When sheriff's officers in
Rushville, Indiana, talked about the death of David Plue, they came up
empty in their search for motives.
The proverbial man without enemies,
Plue had been shot in the head, execution-style, his body discarded
alongside a rural highway in 1978.
No one suspected his widow of
playing a role in the crime, although in retrospect, Sheriff David
Clevenger recalls that the 29-year-old woman "told us a lot of lies."
Nine years later, in Arabi, Louisiana, 65-year-old Raymond Gates was
found dead in his home, skull crushed by a dozen blows from something
resembling a poker.
Raymond's estranged wife,
38-year-old Anne Gates, "discovered" the body and phoned for police. A
former nurse, residing at her mother's home in Mississippi since the
break-up of her May-December marriage, Anne seemed stricken by her
husband's death, but homicide detectives weren't convinced. For
openers, police had found a cigarette -- Anne's brand -- still
smoldering in Raymond's living room when they arrived, and they were
told the victim did not smoke.
A set of fireplace tools was missing
from the murder scene, and officers believed they'd found their motive
in the form of an insurance policy, scheduled to pay Anne Gates
$82,000 in the event of her aging husband's death. Forensics experts
noted that the suspect, five full inches taller than the victim, could
have easily inflicted wounds which cracked his skull.
A conversation with authorities in
Indiana led to Anne's arrest on December 9, 1987, two months after the
murder. Released on $40,000 bond, she also faced the prospect of
another charge in Indiana, where Rush County authorities have reopened
their investigation of her first husband's murder.
Michael Newton - An Encyclopedia of Modern Serial
Killers - Hunting Humans
Anne Gates, Louisiana Black Widow with an
Original Legal Strategy - 1987
Wife in prison gets husband’s estate money
May 27, 1992
Chalmette, La. — A
woman serving 10 years for her husband’s death has inherited $25,000
of his money.
settlement with Anne Gates ends a four-year legal battle over Raymond
Mrs. Gates was charged
with first-degree murder in 1987 after her husband was beaten to death
with a fireplace poker in Arabi, a St. Bernard Parish community just
outside New Orleans. Mrs. Gates pleaded no contest to manalong
slaughter in 1989.
Gates’ will left
everything to her and — if she died before him — to her mother, Ileane
Anyone convicted of murder can be removed from the
victim’s will in Louisiana. However, Mrs. Gates’ lawyers said that
didn’t apply to her because a no contest plea does not admit guilt.
Murder charges filed against wife
December 15, 1987
Chalmette, La. —
Murder charges filed against a woman in the beating death of her
estranged second husband have attracted the interest of an Indiana
lawman who investigated the death of her first husband.
something will shake loose in Chalmette that will help us here,” said
Sheriff David Clevenger of Rush County, Ind. Anne Gates, 38, was
arrested and booked with second-degree murder in the killing of
Raymond Gates, 65, deputies in St. Bernard Parish said. Gates was
found dead in his Arabi home Oct. 7. Mrs. Gates said she found the
body when she went by to pick up her mail.
Deputies said Mrs.
Gates, who had been living with her parents in Picayune, Miss., was
the beneficiary of her husband’s $82,000 life insurance policy.
Mrs. Gates’ first
husband, David Plue, was found dead on a rural highway in Indiana in
1978 with two bullets in his head, Clevenger said.
Clevenger, then a
sheriff’s investigator, said the 29-year-old autoworker had a $100,000
life insurance policy, and his wife collected the money.
SEX: F RACE: W TYPE: N MOTIVE: CE
MO: "Black widow" slayer of husbands
"no contest" on one count in La., 1989; received $25,000 from victim's