Blanche Taylor Moore just had a birthday. She is 81 and sits on death row in North Carolina. She is convicted of killing her boyfriend via arsenic poisoning. She is also suspected of killing three other people and has been accused in the near arsenic poisoning of one other person.
Her early life was traumatic. Born to a floozy mother and an abusive, alcoholic father her early childhood was rife with turmoil. It is reported that her father sold her into prostitution at the age of 9 to repay gambling debts. He later died of a reported heart attack in 1966.
She married in 1954 and bore her husband two children. Her vivacious personality made her the life of every gathering. She had crazy quirks like quoting Bible verses immediately after letting loose with a string of curse words that would make a sailor blush.
She began working at Kroger in 1954 and by 1959 had been promoted to head cashier, the highest job Kroger offered women at that time. She began an affair with the store manager and in 1971 her husband died of a reported heart attack.
She dated a few Kroger employees after her husband’s death. Each one turning sour after a number of years, she sued Kroger and one of her bosses/boyfriends for sexual harassment and won a $275,000 settlement.
She eventually began to date Rev. Dwight Moore, the new pastor of the Carolina United Church of Christ in rural Alamance County, North Carolina. She asked him to procure her an amount of arsenic based ant killer. She was still seeing Raymond Reid, the man she originally cheated on her husband with, as well as the recently divorced good reverend in the mid 1980’s. In 1986 Reid died of Guillain-Barré syndrome and Blanche planned to marry Rev. Moore.
They married in 1989 and immediately upon returning from their honeymoon, Dwight fell sick. Many doctors and exams later it was determined that he had twenty times the lethal dose of arsenic in his system; the most arsenic in a living human the hospital had ever reported.
The authorities began an investigation and raised the bodies of Blanche’s father and husband and boyfriend. All were found to have exorbitantly high levels of arsenic in their remaining body. It is thought that she may also have killed her mother-in-law.
There is no way around it. Mrs. Moore is deadly woman, a Black Widow of the highest ilk. Something is missing in her that other people have. My guess is the early days of prostitution before she was even truly a woman mangled her mind.
She may be able to tell right from wrong but in many people the urge to take the easy money route is more than they can handle.
I have a tinge of sympathy for Blanche. I know plenty of party girls. It's when the party's over that they feel the real pain. Once the ride stops and there are no more swanky dinners and fancy trips, no gorgeous, sparkling jewels to wear around, it is a sober awakening. Only when the carrot is gone can they see whats really in front of them.
Blanche has spent many years on death row now. Dwight Moore didn't die but he still has health issues from the arsenic. If he hadn't of been quite so resilient, we may never have known the truth about Blanche.
There is a movie about Blanche called The Black Widow Murders starring Elizabeth Montgomery. It was a made for TV film but does a pretty good job at describing her character and personality. There is also a book, Preachers Girl by Jim Schultz.