Woman Poisons Husband To Death By Putting Anti-Freeze In His Steroid Injections
Jay Dawson February 15th 2017 Entertainment
Nine times out of ten, murder and manslaughter is an impulsive, irrational act - an explosion of rage or a violent temper gone far too far. Once in a while, though, a truly sick mind comes along - one that doesn't kill with a single blow, but carries out their disturbing, torturous kill over the course of years. This is one case that almost tops the lot.
A Shocking Admission
It was a crime that stunned the nation, and a court case that equally entranced the viewing public. For years, 47-year-old Jamie Baker had denied that she had killed her husband, who had died almost four years ago in very suspicious circumstances. Neither investigators nor prosecutors could crack the façade of this woman, despite being convinced that she had committed the act. Then it all came crumbling down for Jamie.
In wild courtroom scenes worthy of a Law & Order episode all their own, Jamie took to the stand to change her story entirely. It seemed like she was tired of fighting the truth, and had finally decided to let the real story come out. With only a short hesitation, she reversed her long claim of innocence and told the court that she had, in fact, poisoned her husband. But you'll never guess how she did it...
A Long Time Coming
James Baker actually collapsed and died at their home in Delaware in September of 2013, over three years ago. The investigation had baffled the police for a long time, and the break in the case didn't come until close to two years after the initial discovery. Detectives had come and gone, and they still couldn't quite work out what had gone on.
Even when they finally found out what they thought had happened, there was still a mountain of due process to climb. They thought they had their suspect, but there was simply no proof - only circumstantial evidence. And their suspect, Mrs. Jamie Baker, would not admit to anything. Collecting all the evidence against her, questioning and re-questioning, bringing the case together, was an exhausting - and sometimes, seemingly impossible - task. Against all odds, they persisted. And against all odds, they found the truth...
All About James Baker
A large part of the case hinged on its victim, James Baker. Like his wife, Jamie, he was in his mid-forties and seemingly in perfect health before his death. He had no history of chronic illness, and was leading a happy and loving life together with Jamie and their two daughters. At least, so they thought.
For years, James had been working as an environmental scientist for a local firm in Delaware. A mild-mannered man, he had a simple passion to help protect the planet, and followed his dreams with determination. At the same time, he had another hobby: competitive weightlifting. Although it seemed at odds with his reserved nature, he was actually fiercely strict with his training regime, and determined to bulk up and be the best in his field. Little did he know, this obsession would indirectly lead to his downfall...
The Truth About Steroids
It's an accepted fact of competitive weightlifting these days - at least, outside of the Olympics - that its athletes will use some form of steroids in their training. It doesn't matter how many protein shakes you have - you're just not going to achieve the same kind of muscle growth without them. And if one person in the competition starts using them, you pretty much have to do the same to just keep up.
When we talk about these kinds of steroids, we mean anabolic steroids. These are a family of steroids which, like testosterone, have a dramatic impact on your body. Anabolic steroids in particular promote the growth and retention of protein within muscle cells. This means that with the right diet and exercise in combination steroids, you're going to get ripped a heck of a lot faster than with normal training. But it doesn't usually leave you dead...
A Problem Across The World
Way back when anabolic steroids were first discovered and synthesized, they had far more innocent uses. Doctors would prescribe them for wasting diseases such as AIDS, where muscle growth tends to stop, bone marrow stimulation for leukemia patients, and inducing puberty when necessary. But when the sporting world found out about the effects this drug could have on performance, the casual use of steroids exploded.
Nowadays, the use of anabolic steroids is banned by pretty much every sporting body in the world. In most countries, as well, buying, selling, using, or just possessing them without a prescription is illegal. Although their use is widespread by bodybuilders and amateur weightlifters, their common side-effects - such as aggression, kidney damage, and heart problems - have made them all but banned. They're simply too dangerous to fall into the hands of the unwitting public, yet people still keep on doing them.
The Initial Ruling
When James Baker was found dead in his home, the police were quick to order an autopsy. He was a healthy, fairly young man, and the whole thing seemed a little fishy. But the initial ruling seemed to support a theory that it was his weightlifting lifestyle that did it. At first, the coroner determined that James had died from massive kidney failure.
Like we just mentioned, steroid use and abuse has long been linked to kidney damage. Investigators knew of his bodybuilding career, and his stash of steroids, and the jigsaw pieces seemed to fit together neatly. He took steroids, his kidney gave up on him, he died tragically in his own home. It seemed like a reasonable conclusion, and they were happy to let it go at that. Only months later, a niggling doubt remained. And when they re-read the coroner's report, they uncovered something they had initially overlooked. Something truly bizarre...
Guess What They Uncovered
While performing the autopsy, the coroner had also discovered something a little bit strange. Trace amounts of ethylene glycol were found in the body, but at the time they were dismissed as an anomaly. It was only later that investigators realized what this ethylene glycol meant. It was antifreeze, and there was no way that could have gotten in there by accident.
Antifreeze is commonly found in garages across the country, used for engine coolant and sometimes windscreen water in extreme temperatures. Many people know how useful it can be, but few people know exactly how deadly it is once it's in your system. The body can't process antifreeze, and if ingested, some residue will always remain. This residue will crystalize over time, essentially shredding up your insides and causing massive amounts of damage to your organs, as if you'd swallowed broken glass.
It Was In The Steroids
With this new fact, detectives went back to search the house. They wanted to know exactly how this deadly liquid could have found its way into James Baker's body, and they weren't going to give up. They found antifreeze in the garage, which was normal, but they took the search further and tested everything else they could find. That's when the startling discovery was made: it was also in his steroids.
James's steroids were also stored in the garage, which is where his gym equipment was located. This wasn't unusual in itself, but police weren't quite sure how it could have been mixed. His steroids, of the liquid variety intended to be injected, were in sealed containers. The antifreeze couldn't have got there accidentally. And it didn't look like the bottles had been tampered with. Then they found tiny holes in the steroid bottles - the antifreeze had been injected into the steroids...
A (Clearly) Unhappy Marriage
But who had done it? Suspicions swung to Jamie Baker, the only other person who could have the knowledge and the access to James's steroid supply. Even then, it wasn't an open and shut case. James and Jamie had been married for 21 years, and on the surface it seemed like everything was fine. They had had no real arguments, two daughters, and nothing seemed amiss. The only thing the detectives could do was go with their guts, and arrest Jamie Baker.
Still to this day, Jamie has not given any reason as to why she would deliberately, maliciously, and slowly poison her own husband. Even after a long trial, a trial where she maintained her innocence before finally cracking, there were no real indications as to the motive. Some say that it was the insurance money that motivated her, while others claim that their marriage had been actually crumbling for a decade. It's clear now that something was wrong, that there was some kind of trigger, but the exact details may have to remain a mystery for the rest of time.
And The Sentence Is...
After her shock admission in court, the case was quickly wrapped up. Jamie was found guilty of second-degree murder, meaning that she had not planned the murder, but had still done it intentionally and with malice aforethought. A strange outcome for a clearly premeditated and planned poisoning, but that's just the way the justice system works sometimes. Sometimes they just have to clear the caseload as quickly as they can.
The lesser conviction didn't mean that the Smyrna, Delaware housewife got off lightly, though. In the end, she received a sentence of 40 years imprisonment. Even if she is eligible for parole later down the line, it's unlikely that she'll walk free before she's about 80 years old. A fitting sentence for a cold and calculating murderer, and still she fared better than her unfortunate husband.