A prior warning to the readers is that the details of the upcoming story are subtly disturbing.
This story is about a lady who dared to strangle a pregnant mother and then cut off her unborn fetus, eight months into gestation, from her womb. Yes, you read that right. Let’s get to the facts of this unworldly occurrence.
What’s more disturbing is that Lisa Montgomery is a federal prisoner and is on death row. She was announced to be executed on January 12, 2021. She was the first female federal prisoner to be executed by the United States Federal Government in nearly 70 years.
It was back in 2004 that Lisa connected with Bobbi Jo Stinnett through an online medium. Bobbi was a 23-year-old pregnant lady and earned a living by breeding dogs. Bobbi and Lisa met through dog show events and also interacted in an online Rat Terrier chatroom called “Ratter Chatter.” Montgomery told Stinnett that she, too, was pregnant, which led to the two women chatting online and sharing about their pregnancies, as both of them had something common to talk about.
On December 16, 2004, Lisa went to Bobbi’s house disguised as a customer named “Darlene Fischer.” It was on this day that she strangled Bobbi to death and cut off her growing baby from her womb. Montgomery, on the same day of the incident, at around 5:15 pm, called her husband, Kevin, saying that, while running errands, she had gone into labor and given birth.
This was the same baby she stole from Stinnett and later declared it as her own. Montgomery was arrested on the same day and was tried and convicted of federal kidnapping and capital murder. The kidnapped newborn was immediately taken into custody by the police and was handed over to the father.
Montgomery was tried and found guilty in the year 2007. She was finally executed by Lethal Injection (the practice of injecting one or more drugs into a person to cause rapid death) on January 13, 2021, at the United States Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana.
WHO WAS LISA MONTGOMERY?
Montgomery resided in Melvern, Kansas, at the time of this heinous crime. She wasn’t raised in a peaceful environment. As a child, she suffered endlessly. She was raped by her stepfather and friends for many years. She was also physically beaten from the age of 11. Her only escape at the time was drinking alcohol to stay away from mental stress.
Her mother noticed her suffering when she was 14 years old and reacted in a very aggressive and hostile manner. She tried to threaten her daughter with a gun. This would have broken her even more as a mother is supposed to be the closest to her daughter. In order to tackle this issue, she made marriage her next escape and got married at the early age of 18. Unfortunately, her first, as well as her second wedlock, was a huge fail as it resulted in further abuse.
Montgomery was a mother to four children before she underwent Tubal Ligation (a type of permanent birth control) in the year 1990. Both of her spouses claimed that she made up fictitious stories about her pregnancy several times. The reason behind these false claims could be a miscarriage that she concealed from her family. It was assumed that maybe if she gave birth to a child of her own, she might stop exaggerating about having a baby.
WHO WAS BOBBI JO STINNETT?
Bobbi was a 23-year-old pregnant woman who was found murdered in her home in Skidmore, Missouri. She was the victim of the crime whose unborn child was abducted.
TRIAL AND RULING
Montgomery was tried under the Federal Kidnapping Act of 1932. Her offense was “kidnapping resulting in death.” This violation was entirely explained in Title 18 of the United States Code. If declared guilty, she was subject to either life imprisonment or the death penalty.
After many trials and her attorneys supporting her, experts gave testimony that Montgomery had pseudocyesis (a mental condition that causes a woman to fallaciously assume she is pregnant and exhibits obvious signs of pregnancy), along with depression, borderline personality disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. In a nutshell, she was highly disturbed mentally as she had faced an abusive childhood as well as abusive marriages.
Once she was convicted, experts stated that Lisa had long been dealing with psychosis, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorders. She was often disassociated from reality and had permanent brain damage due to the drubbings she was subjected to by her family and spouses.
On October 22, 2007, the jury found Lisa guilty, rejecting the defense claim about Lisa being delusional. After four days, the jury came to a decision of a death sentence for the perpetrator. Later, on March 19, 2012, the US Supreme Court denied Montgomery’s certiorari petition. Montgomery was then transferred to Federal Medical Center, Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas, where she was supposed to stay until she was again shifted to the site of her execution.
Montgomery was listed for capital punishment on December 8, 2020, by lethal injection. This was, however, delayed following her solicitors’ contracting COVID-19. On December 23, 2020, Montgomery again received a new execution date of January 12, 2021. On the first day of 2021, her death-day was fixed for January 12, 2021.
On January 13, she was finally injected with drugs which killed her immediately, and she became the first female prisoner to be executed in 67 years by the US government.
This case became increasingly popular as it was something very bizarre for the general public. The story of Montgomery’s crime was featured in many TV shows like Deadly Woman (titled “Fatal Obsession“), Solved (titled “Life and Death“), and in No One Saw a Thing. It was also talked about in Diane Fanning’s Baby Be Mine books and M. William Phelps’s Murder in the Heartland.