Behind the motherly exterior lurked a cold-blooded killer whose get-rich scheme claimed the lives of her children.
Neighbors and acquaintances were astonished when both of Ellen Boehm’s young kids died in unexplained circumstances within a year of each other. They were puzzled how Boehm managed to keep going. But Detective Sergeant Joseph Burgoon of the St. Louis Police Department was worried, especially after he heard that Boehm’s second child, her small daughter Stacy, had almost died when a hair dryer fell into her bath.
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Regrettably, Burgoon’s suspicions regarding Ellen Boehm turned out to be all-too-correct. Ellen Boehm appeared to be a loving mother to many. She was unprepared for motherhood, straining to make ends meet and in dire need of money. Burgoon’s research into Boehm and her reasons for doing what she did led him to a terrible plan involving a mother who was so desperate for money that she would kill her own children in cold blood to get the insurance money.
John Coston, a well-known journalist and true crime writer, uses case records, photos, and police reports to show Ellen Boehm’s secret life and horrible actions. He shows that she killed her two sons and almost killed her daughter.
From the restroom, Ellen could hear the pleasant echoes of children’s play. Her daughter, Stacy, was soaking in the bath, playing with her Barbie dolls, while she was in the kitchen putting away groceries. She’d wash their hair and scrub them down while talking in sing-song coos and whispers.
The sounds originating from the toilet didn’t reassure Ellen that everything was well, or that another exhausting day as a single working mother was drawing to a close. Ellen’s thoughts were on a risky path on this wet night.
Ellen exited the kitchen and walked down the hallway to her bedroom, as if it were just another evening duty. She discovered the object that had been bothering her: a hair dryer. She took it in her hands and examined the cord’s length. She then hooked the device into a wall outlet outside the bathroom and peered at her eight-year-old daughter.
Stacy was cleaning her face at the time. To keep the suds out, she closed her eyes, but she heard something fall into the water. She sprayed water on her face to wash away the soap and reveal what it was.
Stacy shrieked when a 110-volt charge ignited her bathwater. The pain was blinding at first, followed by the sensation of something crawling all over her. She felt like she was being dragged down into the ocean, but she couldn’t figure out why. There was no one else in the room. She was unable to stand when she attempted to do so. Something was drawing her down, a force she had never experienced before. She had no idea how she did it, but she grabbed the hair dryer and turned it off. She climbed out of the tub after throwing it out. Stacy then noticed her mum.
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“What happened, Stacy?” she asked, her voice anxious.
“I’m not sure,” Stacy replied. The words trickled out slowly. She was still trembling from head to toe.
The drop of blood from the small girl’s mouth was daubed by Ellen.
Steve, Stacy’s four-year-old brother, was startled awake by his sister’s cry and was now standing at the bathroom door, watching his mother ask Stacy questions and dry her with a towel.
Ellen shifted her gaze to Steve. “What happened, Steve?”
The sleepy young boy remained silent.
“I’ll go fetch Todd,” says the narrator. You begin to put on your clothes. “
Todd Andrews was a neighbor down the hall. Ellen didn’t know him other than to say hello, which was about the extent of her acquaintance with anyone in the building, but she did know he was a medical student. He might be able to assist. However, he did not answer his door, and both of Ellen’s children had become frantic in the brief time that she had gone to collect him. Uncontrollable sobbing and screeching erupted.
“It’s time to get you dressed.” We must transport you to the hospital.”
Ellen rushed them both to the bedroom, where she quickly dressed them for an emergency room visit. Her mind was already preparing for the physicians and nurses at Children’s Hospital to ask her questions. She knew she wouldn’t be able to tell anyone what had happened, so she prepared an elaborate—and very realistic—description.
“We got home from the grocery store, and I ordered her to take a bath, and Steve was going to bed,” she would say. Steve was resting comfortably as she told him his bedtime story. We thought he was dozing off. “Let’s get your bathwater running, you know,” I said to Stacy on the sofa. I’ll assist you in the tub, and if you need me, I’ll be putting things away in the kitchen. ‘
“She was bathing with her Barbie dolls.” She was also having fun with them. And then I heard a scream as I was putting items in the refrigerator and putting some meat away. And I dashed over to them, down the hallway toward the bathroom, where I discovered a chord hooked into the outlet. Steve was also awake and weeping. And Stacy was one of them. She was simply taken aback. She was yelling angrily. The rope was tugged up by me. And it was a hair dryer, thank you very much. “I helped Stacy get out of the tub.”
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“‘I got it merely to rinse the Barbie dolls’ hair, Mom,’ Steve replies. I also got the hair dryer from your dresser. And then I turned it on. I assumed it was for the purpose of drying their hair. And, yeah, I dropped it in the tub by accident. ‘
“I didn’t notice Steve leave the room.” I didn’t hear him since I was busy putting goods away and putting the meat in the refrigerator, which made a lot of noise. And all I heard was her scream, followed by his screams and tears. “
Both children began to howl again as Ellen slid the shirt over Steve’s head, then slipped on his socks and shoes. This time, it was a lot louder than before. Ellen’s yelling at her kids made the noise echo down the hall.
The noise was heard by Joseph Rodriegquez. He’d been taking his trash out to the hallway chute to dispose of it. He waited outside in the hall until he had heard enough of the mother’s yelling and the children’s screams. He then returned to his flat and dialed the police number.
The call to 911 made by Mr. Rodriegquez was recorded at 11:04 p.m. He gave the dispatch officer the basic information and was told that a car would arrive in minutes. He then went down to the building’s lobby to wait, concerned.
A patrolman, Tom Leassner, received the call. It was 11:12 a.m. when he pulled up to the front of the business in his cruiser. 4720 South Broadway was the address. He could see a man standing off to the side, watching as a woman departed the front of the business with two sobbing children in tow. The tiny girl was attempting to communicate. It was something she was adamant about.
When the physicians inquired what had happened, Ellen had told Stacy that Steven had thrown the hair dryer in the bathtub. Ellen informed her daughter that she had spoken with Steven, who stated that he did it because he believed she wanted to dry her Barbie doll’s hair. Stacy, on the other hand, knew better. She knew that Steven was completely asleep. After all, she had read him “The Little Popcorn for the night and tucked him in.”
“He wasn’t using the restroom.” “No one was present!”
Ellen grabbed Stacy’s arm even harder as she moved closer to the police car.
“He wasn’t there,” says the narrator. “He wasn’t…” says the narrator.
“Officer, will you kindly call an ambulance?” Ellen asked Leassner. My little girl was shocked by electricity. “
He pointed down the street and remarked, “Alexian Brothers Hospital is just down the street, ma’am.” Officer Leassner could tell the crying small girl was upset, but she was still walking and talking, and she was disagreeing with her mother. The cop has no recollection of the incident to this day. It would be recorded as a Code 80 in the log he would keep afterwards. In other words, based on his observations, this was not a genuine incident.
Ellen turned around and began walking toward her car. She wasn’t going to stand around in the rain and get wet if she wasn’t going to get any gratification from this cop.
Rodriegquez stood there watching her drive away before approaching the cruiser. Officer Leassner told Mr. Rodriegquez what Ellen had said after the two men exchanged a few words about the 911 call. The situation was resolved.
Stacy had calmed down by the time Ellen arrived at Children’s Hospital. She’d tell it the way her mother wanted it told. Stacy’s little brother had dropped a hair dryer into her bath, which Ellen revealed to Dr. Anna Fitz-James when she checked her. The dilated pupils and petechia, or minute hemorrhage on her tongue, were detected by Dr. Fitz-James. Stacy was OK the rest of the time. Keep an eye on her, Ellen was advised.
Ellen added, “I’ll probably keep her home from school tomorrow.”
“It’s all right,” the doctor said.
“When she was in the water, she stated it felt like something was crawling all over her,” Ellen explained.
Stacy has been having dreams about her little brother David’s death ever since he died. In his dream, David was assassinated by a black man. It was never revealed how he was slain, but he was always killed by the same man, who was dressed in a white hat, a black shirt, and pink pants. Stacy was present when her brother died, so she knew the man in her nightmare didn’t kill him.
Stacy’s bathtub fear had occurred less than a year before. The two-year-old had been discovered on the living room floor by her mother. He didn’t move when she tried to rouse him up. He didn’t say anything because his face was blue. It was Thanksgiving Day in 1988, and Stacy would remember it for the rest of her life.
Source : The Up Line
Featured photo of Ellen Boehm as a high school senior: Roosevelt High School Yearbook / Open Road Media
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