Murders A-Z is a collection of true crime stories that take an in-depth look at both little-known and famous murders throughout history.
They say women love a man in uniform. Well, Lynn Turner sure did. She dated a squad car’s worth of police officers before marrying one, and she had two children with another. Unfortunately, both men died young. It seemed like the only thing Lynn Turner did as often as date cops was bury her husbands. And that’s because their deaths weren’t accidental — she murdered them.
Born Julia Lynn Womack in 1968, she was adopted when she was just 5 months old by a well-to-do couple in Cumming, Georgia. According to an article in Reader's Digest, her parents spoiled her rotten, but they divorced when she was 5. When her mother remarried, Lynn didn’t get along with her new stepfather, and as a teenager she did a stint in drug rehab facility.
As a young adult, Lynn decided to pursue a career in law enforcement. She even had a civilian position with an undercover narcotics unit in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and worked as a 911 dispatcher in Cobb County, Georgia, northwest of Atlanta. When not on the job, she liked to frequent cop bars and hang out with a coterie of young officers in the town of Marietta.
Lynn liked cops, and they liked her back. She was upbeat and pretty with a good figure, and she liked to be the center of attention.
“Lynn was very flashy,” a friend told Oxygen’s “Snapped.” “She always had a flashy car and plenty of money for whatever. “
One of the cops she met was a good-natured good ol’ boy named Glenn Turner, whose big belly and easy-going charm earned him the nickname “Budhha.” Glenn was out with his friends one steamy Southern night in 1992 when Lynn plopped down next to him.
“It started out as – let’s just put it this way to be pleasant a one-night stand,” Glenn’s friend and fellow officer Donald Cawthon told Oxygen’s “Snapped.”
Glenn fell hard for Lynn, who lavished him with gifts, but his friends and family thought she had ulterior motives. In an interview with NBC’s "Dateline," Glenn’s sister described her as a “big tramp,” while a co-worker told “Snapped,” “I knew she had seen other people in the department, and that she slept around, but there was nothing you could tell Glenn that was going to change his mind.” When friends heard he had proposed to her, they took bets on how long the marriage would last.
Soon after Glenn and Lynn Turner were married on August 21, 1993, she insisted she be added to his life insurance policy. Glenn’s mother, Kathryn Turner, told “Snapped,” “He was going to change his insurance beneficiary from me to Lynn. I thought that sounded so strange. It sounded just like she was standing over his back and saying, ‘You’ve got to do this.’ Before long, Lynn’s flashy lifestyle lead to money troubles and Glenn got a second job at a gas station to cover the bills.
By 1995, Glenn was working nearly seven days a week to pay off the couple’s debts, while Lynn spent the money as fast as he could make it. Rumor had it she was spending some of her time and money with another police officer.
“I had heard suspicions that she was having an affair with a police officer in Forsyth County, but I didn’t have any hard facts,” a co-worker told “Snapped.” By February, 1995, Glenn was planning on moving out and getting a divorce. He wouldn't get the chance.
On February 28, 1995, Glenn called in sick to work due to a high fever and crippling stomach pain. Surprisingly, Lynn played nursemaid, bringing him liquids and easily digestible food, such as soup, Jell-O and sweet tea. But he just got sicker and sicker. According to Lynn, he started hallucinating, tried to jump off a balcony and threatened to drink gasoline. After a couple days, his fever appeared to break, and he was able to keep down some Jell-O. But when Lynn returned home after running errands on the afternoon of March 3, she found him dead in bed.
Glenn’s friends and family immediately thought the worst.
“Glenn told me that she’s ringing the credit cards back up again, and all of a sudden now he’s dead, and I’m thinking life insurance. I mean, just, I could just see her doing that,” said Glenn's co-worker. However, the initial autopsy determined that despite being only 31 years old, Glenn Turner had died from natural causes and an enlarged heart.
Four days after Glenn was buried, Lynn Turner put their house in Marietta on the market and moved back to Cumming, where she had grown up. She got an apartment with Randy Thompson, a deputy with the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office. As far as Randy and his family knew, Lynn was divorced, maybe widowed, and had been his girlfriend for more than a year.
In January 1996, Lynn Turner gave birth to her and Randy’s daughter, Amber, and with the money from Glenn’s life insurance policy, she bought a house. A son, Blake, followed soon after. Randy eventually changed careers, becoming a firefighter. Like Glenn, he was a big guy with a big heart, but it wasn’t big enough to hold Lynn’s affections forever. Despite naming Lynn his beneficiary on his life insurance policy, the couple never married, and in 1999, Randy moved out, telling friends it was “for his sanity,” according to Reader’s Digest.
On January 19, 2001, Lynn and Randy got together to try to work out their differences. After dinner at a restaurant, they went back to the house for dessert. The next morning, Randy woke up with severe flu symptoms, including vomiting and a fever. Cobb Country District Attorney Pat Head told “Snapped” that the following afternoon, “Lynn said she went by and carried him some food, some chicken soup and Monday morning they found him dead.”
When Glenn Turner’s friends heard about Randy Thompson’s death, they immediately thought it was once again foul play.
“I slammed my hand down on the desk, and said, ‘I knew it, I knew it’,” said Glenn's co-worker. Glenn’s mother, Kathryn Turner, reached out to Randy’s mother, Nita Thompson.
“Kathy and I started comparing notes about Glenn’s death and Randy’s death, and everything was so much the same. The illness, the way they were sick,” Nita Thompson told “Snapped.”
In May 2001, the Cobb County District Attorney re-opened the investigation into the death of Glenn Turner. Detectives zeroed in on a photograph taken in the Turners' garage at the time of Glenn’s death, which showed a can of antifreeze next to the gasoline Lynn had said her husband tried to drink while suffering from hallucinations.
Antifreeze contains a poison called ethylene glycol, which is known to cause flu-like symptoms if ingested. Investigators learned that not long before Glenn had died, Lynn had called a local animal shelter to inquire about the effects of ethylene glycol poisoning, a common occurrence with pets due to its sweetness. Because of its sweetness, ethylene glycol can easily be masked in Jell-O or sweet tea, both of which Lynn served Glenn while he was sick, or the dessert she served Randy the night before his illness.
Telltale signs of ethylene glycol poisoning were found in Randy Thompson’s kidneys, as well as Glenn Turner’s body, which was exhumed in July 2001. On November 1, 2002, Lynn Turner was charged with the murder of her husband Glenn.
Lynn Turner's first trial began on April 26, 2004, nine years after the death of her first husband. The prosecution worried the lack of any physical evidence would hinder their efforts, however, after three weeks, she was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison, with chance of parole after 20 years. According to The Chicago Tribune, she showed no emotion when the verdict was read.
Lynn’s second trial for the murder of second husband Randy Thompson began on March 12, 2007, and this time she faced the death penalty. It lasted only 12 days. She was found guilty, at which point members of the Turner and Thompson families burst into tears, according to NBC News. Her mother, Helen Gregory, pleaded for her life at her sentencing, according to The Daily Citizen News, and the jury listened, sentencing her to a second life sentence, with no possibility for parole.
On August 30, 2010, CBS News reported that Julia Lynn Womack Turner was found "unresponsive" in her cell at Georgia’s Metro State Prison and pronounced dead. An autopsy later revealed "toxic effects of the prescription medication propranolol, a blood pressure medication that Ms. Turner had been prescribed," according to Georgia's chief medical examiner. Her death was classified a suicide, according to CNN.
Her final poisoning victim was herself.
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