While the majority of teachers are working to shape the young minds of tomorrow, others are busy proving that criminals can lurk anywhere — even in classrooms. And although not every piece of gossip from the teachers’ lounge ends up being evidence in a murder investigation, the homicidal educators featured in Oxygen’s “Snapped” prove some of the most horrific crimes can be committed by the people you suspect the least. Here are three of the most disturbing teachers turned murders in the history of “Snapped.”
1. Carla Hughes
In 2009, middle school language arts teacher Carla Hughes was sentenced to life without parole for the murder of her lover’s pregnant fiancée, Avis Banks, according to CNN. Hughes met fellow teacher Keyon Pittman in the summer of 2006 while they were both working at Chastain Middle School in Jackson, Mississippi. Their professional relationship quickly turned into a “sexual adventure” full of liaisons at Hughes’ townhouse and even romantic weekends away. According to Pittman, however, Hughes began taking the relationship too seriously, and she even went so far as to introduce Pittman to her friends as her “future husband.” Pittman explained, “There was no long term. It was — it was sexual, caught up in the moment — speaking of myself. There never was a long-term plan with Carla.” When Hughes realized Pittman would never leave Banks, Pittman alleged she started stalking him and Banks, and she even threatened to confront Banks about their affair. Four days after the two had a visit that “ended on a bad note,” Banks was found lying in a pool of blood in the garage of the home she shared with Pittman. Banks had been shot four times in the leg, chest and head, and she had been stabbed multiple times in the face and neck. She was five months pregnant. While police initially suspected Pittman of murdering his fiancée, investigators later turned to Hughes, whose cousin testified that he had lent Hughes a knife and gun the weekend before Banks’ death. After Hughes’ first interview with the police, she returned the revolver to her cousin unloaded. Hughes is currently serving her life sentence, and she still maintains her innocence.
2. Nancy Seaman
Elementary school teacher Nancy Seaman was convicted of first-degree murder in 2005 for killing her husband with a hatchet, according to CBS. During the spring of 2004, Nancy and her husband Bob were on the brink of a divorce, and on the Sunday evening of Mother’s Day, the couple reached their breaking point. After another blowup ensued between the two, Nancy left their home and drove to a nearby Home Depot, where she was caught on surveillance footage purchasing a hatchet. Nancy alleged she had purchased the hatchet to chop up a stump in the backyard. The following morning, Nancy got into another argument with Bob while discussing the future of their marriage, and when she agreed they should file for divorce, Nancy alleged that Bob became furious and picked up a kitchen knife. According to Nancy, “He [Bob] just took, and he said, 'You bitch,' and he just glanced [sliced] across my hand as I'm reaching." After running to the garage for safety, Nancy said Bob threatened to kill her, and she grabbed the hatchet to protect herself. Nancy hit her husband 16 times with the hatchet and then stabbed him 21 times in the back with the knife. After the murder, Nancy said she took and shower and — failing to find a substitute teacher — went to school to teach her class. When she returned home, she wiped the garage clean and stuffed her husband’s body in the trunk of her car, where it was found days later by the police. Throughout the trial, Nancy alleged she had endured years of emotional and physical abuse from her husband, and she had only killed him in self-defense. After only five hours of deliberation, the jury found her guilty. She is currently serving a life sentence in prison.
3. Carolyn Warmus
[Photo: Getty Images]
In the late 1980s, Carolyn Warmus, a young elementary school computer teacher, began an affair with Paul Solomon, her married colleague who was 17 years her senior. During their year and a half relationship, Paul continually promised he would leave his wife, Betty Jeanne Solomon, after their daughter, Kristan, graduated from high school. According to police, their affair quickly turned into an “obsession” for Carolyn, and her desire to intensify their relationship resulted in the murder of Betty Jeanne. On the evening of January 15, 1989, prosecutors said Carolyn pistol whipped and shot Betty Jeanne nine times before going to meet Paul at a bar for drinks and later having sex in her car. When Paul went home and discovered Betty Jeanne’s body, he called the police and submitted to questioning, telling investigators he had gone bowling earlier in the evening before meeting Carolyn. Paul’s lawyer advised him to cut off all contact with Carolyn, and the two went their separate ways. Though Paul was initially a suspect, the police began investigating Carolyn months after the murder when Paul reported that she followed him and his new girlfriend to Puerto Rico, where they were vacationing. Police discovered that on the day of Betty Jeanne’s murder, Carolyn had used fake identification to purchase bullets for a gun they believed was used to kill Betty Jeanne. After her Carolyn’s arrest, she went through two highly publicized trials and was convicted of second-degree murder and locked behind bars for 25 years to life, according to CNN. She has maintained her innocence throughout her incarceration and sought parole in January, which was denied.
[Photo: Getty Images]