Try Magic Notes and save time.Try it free
Try Magic Notes and save timeCrush your year with the magic of personalized studying.Try it free

5. Topic 5 - Caroline Grills

Get a hint
Case details summary
Click the card to flip 👆
1 / 7
1 / 7
Terms in this set (7)
- November 1947 - 87 yr old stepmother Christina Mickelson died
- Shortly after - 84 yr old relative of Caroline's husband, Angelina Thomas died
(these two exhumed and thallium detected)
- 1948 - Caroline's brother in law died
- Shortly after Mary Mickelson, Caroline's sister in law - body cremated but symptoms prior to death were consistent with thallium poisoning
- Also further attempts made over the next 4 yrs on husband's sister Evangeline Lundberg, Lundberg's daughter - Christine Downey and her husband John Downey
- Allegations of laced teas and cake given to victims.
- John Downey (JD) alerted police after reading article about thallium poisoning
- JD alleged that after experiencing symptoms after eating ginger brought by Mrs G, he noticed she put something in the tea on a later occasion. He then decanted the tea into a jar to later give police (although this was not for some days after the event)
- Mrs G arrested and two dresses sent to lab where thallium traces were found as were in the tea. (note tea tested with Reinsch test which is body fluid/tissue and hydrochloric acid and copper strip indicates any heavy metal such as arsenic, antimony or thallium.
- Mrs G linked to all the relatives sickness and after tea analysis she was arrested and two bodies exhumed (see vic notes above)
- 11/5/1953 - arrested and charged with the attempted murders of Eveline Lundberg and Christine Downey
- 21/8/1953 - trial of murder of her stepmother Christina Mickelson
- Week later committed on charge of murdering Angelina Thomas
- Lundberg and Downey cases considered strong due to tea evidence
- Mrs G claimed police had pressured family into testifying against her and no motive
- October 1953 found guilty of one offence of administering thallium to Mrs Lundberg with intention to commit murder. Evidence of her alleged other attempts used at trial
- Jury deliberated for 12 minutes and found guilty - sentenced to death
- Appeal - April 1954 - based on the premise that other poisonings should not have been admitted. Court of Criminal Appeal disagreed with this but did make mention of the defence not arguing the point of lack of motive.
- Sentence commuted to 14 yrs but died in jail 6.5yrs later from peritonitis.
- Early life is not known as also any animal cruelty or prior criminal history.
- Claim that Mrs G took control of victims when sick, feeding them and caring for them and took enjoyment from their suffering.
- No personality disorders recorded but mention made of Mrs G demeanour not being normal - smiles and waves to the public deemed narcissistic.