May 12, 1945
Los Angeles, California
Maude Adams (54) is stabbed 21 times by her 17-year-old daughter Barbara
The dynamic between the mother and daughter varied depending on the person asked: some saw Barbara as an abused teen who would often cry herself to sleep while her uncaring mother would strike her or yell at her, while others saw a “conceited little snob” who disobeyed her hard-working mother at every turn (Maude was working 12-hour shifts to provide finances to allow Barbara to pursue a degree in geology). Barbara herself simply said she and her mother never got along and decided her only course of action was to kill her mother, planning the murder for 2 years before carrying it out.
Barbara purchased the murder weapon the day before the attack, as well as 2 live canaries. She tested the sharpness of the blade by decapitating the birds in the kitchen sink then burned their bodies in an incinerator. She then prepared dinner for her mother, though an argument broke out ending with Maude slapping Barbara across the face. During the night, Barbara crept into her mother’s room, placed a pillow over Maude’s face to silence her screams, stabbed her 21 times, cleaned the knife off in the sink, changed from her bloodstained pajamas to clean ones, read from the family Bible, and fell asleep on the sofa.
Barbara confessed to her landlady of the murder when she awoke, also admitting her original plan was to commit suicide but “didn’t have the guts to do it.” Barbara was examined as a psychiatric patient and subjected to shock therapy which seemed to improve her condition. She was never tried for the murder of her mother and fell from public record. Whether she was released from a state mental mental hospital or spent the rest of her days there is unknown.