Victim Studies 019: Genene Joneson May 17, 2012 in Serial Killers, Victim Studies by Heather Whitney
Genene Jones was charged for murdering one child and injuring another, but is suspected to have murdered between 11 and 46 infants in the United States. It is believed that Jones began her murder series while working in Bexar County Medical Center Hospital and later in a pediatric physician’s clinic in Kerrville, Texas.
All of Jones’s known victims were infants who were under her care. They were typically too young to speak. Jones would inject the infants with digoxin, herapin and later succinylcholine. When given an overdose, the young patients would often go into cardiac arrest, have heart attacks, have internal bleeding that was difficult to stop, have seizures or go into a coma and then would die.
While Jones was working in Bexar County Medical Center Hospital, the bodies were left where the murder had taken place until Jones carried the remains to the morgue. Jones would usually cry and sing over the babies before wrapping them in blankets and taking them to the morgue. On one occasion Jones was seen using the fluid in a syringe to make the sign of the cross on an infant’s face and then on her own. When six-month-old Jose Antonio Flores died, Jones at first allowed his older brother to take the remains down to the morgue, but instead she took the baby away and ran to the morgue with it, while the family chased her down the halls.
Jones was known to have asked to be around the sickest children in the hospital. Although many nurses did not like or trust her, the head nurse, Pat Belko, protected her against their accusations. Even when Jones would show up to shifts drunk, Pat would defend her, which made her feel unstoppable. The nurses that Jones was training did not like her because she would often make predictions about which child would die next.
Some nurses and doctors began to notice that most of the children who had worsening conditions or dying would only do so while under the care of Jones. It became obvious when infants began to get better while she had days off and then get worse or die when she returned to work. The remains of some of the infants showed toxic levels of digoxin or herapin, but no action was taken.
It is believed that because the hospital was struggling and they did not want to raise suspicions to the fact that someone was murdering infants. An investigation was not started immediately or even for a long period of time after doctors began to complain. The administrators of the hospital would claim that doctors and nurses were overreacting to the deaths of the infants. Many doctors and nurses came forward to say there was a problem, especially when Jones was on duty, but nothing was done about it until much later.
Eventually, a committee was formed to look into the high amount of infant deaths. When outside investigators were brought in to see the situation they deemed that there was a problem within the hospital. The hospital decided that all of the LVNs should be replaced by RNs, which meant that Jones would be taken away from pediatrics. Jones resigned in order to look for a new job working with infants. The hospital never pressed charges because they did not want to make the issue known to the public and they had achieved their goal by makes Jones leave the hospital quietly.
In 1982, Jones found employment at a pediatrics clinic that was owned and run by Dr. Kathleen Holland. Although many nurses and doctors warned against hiring Jones, Dr. Holland believed that she had a bad reputation because males dominated the medical field and were biased. She hired Jones despite the warnings. Within two months of Jones beginning to work at the clinic seven children had seizures. Dr. Holland would send the infants to the nearest hospital and believed that so many children had severe symptoms because she was a specialist, so more serious cases would come to her.
It was not until the death of Chelsea McClellan in 1982 that Dr. Holland became aware that Jones might have been causing the seizures in children and death of a child. When Chelsea died, Dr. Holland demanded to have an autopsy performed because Chelsea had just come in for a routine checkup and did not have any complaints prior to her death. A doctor who was working at Sid Peterson hospital found that there were a high numbers of infant deaths at the hospital that Jones was working at prior to the pediatric clinic. Dr. Holland was called in to the hospital and asked if she was using succinylcholine, which she was not. After returning to the office Dr. Holland questioned Jones, who said that the succinylcholine was in the right place and unused, but the lid was missing. While Jones was on her lunch break the bottles of succinylcholine were found with pinprick holes and the solution was diluted with saline. Jones was fired and Dr. Holland offered her assistance to the investigation.
Experts believe that Jones is considered to be an Angel of Death, who would murder the weak that were placed under her care. Her victims could not defend themselves or speak, making them the perfect victims for her. Many people who are Angels of Death do not care about those they murder or even that people are dying, but instead care about how they will benefit from the deaths of others. Many Angels of Death murder their victims to get attention when they save them, however Jones had no intention of saving her victims. Jones was able to pick and choose who she wanted to live on a daily basis, which gave her the power that she wanted.
Jones was also known to fake many illnesses herself, leading many to believe that she had Münchausen syndrome. This syndrome is shown through those who fake their illnesses to get attention from others. Before Dr. Holland was able to fire Jones she claimed that she overdosed on medication, when in reality she had only taken four pills. She ended up having her stomach pumped and faked a semi-coma. While working in Bexar County Medical Center Hospital Jones was known to have seen doctors over 30 times in the span of two years.
It took until after 1983 to apprehend Jones because although many people were convinced that it was her who murdered the children there was not enough evidence to charge her. She was indicted for one murder and the injury of seven other children. On February 15, 1984, Jones was convicted of murder and sentenced to 99 years in prison. She was later charged with injuring Ronaldo Santos by injection and sentenced to another 60 years in prison. Although Jones was only charged with one murder, she is suspected of murdering between 11 and 46 infants while employed as a nurse.