It was in a hot summer in Sacramento, and most people would not even turn on their air conditioners because they didn't want the fans to suck in the smell of death that came from the pale blue Victorian at 1426 F Street. The Victorian house that Ms. Dorothea Puente lived and ran her boarding house.
~*1426 F Street*~
Ms. Dorothea was a pathological liar since she was little. On January 9, 1929, Dorothea Helen Gray was born in Redlands California. She claimed to be the last of the 18 children that were born to her Mother, but in fact she was the sixth child.
Dorothea married her first husband Fred McFaul, a 22-year-old solider back from the war in the Philippines, at age 16, though she told him she was 30. They had two children together. Fred found out what a liar Dorothea was and left her. One of their children went to live with Fred's Mother, the other adopted by strangers.
Dorothea had to make sure that she looked good. When Fred first met her, she was a prostitute, and that was a hard habit to break for Dorothea because it paid very well. She knew what she had and she knew how to use it.
She eventually wound up living and managing the boarding house. She was convicted and given probation for forging 34 checks she stole from her tenants. The psychiatrist stated that she was a very disturbed woman.
A detective showed up at the Victorian boarding house looking for a man that was reported missing by his social worker. When he entered, it was decorated just as a little old lady's house would be decorated. Knick Knacks found in every room, porceline dolls, vases and Christmas lights were strung on the fence. The windows were dressed with laced curtains. Nothing out of the ordinary was noticed inside, however, it was a different story in the back yard. Remember that fertilizer she claimed was fish? Yeah not so much. It was seven tenants that checked in, however, they did not check out, well alive any way.
~*The garden before, during and after*~
~*Some body being taken away*~
When they were digging in the back yard, Dorothea asked if she was under arrest. After she was told no, she advised to the Detective that she was going to the hotel down the street for some coffee. She never came back, in fact, when they noticed her missing, she had fled to Los Angeles. She met a man at a bar in Los Angeles, and she tried to move in with him the same night she met him. He disagreed, and they planned to meet up the next day. That's when the light bulb went "Ding!" I have seen this chick before, and called his local TV station, and then they called the cops. Cops showed up and arrested her.
The first murder for Dorothea was Ruth Monroe, in 1982, a business partner in a lunchroom business. Monroe died of a massive drug overdose of Tylenol and codeine. She was written off as a suicide due to the lack of evidence at the time to think murder. This was the only murder that had a cause of death. The seven bodies found in the garden were too decomposed to determine a cause of death, however, all the remains had a trace of Dalmane, a prescribed sleeping pill, in them. There was also a fiance that she killed, Everson Gillmouth. She then put him in a home-made coffin, wrapped in plastic wrap and covered in moth balls. She then sent him down the Sacramento river.
Alvaro "Bert" Montoya, 51, a mentally challenged schizophrenic, Dorothy Miller, 64, an American Indian with a drinking problem, Benjamin Fink, a 55-year-old alcoholic Betty Palmer, 78, whose remains - missing the head, hands and lower legs, Leona Carpenter, 78 *not pictured*, James Gallop, 62 & Vera Faye Martin, 64.
Dorothea was charged on March 31, 1989, with nine counts of murder, pleading not guilty to all counts stating that the people died of natural causes. The trial didn't start until February, 1993, due to tall the evidence that needed to be gone through. She was only found guilty of three murders, and a mistrial was declared for the remaining six. She was sentenced, on December 10, 1993, at the age of 64, to prison for life without the possibility of parole. She is 81 currently, and is still residing in the Central California Women's Facility.
Most info found here.