Death Sentence by Jerry Bledsoe
The True Story of Velma Barfield's Life, Crimes, and Execution

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In February 1978, Stuart Taylor was rushed to the hospital. He died the following day, while his distraught fiance, Velma Barfield, held vigil at his bedside. When an autopsy revealed the true cause of his death--arsenic poisoning--Velma became the prime suspect. Confronted by her trusting son, she shocked him and her family by saying, "I only meant to make him sick." But more horrifying revelations were to come. Velma had killed before--and among her victims was her own mother! Thus began her family' s long nightmare. Velma Barfield' s name would become known around the world in the debate about women and capital punishment. But nobody would know the agonies her family suffered, especially her son, who harbored secrets that only he knew--until now. Deeply moving, unfolds with the page-turning suspense of a psychological thriller, while raising questions that still tear at America's conscience.

About Jerry Bledsoe

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Jerry Bledsoe was born July 14, 1941, in Danville, Virginia. Bledsoe is a newspaperman. He writes true crime stories as well as humor columns. He has won several awards, including the National Headliners Award (1969) and the Young Newspaperman Award from the International Newspaper Promotion Association (1971). As a writer Beldsoe focuses on North Carolina's land and people. Some of his titles include Some Funny Things Happened on the Way Back to the Land (1976), Visitin' with Carolina People (1980), and Blood Games: A True Account of Family Murder (1991). Blue Horizons: Faces and Places from a Bicycle Journey along the Blue Ridge Parkway was published in 1993. Before He Wakes: A True Story of Money, Marriage, Sex and Murder appeared in 1994. Bledsoe lives in Ashboro, North Carolina.
Published October 1, 1998 by Dutton Adult. 400 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Crime. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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The second half of Bledsoe’s smooth and engrossing narrative depicts the —other— Velma Barfield—the woman who found God after her murder conviction and served while in prison as a spiritual mentor and confidante to other women prisoners, earning their love and that of prison administrators and ch...

Oct 01 1998 | Read Full Review of Death Sentence: The True Stor...

Publishers Weekly

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In 1978, 52-year-old grandmother Velma Barfield admitted to poisoning four people, including her own mother. While she would be convicted of only one murder--that of her fiance, Stuart Taylor--it woul

Sep 28 1998 | Read Full Review of Death Sentence: The True Stor...

True Crime Book Reviews

Starting with detailed background information on Velma, followed by a factual recounting of the crimes she committed, Death Sentence ends with a vivid point-of-view from death row for the convicted and their family.

May 17 2010 | Read Full Review of Death Sentence: The True Stor...

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