Please keep in mind that this blog often has comments and statements directly from the women on death row. Statements of grief, statements of innocence, statements of regret and sorrow. If bearing audience to these women's feelings, my opinions or those of commenters offends you please do not read on.

Morgan Smith Florida

Morgan Smith. Wow. Just, wow. She came from a family of mental illnesses with a father who committed suicide. She had spent her life on psychotropic drugs for severe depression and borderline personality disorder, the same thing that causes multiple personalities. She also became a sex slave for Daryl Smith in a long-term relationship that ended with a child.

Their relationship was everything the weird, late night, HBO documentaries say those things are. She met him after work and groveled at his feet in a leather outfit complete with chain leash and dog collar. She licked his boots clean and said thank you after he spanked her ass. She was a complete, total submissive, and seemed to enjoy being that way. She even changed her last name to his legally, even though he would not marry her. He had told her many times; no matter what she did, she would never be his wife.

Eventually he found another woman he was interested in, Andrea Stranko, and left Morgan and their
Andrea Stranko - Victim
daughter. It devastated her. It crippled her. It drove her crazy. Nobody acts the way she did that isn’t bat shit crazy. When Daryl attempted to make this weird relationship even weirder by playing boyfriend to BOTH women with their consent, shit really got weird.

Morgan couldn’t take the new arrangement, and attacked Andrea with a hatchet. Not long after that incident, Daryl severed all communication with Morgan and then she really lost her shit. On his 44th birthday, after leaving a party, as he stood next to Andrea Stranko, the woman he had chosen over Morgan, she shot her dead. There were four other people standing around when Morgan stepped out of the shadows onto the path of life or and death for Andrea. They tackled her and held her captive until police arrived.

Morgan had come to the scene with a gun and a copy of her will. She was dressed only in a tshirt emblazoned with the word SLAVE and a collar with her abdomen tattoo proclaiming her as Daryl’s property exposed. Ummm… what? Holy shit, this girl has gone off the deep end for sure. Even her psychologist said that she still to this day believes she is Daryls slave and that if he called she would be at his every wish with a vengeance.

In these types of cases, I tend to feel sorry for the defendant over other types of defendants. Love, very literally, drove her insane. The man she dedicated her life, body, and soul to, had given birth to a child for, had shunned her for another woman. Sometimes that’s more than a bitch can handle.

I know, folks, first hand. My mom was one of those ladies that went batshit crazy over a man and thank God she was a tiny little woman or things could have went drastically wrong.
 Like most abused women, my mother was a quiet, modest grandmother whose whole life was her job at the local Whirlpool factory. My aunt tells stories of her as a vivacious, beauty queen, riding in parades and attending parties. I never got to know that woman. She wasn’t my mother.

My mother was a damaged, fragile shell. My father beat the crap out of her with sickening regularity. The Christmas Eve when I was twelve I peeked down the hallway to see him pull a handful of hair out of her head that was as big as a kitten. It was the first time I’d actually seen any violence between them. Usually I woke up in the night to screams and arguing. I would cower under the covers and try to make sense of what I was hearing. It was muffled, scary, and indecipherable. Morning would find mom quietly nursing her coffee and balancing her Marlboro with its inch long ash on her purple, fat lip. My brother and I would look at each other over our cereal bowls and wonder just what the hell had happened during the night.

Our damaged family dynamics changed shape the night my mom rode twelve miles to town on my little brothers three-speed bike, her fingernails sharpened to sharp points and death on her mind. Hers, my dad’s and his mistresses.

My dad had this bony, black haired mistress who would call our house all night long. She would drive around our house late at night and shine her headlights in the windows. Our two-year-old baby brother would howl and my parents would fight. Dad would get mad and storm out. He would go from one woman to the other leaving a trail of madness behind him.

One spring morning full of this particular madness my mother came unglued. She sat on the couch all day filing her nails to sharp daggers and painting them with a thick acrylic paint. She stewed in that black funk all day and when evening came she jumped on my brother’s bike and rode 12 miles to town.

She told me later that her intentions were to end that chapter of her life. Her goal when she left the house was to end the madness and the ass whippings it brought with it by any means necessary. When she got there, she called daddy and the woman out and pounced on her. My mom lost her mind that day. She had been beat down so many times that she snapped. She made dangerous choices based on irrational, anxious thoughts and violent circumstances.

By anyone’s accounts, my mom was a genuinely sweet woman who would hurt no one, unless my dad was in the mix. I could easily see my mother losing it and doing something similar to what Morgan did. Especially if she thought it would save her an ass whipping or at least post-pone the last deadly one.  Perhaps madness had overtaken her as well.

Morgan gave a full confession but tried to plead insanity. The prosecutors said that extreme anger and unrestrained passion did not equal insanity and she was found guilty of first-degree murder, and sentenced to life. She plans to appeal.

I dont usually write to these ladies first. I usually get a letter from them asking for a penpal or help finding free classes or sometimes asking for help for someone on the outside. Other times I am introduced to a woman when her family emails me in need of something for their inmate. But this case, this girl, is too bizaare. I have to know why. I'll let you know if she wants to share.