England · Female Killers

Woman kills a mother and infant out of jealousy

April 30, 1986
Westbury, Wiltshire, England
Heather Arnold kills Jeanne Sutcliffe and her 8-month-old daughter to be closer to Mrs. Sutcliffe’s husband

Arnold’s marriage had recently dissolved and the Sutcliffes extended their support to her (Arnold and Mr. Sutcliffe had been teachers together at Kingsdown Comprehensive School in Warminster, England). Apparently wishing to get closer to Mr. Sutcliffe, Arnold beat Mrs. Sutcliffe and 8-month-old Heidi with an axe, though autopsy results showed both died from cut throats.

Police suspected the murderer would attempt to dispose of the murder weapon in the rubbish. To catch the killer, undercover police disguised as dustmen examined garbage thrown away. At Arnold’s house, they were given a bag containing the charred remains of a wooden axe handle. During trial, she claimed she had found the axe in her garage and didn’t recognize it but felt compelled to destroy it. The jury didn’t believe this explanation and Arnold was sentenced to life in prison on April 16, 1987.

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