that worked out.

Rachel 1:24:09
But very tiny silver lining. Yeah,

Emily 1:24:11
at least he lived you know, and, and the baby she had kidnapped the prior year. Carrie was now a healthy eight-month old and a blood test proved the baby girl was definitely Marion Williams daughter. And she was returned to them. And they named her Christie Ayane. Can you imagine like thinking your baby was dead? And then it’s like ding dong. Hi. Hi, I have a gift for you. It’s like, yeah, the big chest but instead it’s your baby that you buried and mourn. Oh my, well, I’m

Rachel 1:24:45
such mixed emotions, right? Because obviously you’re thrilled. Like it’s a miracle in some ways, but also then it’s like I’ve missed out on all of this time and all of this bad thing and then the thing I said before, like I hope

Emily 1:24:59
was dead, baby. That was not my big like, Oh my god, right and everyone judged me and thought I was on drugs and I held a dead baby that wasn’t mine and

Rachel 1:25:08
a psycho. I hope they sued that hospital and got a lot

Emily 1:25:10
of money. That’s my next line, Mary Sue the hospital and the attending physicians who didn’t notice that the stillborn baby was actually a nine day old corpse. she sued them for $24 million. But she only received $375,000 a large portion of which went to pay legal fees. So that was a little bit of a lie. But

Rachel 1:25:34
yeah, not stupid that she did it. She had every right stupid that she didn’t get a ton of money from that she

Emily 1:25:40
definitely should have gotten way more. So Norma was sentenced to life in prison. She, what I saw, what I found was that she was eligible for parole in 2012. But I could not find any record of her being released or dying in prison or anything like that. So I assume she’s still in prison. Yeah, but I I can’t say that with 100% certainty. And that is the horrible story of Norma Jean Armistead, a woman who a nurse who stole two babies and killed one woman in her crazy attempt to be a mother. The end!

Rachel 1:26:21
Damn, that was a good story. Gross. really fucked up real good story. Yeah, so this was a long one. This was a gruesome one. If you want to hear more from us, like we said, we are going to be talking about hybrids to philia, which is serial killer groupies. I mean, that’s like one state one part of it. But yeah. People who are attracted to criminals, people who commit crimes. So that’ll be happy hour… patreon.com slash horrible history.

Emily 1:26:49
And if you want to tune in on Tuesday, next week, you’ll get to hear more stories of women giving birth in strange places. So check that out. And if you wouldn’t mind, follow us on Instagram and tick tock. We’re at horrible history pod. You can also shoot us an email. were horrible history podcast@gmail.com and we’d encourage you to check out our website horrible history podcast comm where we have merge and all kinds of cool stuff for you to check out.

Rachel 1:27:20
Yeah, thanks so much for listening.

Emily 1:27:22
Hopefully you’re horrified.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Check out our friend TK’s podcast, For the Love of History!

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