Betty Lou Beets was born in North Carolina, where she suffered a rough upbringing, losing her hearing at three as a result of measles, and claimed at the age of five was sexually abused by her father and several people close to her.
She was 12-years-old when her mother was institutionalized, leaving her to take care of her younger siblings. At the age of 15 she married Robert Franklin Branson. After their first year of marriage, Betty claimed the relationship was abusive, and the couple separated; however, following Betty’s attempted suicide, the couple reconnected. Robert left Betty, ending the relationship for good in 1969.
In 1970, Beets married Billy York Lane. Again, Betty found herself in an abusive relationship and during one argument, Billy broke Betty’s nose; she retaliated by shooting him. She was charged with attempted murder; however, these charges were dropped when Billy admitted that he had threatened her life first. The couple divorced in 1972.
The following year, Betty began dating Ronnie Threlkold, whom she married in 1978. This marriage ended one year later, after Betty attempted to run Ronnie over with her car.
It wasn’t long before Betty married again. In 1979, she married her fourth husband, Doyle Wayne Baker. Her marriage to Baker was again short-lived and in 1982 she had moved onto her fifth husband, Jimmy Don Beets.
In August of 1983, Betty told her son from a previous marriage, to leave the house because she intended to kill Jimmy. When her son returned home, he found Jimmy shot to death and helped his mom bury the body in the yard of their Texas home. Betty then reported that her husband had gone missing. It wasn’t until 1985 that evidence led police back to Betty. During the search of her property, police located the remains of Jimmy Don Beets, and the remains of her fourth husband Doyle Wayne Baker. Both men had been shot in the head with the same .38 caliber pistol.
Two of Betty’s children testified against their mother, but also admitted that they had some involvement in concealing the murders. Betty pleaded not guilty and claimed that her children were guilty of the murders. Despite her argument, Betty was found guilty for the murder of Beets and was sentenced to death. Because she had already received the death penalty she was never tried for the murder of Baker.
In February 2000, at the age of 62, Betty Lou Beets was put to death by lethal injection in Texas’ Huntsville Unit.
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