“Snapped” is about to celebrate a momentous birthday, the big 500. That means there will be 500 episodes worth of compelling stories that explore the lives and motives of women who have killed.
“Snapped” is Oxygen's longest-running original series and one of the most successful true-crime shows ever. Since the show’s debut in 2004, "Snapped" has enraptured millions of viewers with in-depth investigations, first-hand interviews and intimate looks into the minds of female murderers.
“We always look forward to milestones, but there is something extra special about this one,” Rod Aissa, executive vice president, Original Programming at Oxygen Media, said last month. “The captivating stories featured in this series have kept true-crime junkies coming back week after week, and before you knew it we were at 500.”
Oxygen has been airing “Snapped: The Killer Women Event” as special to precede the unveiling of the show’s 500th episode on Sunday, Nov. 22 at 6pm ET/PT.
Another great way to celebrate this killer occasion is to take a look back at some of the show’s most popular episodes. Since Oxygen became a full-time crime destination, here are the most popular episodes of "Snapped," all of which are available to stream.
Judith Singer, also known as Judith Barnett, was the heir to a local glass factory fortune and a mother of three when her ex-husband Howard Witkin was killed outside his California home in 1980. He was shot down in cold blood and his killing became one of the most scandalous murder cases in Bay Area history. While prosecutors eventually claimed Singer was a homicidal mastermind that manipulated several men, her role in the murder wasn't publicly known for years. Andrew Granger, a former potato chip delivery driver from Michigan, was convicted in 1981 as the triggerman in Witkin's slaying and sentenced to life in prison without parole. In 1982, Singer’s then-husband Robert Singer was convicted as the brains behind the plot. He was sentenced to life without parole. At the time, Judith wasn't implicated in the murder.
But years later, her involvement came to light after an affair she was having with her then-husband’s lawyer was exposed at a 1986 hearing. Robert felt so betrayed that, after being granted a new trial because the affair had represented a conflict of interest for his attorney, he struck a plea bargain with prosecutors. He testified that Judith was the real mastermind behind the slaying. She was arrested in 1991 and convicted of first-degree murder in 1994.
"Judith Singer was the driving force behind this whole homicide,” Steve Derossett, former Santa Clara County police sergeant, told "Snapped."
Even though Judith Singer was sentenced to life without parole in 1994, she was released on parole last year, Mercury News reported last year. She referred to herself as a “true psycho Barbie” during her parole hearing, in which she claimed, “I didn’t want him killed. I just wanted the situation fixed,” according to Mercury News.
Stream the episode, which is the fourth installment of season 27, on the Oxygen app.
Kayla Nelson and Dominic Whitaker began dating in high school when they were both star athletes. The Arkansas high school sweethearts were expecting their first child during their senior year, though that didn't keep Nelson from maintaining good grades and making valedictorian. They had two children together but decided it was best to live apart right after high school. Still, they couldn't keep away from one another. By 2010, the two were still dating and decided it was time to officially move in with one another. But their life together didn't last long.
Whitaker went missing that summer and soon after, his burned body was discovered on the side of the road not far from his home. He had been shot in the back before his body was burnt. As his death investigation started, the facade of the couple's relationship began to unravel. There was jealousy, a secret baby and an attempt to cover up his murder.
Nelson told investigators that she found a note at her home that was seemingly written by Blood gang members, claiming responsibility for his killing. But investigators didn't think that a shy gamer like Whitaker would have any gang connections nor were any such affiliations common in the rural community. In the end, she admitted that she forged the note. Nelson also tried to cast blame on her friend Jerel Yarber, who had actually helped her dispose of Whitaker's body. Nelson eventually admitted to killing Whitaker herself, but she claimed she did so in self-defense. Nelson told investigators that Whitaker had been beating her for a decade, though there was no evidence that he was ever abusive to her.
Nelson pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and abuse of a corpse in 2011. She was sentenced to 31 years and remains behind bars.
Watch episode 18 of “Snapped” season 27 on the Oxygen app to learn more about this story.
8. Sharon Halstead
This case is drastically different from many of the others featured on “Snapped.” Rather than being motivated by revenge or money, Oregon resident Sharon Halstead was motivated by her belief in demonic possession. Halstead and her sister Deborah Halstead, who were both religious, believed that Sharon’s 9-year-old son spoke for God and had the ability to tell who was possessed by demons. In 1988, the sisters plotted the murders of ranch wrangler Marston Lemke and Lynnann Green, whom they both believed to be possessed. Sharon pulled the trigger, killing both; Green's husband and 2-year-old son were also wounded in the attack. Sharon's two sons were even brought along for the ride.
Deborah was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder and she was sentenced to 20 years with the possibility for parole in nine years. She has since been released for good behavior, according to the Washington Post. Sharon was sentenced to 75 years, according to “Snapped.” She is still behind bars.
Watch episode 7 of season 25 on Peacock to learn more about this bizarre and tragic case.
7. Judy Flanagan
It’s a case dubbed the “Dixie Chicks murder.” During one grim morning in 2004, Beverly Coats went to her neighbor’s home to report to the sheriff’s office employee who lived there that her husband Dennis Coats was missing from their rural Arkansas home. Dennis’ body was found in a wildlife preserve within 12 hours, according to “Snapped.” He had been stabbed and his throat was slashed. Judy Flanagan, a friend of the Coats, told detectives that she had been drinking with Dennis at their house the night prior and that Dennis gave her a ride home. She claimed that as they were driving, a white van pulled up to their vehicle with two men inside and Dennis ended up going with them to drink beers, leaving her to drive his truck back to his house.
In Dennis’ truck, investigators found trails of bleach and a cassette tape in the car’s tape player that contained the Dixie Chicks song “Goodbye Earl,” a tune about two best friends who plotted to kill one of their husbands. Turns out, that was basically what happened. The lyrics even mirrored some of the crime scene details.
Flanagan made up the white van story to cover up the murder, which both she and Beverly took part in. Beverly was having an affair and wanted her husband out of the picture. Flanagan decided to help her out.
Flanagan was convicted of the murder in 2005. Beverly pleaded guilty to felony charges of hindering apprehension and prosecution for giving police false statements to investigators; she was sentenced to 15 years in 2005.
Watch the episode of this case on Peacock. It’s episode 22 of Season 25.
6. Theresa Voss
Theresa Voss had an on-again-off-again relationship with Troy Temar, an outgoing and athletic man with whom she'd once worked. They were each living with their respective brothers when Temar was killed in 1999. His body was found inside the trunk of his brother's burning car 20 miles away from his home in the Cincinnati suburbs. He had been shot twice in the back.
Phone records indicated that Voss was the last person who spoke to Temar before he died. Investigators interviewed her but her brother Eric Hoerlein seemed to serve as a solid alibi. So, for six years the case went cold. Then, in 2003, a special task force was developed. They learned shocking details about Voss' past, and her propensity for violence when rejected: she had stabbed her ex-husband in the neck when he tried to leave her and another ex claimed that she convinced a man to attack him with a hatchet when he tried to dump her.
That violent streak extended to Temar as well. Voss had shot Temar and then convinced her brother to help her clean up the scene and burn the evidence. Hoerlein confessed to helping and took a plea deal by promising to testify against his sibling. During Voss' 2006 trial, prosecutors put forth their theory that Voss called Temar the night of his murder and threatened to hurt herself. They believe that she lured him to a secluded area and shot him.
Temar was convicted of aggravated murder and is currently serving life behind bars.
This case is featured in episode 21 of season 25. It’s available to stream on Peacock.
It's a tale of envy, manipulation, and a mother's rage. Indiana woman Kimberly Baldwin became angry after losing custody of the two children she shared with her ex-husband Frank Parker. And she didn't like the fact that she would be paying child support instead of receiving it.
So she found a pawn in Findley Paul Thompson, a man she met through a church group. She offered to pay him $10,000 if he killed her ex, which he did using an illegal sawed-off shotgun in 2002. The furious mother had provided Thompson with the murder weapon and even drove him to the scene of the crime. Thompson had just dropped off the former couple's kids for a supervised visit before he was murdered.
Baldwin was sentenced to 115 years in 2005 for masterminding the crim. She was convicted of murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Thompson received 85 years.
Check out the episode on this case on the Oxygen app. It's episode two of season 27.
4. Karen Sanchez
Just weeks before Arizona man Paul Thompson vanished in 2001, he bit into a tuna sandwich his wife Karen Sanchez made him and found it contained toxic and potentially deadly mercury, which he chalked up to a tuna canning plant error. However, he did joke that maybe his wife was trying to off him. His joke was on point. Soon enough, his body was located in the desert. He had suffered blunt force trauma and was shot in the back, indicating that someone really had it out for him.
Investigators learned that Sanchez had been having an affair with a man named Steve Richmond. He admitted to discarding a gun and other evidence after Sanchez claimed to have shot Thompson in self-defense. However, it turned out she had just taken out two life insurance policies on her husband, totaling up to $600,000.
Richmond eventually struck a deal with prosecutors and testified against Sanchez. In the end, Sanchez took a deal in order to dodge the death penalty and in 2005 received a 20-year prison sentence for the murder of her husband.
Watch this twisted tale on Peacock. It's episode two of season 22.
3. Deidra Griffin
Some murderers will go to any length to kill their victims.
The decaying body of Lonnie Paye Jr. was found in his Baltimore garage covered in maggots during a welfare check in 2015. At the time of his murder, he was in a heated custody battle with his ex Diedra Griffin over their son. Once an ambitious power couple, the two had split and could only converse amicably through their attorneys. She was living in Michigan at the time of Paye's death, but investigators discovered she had been in the Baltimore area for an apparent job interview when he was killed.
Griffin had apparently plotted out his murder at length. She learned how to shoot a gun and then traveled 500 miles to kill him. She rented a car and told the rental company that her tags were stolen while on her trip. Still, police were able to track her movements. Using new technology, investigators were able to establish that her rental car had been at Paye's house. Surveillance footage showed her, dressed in a floppy hat disguise, entering his luxurious home around the time he was murdered.
Griffin was found guilty the following year of first-degree murder and use of a firearm and was sentenced to 60 years behind bars in 2016.
Watch the episode about this case on Peacock. It's episode 22 of season 24.
2. Donna Matthews
World travelers Donna Matthews and Michael Gayan once seemed like a perfect Wisconsin couple, but by 2015 Matthews was traveling all over the country to get out of his grasp. She told friends he was controlling and that he was stalking and even threatening her. Even after making her way to Hawaii, she claimed he still harassed her by posting revenge porn photographs of her on social media. She claimed he was threatening to release more intimate photos and information about her, so she went to her brother Derrick Matthews for help.
After Gayan's deteriorating body was found inside his home on the Fourth of July in 2016, investigators followed a trail that eventually led them to the siblings. Donna had secretly flown back into Wisconsin, where her brother supplied her with a gun. She broke into her ex's home, hid, and then shot him five times.
Derrick pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree intentional homicide, as party to a crime in 2018. He was sentenced to seven years as a result. Donna was sentenced to life the same year. During her trial, prosecutors presented texts they said proved that Donna had fabricated her relationship with Gayan and that They explained that her claims of stalking and harassment weren't true.
At her sentencing, she hollered, “You know he’s an animal ... you know he’s a freak," the Kenosha News reported in 2018.
"Snapped" dives into this case for episode 26 of season 26.
1. Opal Williams
The most popular "Snapped" episode available for streaming is the episode focused on Opal Williams and how she, her boyfriend, and her cousin plotted to kill her computer programmer husband. The Indiana wife reported Steven Williams missing in 2015, but she knew exactly where he was. Steven's body was discovered days later rolled up in a carpet and discarded under a bridge. He had stab wounds through his chest and cuts to his throat and neck.
Williams had enlisted her boyfriend Rickey King and her cousin Charles Lehman to help lure her husband to his death. Lehman coaxed Steven out of his house by telling him that Opal had fallen and gotten hurt. When Steven exited his home, Lehman forced him into a van, accompanied by King. Lehman and King then drove to the bridge where Steven's body was later found. At the bridge, they called Opal and had Steven beg her for his life. She then instructed the two men to kill him.
Lehman was sentenced to 50 years for his role in the murder. King received a 45-year sentence. Opal is currently serving a 50-year sentence behind bars.
Opal herself participated in the "Snapped" episode, giving her insight into the case.
Watch this ultra popular episode on Peacock. It's episode five of season 25.
Get all your true crime news from Oxygen. Coverage of the latest true crime stories and famous cases explained, as well as the best TV shows, movies and podcasts in the genre. Sign up for Oxygen Insider for all the best true crime content.