Criminal couples like Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow have long captivated public attention, and their series of murders, rapes and robberies have left us equally disturbed. From human sacrifices to deadly acts of sexual sadism, the notorious partners featured in Oxygen’s “Killer Couples” have all taken their devotion to twisted extremes. Whether they committed crimes out of love, passion or jealousy, these are five of the most disturbing duos in the history of “Killer Couples."
1. Gwendolyn Graham and Cathy Wood
Gwendolyn Graham and Cathy Wood, also known as “The Lethal Lovers,” met in 1986 at the Alpine Manor nursing home, where they both worked as nurses’ aids. The two women quickly became a couple and started smothering elderly patients as part of a love pact, according to the New York Times. According to Wood’s testimony, Graham suffocated a total of five patients while she acted as the lookout. Wood alleged that Graham began murdering to “relieve tension,” and each felt that by sharing the secret of the murders, it stopped either of them from leaving, which cemented their relationship. It was also speculated that the pair chose their victims based on their initials to eventually spell “M-U-R-D-E-R,” but the police chief at the time Walter Sprenger said they were “unable to confirm” whether this was true. Graham was convicted of five counts of murder and one of conspiracy and sentenced to life in prison without parole, while Wood, in exchange for her testimony against her ex-lover, was sentenced to 20 to 40 years in prison for her part in the slayings, according to The New York Times.
2. Sara Aldrete and Adolfo Constanzo
Sara Aldrete and Adolfo Constanzo headed a Mexican drug-smuggling and human sacrifice cult named The Narcosatanists (“Los Narcosatánicos"). After meeting Aldrete, Constanzo, nicknamed “The Godfather” by his cult members, introduced Aldrete to witchcraft and dark magic, and she eventually became a high priestess in the cult. According to Rolling Stone, the cult conducted ritual slayings of human sacrifice that they believed would protect their group members from harm and keep their drug business safe from police. In 1989, police became aware of the cult’s satanic activities after discovering they were involved in the abduction and murder of American college student Mark J. Kilroy, who was visiting Mexico on spring break. Kilroy was reportedly kidnapped after Constanzo ordered the sacrifice of an “Anglo student.” After discovering the cult’s hideout in Mexico City, police engaged in a shootout, which resulted in the death of Constanzo and capture of Aldrete, who is currently in prison after her conviction in several of the killings, according to SF Gate.
3. Carol Bundy and Douglas Clark
[Photo: Los Angeles County Sherrif's Department]
In 1980, nurse Carol Bundy met Douglas Clark at a bar in North Hollywood. The pair immediately hit it off and decided to move in together. Self-described as the “king of one-night stands,” Clark revealed to Bundy that he had deadly obsession with dark sexual fantasies. Clark soon began bringing women and prostitutes back to the apartment that they shared and killing them to satisfy his twisted desires. Reportedly, Clark was “striving to fulfill his fantasy of cutting the throat of a woman during intercourse to feel the contractions of her vagina during death spasms.” As many of the victims were abducted from Los Angeles’ Sunset Strip, the press dubbed the serial killer the “Sunset Slayer.” Bundy eventually told her former boyfriend about her involvement in Clark’s murders, and fearing he would go to the police, she killed him to ensure she wouldn’t be implicated in any of Clark’s crimes. A few days later, Bundy broke down and confessed to her co-workers, who called the police. Clark was found guilty of six murders and was also charged with one count each of attempted murder, mutilation of human remains and mayhem, according to The New York Times. He currently sits in prison on death row. Bundy was sentenced to 52 years to life for killing her former lover as well as a prostitute, and she died in prison of heart failure in 2003.
4. Miranda and Elytte Barbour
Known as the “Craigslist Killers,” Miranda and Elytte Barbour were sentenced to life in prison without parole in 2014 for the murder of 66-year-old Troy LaFerrara, according to Reuters. The young couple met LaFerrara through Craigslist after he responded to an ad offering female “companionship” in exchange for $100. On the day LaFerrara was killed, Miranda Barbour met LaFerrara at a mall parking lot and drove to a neighboring town. Once Miranda parked the car, her husband, who had been hiding under a blanket, emerged from the backseat and started strangling LaFerrara with a cable cord while Miranda stabbed LaFerrara 20 times with a knife, according to CNN. The couple then dumped the body in a home’s backyard, and it was found the following day. Though the Barbours initially denied knowing LaFerrara, police discovered the last call he had made was to Miranda’s phone. According to CNN, Elyette told police the pair “committed the murder because they just wanted to murder someone together." Miranda reportedly said she felt no remorse after the killing, and if she were to be released, she could “do this again.”
5. Pamela Smart and Billy Flynn
In 1991, high school teacher Pamela Smart was convicted of plotting to kill her husband with her 15-year-old lover William Flynn and his three friends, according to The New York Times. In his testimony, Flynn claimed Pamela had seduced him while working at his high school, and she later threatened to break off the affair unless he killed her husband, Gregg Smart, who was found shot to death in the condominium he shared with Pamela. The assistant attorney general in the trial also said that Pamela was afraid that if Gregg found out about her affair with Flynn and divorced her, she would be left with nothing. “He would take all the furniture, the dog and leave her with no place to live,” he said. Police were able to apprehend Pamela, Fynn and his three friends after another student who knew about the murder plot, Cecelia Pierce, agreed to wear a hidden recording device while meeting with Pamela. In the recording, Pamela reportedly said "this would have been the perfect murder" if one of the teenagers hadn’t started bragging about the crime to friends, who relayed this information to the police. Smart, who admitted to seducing Flynn but denied involvement in her husband’s murder, was sentenced to life in prison without parole, according to ABC News. Flynn pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, but was granted parole in 2015.
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.