Deadly Women: Earle C. Dennison “Aunt Killer” killed her 2-year-old niece, Shirley Diann Weldon, for the insurance money; Executed 9/4/1953

From Dennison’s appeal: Mrs. Dennison is a trained nurse of more than twenty-five years experience and has been a member of the nursing staff of the Wetumpka General Hospital for several years and was so employed at the time of the taking of the life of the little child and up until her arrest. After her arrest she confessed to the crime and the confession, as well as other evidence, tends to show she administered the poison by placing it in an orange drink which the little girl drank from a measuring cup, and after the child became very ill and vomited, appellant apparently gave her a drink of Coca-Cola, also containing arsenic poison, which caused the child to vomit again. Shirley Dianne was taken to the hospital about 4:55 P.M. and died some few hours later. An autopsy performed by the State Toxicologist, Dr. C. J. Rehling, indicated she had died of arsenic poison. An examination by this well-known expert of the Coca-Cola bottle, as well as the measuring cup, disclosed a small sediment of arsenic poison and the little girl’s dress, as well as her *554 mother’s which had also become contaminated from the child’s regurgitation, showed a large quantity of arsenic poison. About 5:30 on the same afternoon, while Shirley Dianne was in the hospital, appellant left the hospital and went to Deatsville and paid a premium on a $500 life insurance policy she had taken on the life of the child, which was about to lapse for nonpayment of premium and in which she was the sole beneficiary. There was evidence that appellant had applied for a policy in the amount of $5,000 on the child’s life, which had also been issued and on which she had paid the premium, she being the principal beneficiary therein. If, therefore, it were necessary to search for a motive we would find it here.

Aunt Killer (GREAT article)
Nursed doomed to chair in child murder
Poison Slayer’s Sentence Upheld
Mrs. Dennison, a Soulless Opportunistic Child-Killer, Executed – 1953
Tell of Aunt’s insurance on poisoned child
Widow hanged in Alabama
1953: Miss Earle Dennison, the first white woman electrocuted in Alabama
Earle Dennison v State of Alabama 1953 (conviction and sentence affirmed)
Murderpedia: Earle Dennison
Find-A-Grave: Earle C. Dennison

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