Arkansas · Female Killers

Mother kills children to spare them from being separated following her suicide

November 4, 1997
Lincoln County, Arkansas
Christina Marie Riggs kills her 5- and 2-year-old children before attempting suicide

Riggs was allegedly suicidal and feared her children, who had different fathers, would be separated if she killed herself. She injected her sleeping 5-year-old son with undiluted potassium chloride which, when undiluted, is extremely painful. He woke up screaming and Riggs attempted unsuccessfully to inject him with morphine to ease the pain. When this failed, she opted to smother him with a pillow. Not wanting to cause the same pain to her 2-year-old, she simply smothered her as well.

Riggs then injected enough potassium chloride to kill 5 people and swallowed a lethal dose of antidepressants. Her mother found her unconscious the following day and she was rushed to the hospital. She refused to allow her defense attorneys to assist during the penalty phase of her trial, informing the court she wished to be executed. She was given her request and on May 2, 2000 she was executed by lethal injection.

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