ST. CHARLES, MO — On November 2, 1982, police arrested Shirley Allen, 41, for poisoning Lloyd Allen, her sixth husband and the third who somehow happened to die not long after marrying her.
For months leading up to Lloyd’s death, Shirley had been spiking his coffee with ethlyne glycol, a chemical compound more commonly known as antifreeze. When Lloyd complained about his morning java tasting odd, Shirley assured him it was just an iron supplement.
Shortly before Lloyd sipped his last mug on November 1, Shirley took out a $25,000 life insurance policy on him. When she immediately collected, Shirley’s 17-year-old daughter from a previous union, Norma Hawkins, informed the police that she’d seen her mom pouring something suspect into Lloyd’s daily brew, stating flat-out, “Mom was poisoning Dad.”
After toxicology reports turned up antifreeze in Lloyd’s system, out came the cuffs for Shirley.
After two failed marriages, Shirley Goude wed Joe Sinclair in 1968. Eight months later, Joe noticed his coffee seemed funky, then became violently sick to his stomach. When it happened again, he went first to the cops, then to a divorce attorney.
Shirley subsequently walked down the aisle with John Gregg in 1977. Within a year, Gregg’s health spiraled into mysterious paralysis, and he died inexplicably. When Shirley found out that Gregg hadn’t yet signed over his will to her, she flew into a fury.
Next up came Daniel Edward Null. He, too, died in 1978, from an apparent heart attack. Following the death of Lloyd Allen, authorities opened a fresh investigation into Null’s ongoing void.
In court, Norma Hawkins and her younger sister Paula Hawkins, 16, testified against their mother once the D.A. said he’d take the death penalty off the table.
In addition to stating Shirley put antifreeze in Lloyd’s drinks, Norma said that when Shirley saw news reports about the rash of 1982 deaths from cyanide-laced Tylenol, she wrote down the numbers of the shipments and sent the girls out specifically to purchase the contaminated pills.
The trial lasted four days. The jury convicted Shirley of first-degree murder, and she was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 50 years. She’s still got 15 to go.
To learn more about this case, watch the “Wed to Murder” episode of Investigation Discovery’s Deadly Women on ID GO now!
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Main photo: Shirley Allen [Missouri Department of Corrections]