Stacey Castor: How Did She Die?

Stacey Castor the black widow murder abc news 20/20


The “Black Widow,” Stacey Castor, is the subject behind the Lifetime “Ripped from the Headlines” movie Poisoned Love: The Stacey Castor Story. Castor died on June 11, 2016 of a heart attack while serving her prison sentence in Bedford Hills, New York.

Castor was convicted of killing her husband, David Castor, by poisoning him with antifreeze and framing her daughter for the murder. She was also convicted for the attempted murder of her daughter Ashley by poisoning her with crushed pills and vodka.

The prosecutors believed that Castor killed her husband for money. She was able to cash out on their life insurance policies, and she was also convicted for changing her second husband’s will to cut a son from his first marriage out of it.

She is also suspected to have killed her first husband, Michael Wallace, using the same method.

How Long Was She in Prison?

Castor was arrested in 2007, but she was not sentenced until 2009. She was found guilty on the charges of second-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, and forgery.

For the murder of David Castor, the judge sentenced her to 25 years to life in prison, and she was also sentenced to 25 more years on top of that for the attempt to kill Ashley. Lastly, she received another 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison for the forging of the will.

Under New York sentencing guidelines, the killer would have had to serve over 51 years before she became eligible for parole. Her first possible release date was June 15, 2055. She would have been 88 years old at the time.

After spending 7 years in prison, though, she died of a heart attack. No foul play was suspected.

How Did Castor Get Caught?

Police began to suspect Castor after the death of her second husband. They began investigating her by wiretapping her house and placing cameras around the graves of her husbands. The two men were buried next to one another, and she never visited the sites. The theory was that if she were mourning either of them, she would visit the site where they were buried.

After not getting much from the wiretapping and cameras, police exhumed the body of Castor’s first husband, Michael Wallace. After a toxicology screening, it was found that he had been killed by poisoning by antifreeze as well.

By 2007, evidence was beginning to pile up against Castor, and she started to panic. After an interview with police where she almost had a slip of the tongue, coming close to saying “anti-freeze” a few times, police went to go see her daughter, Ashley, on her first day at college.

Ashley called her mom later that day to tell her what happened. Castor told her to come home and they’d get some drinks together to relax. The next day, Castor poisoned her daughter by crushing up pills, placing them into vodka, and having her drink it.

Ashley was minutes away from death the next day when she arrived at the hospital after being found unconscious by her sister Bree. There was a typed suicide note found with the body that was signed “Ashley.” The note had Ashley admitting to the murders of her father and her stepfather. She was 11 when her father died.

Police found drafts of that note on Castor’s computer with timestamps that proved the note was written while Ashley was at school. They also had Ashley testify that she received a “nasty-tasting” drink from her mother the night before she was in the hospital and evidence of a turkey baster used for antifreeze in the kitchen.

READ NEXT: Stacey Castor: A Timeline of the Black Widow’s Crimes

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