Update: February 5, 2014

Shortly after 6 pm CST, on February 5, 2014, Suzanne Margaret Basso was executed by the state of Texas.The execution occurred at the Walls Unit of the Huntsville State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas.Suzanne was 59 years of age.She was executed for the murder of 59-year-old Louis "Buddy" Musso in Houston, Texas on August 35, 1998.Suzanne is the fifth woman executed by the state of Texas since it resumed execution in 1982.Suzanne spent the last 14 years of her life on Texas' death row.

Suzanne was one of eight children growing up.Her parents were drunks and would physically and sexually abuse her.During her teenage years, Suzanne became a delinquent and was often in trouble over sex, truancy, and theft, and was eventually sent to a Catholic reform school.In the early 1970s, Suzanne, then named Suzanne Burns Peek, married a marine and had two children, a boy and a girl.The marriage was not a happy one.Suzanne was promiscuous and frequently slept with other men, often when her children were around.During her marriage, Suzanne observed and even participated in the sexual and physical abuse of her children.

Eventually Suzanne and her husband split up, but did not divorce.Suzanne became friends with Carmine Basso, who eventually moved in to her house and her bed.During a trip to New Jersey in July of 1997, Carmine died of natural causes.This removed Suzanne's only source of income.

During that New Jersey trip in July of 1997, Suzanne Basso and Louis “Buddy” Musso met in a church in New Jersey.Buddy was mentally impaired, with the intellectual capacity of an eight year old.He lived in an assisted living community, handled his own finances, and held a job the local grocery store.Buddy quickly fell in love.In June of 1998, Basso convinced Buddy to move to Texas to be with her and promised to marry him.Shortly thereafter, Buddy’s Social Security representative payee, and long time friend, began have trouble contacting Buddy, and Basso eventually refused to allow any communication with Buddy.This raised concern for Buddy’s friend who unsuccessfully attempted to garner assistance from various Texas state agencies.

In July of 1998, Basso unsuccessfully attempted to designate herself as Buddy’s representative payee of his Social Security benefits.Furthermore, Basso named herself sole beneficiary an application for life insurance for Buddy, with an increase in payment amount should he be killed in a violent crime.She listed herself as “wife to be.”Additionally, a will found by police indicated Basso as the sole heir to inherit everything.The will was dated 1997, however, computer files show that it was created approximately two weeks before Buddy was murdered.

Early on August 28, 1999, Buddy’s body was found near a roadway in Galena Park.There were no bloodstains on his clothes and his only shoe was on the wrong foot, which led investigators to conclude that he had been dressed after he was killed.The medical examiner determined that the likely cause of death was a skull fracture from an unknown object to the back of the head.The medical examiner also determined that Buddy had “hundreds” of uncountable bruises that covered him from head to toe.Additionally, 14 ribs were broken, two vertebrae were dislocated, and bones were broken in his nose and throat.There were burn marks on his back, possibly from a hot poker or a cigarette and some 30 cuts over his body.It was also determined that the wounds occurred over a period of days or even weeks.

To evade police suspicion, Basso attempted to make police believe that Buddy had run away.She called several people, including Buddy’s niece and the local police, expressing concern for Buddy’s whereabouts.Basso alleged that Buddy ran away with a “little Mexican lady” he met at the laundromat.James O’Malley, Basso’s son eventually confessed to police that he and five others – Basso, Craig Ahrens, Bernice Ahrens, Hope Ahrens, and Terrence Singleton – repeatedly beat Buddy with baseball bats, boots, and hands, whipped him with a belt, and gave him “baths” in a solution of bleach and Pine-Sol cleaning fluid, using a wire brush to scrub him.

Basso was convicted of the murder of Buddy on August 27, 1999.She was given a sentence of death.Her son, James O’Malley was given a life sentence, as was Terrence Singleton.Bernice Ahrens received an 80 year sentence.Bernice’s son, Craig, was given a 60-year sentence.Bernice’s daughter, Hope, was given a 20 year sentence.

Since being on death row, Suzanne Basso has become paralyzed from the chest down. At a December competency hearing, Suzanne alleged the paralysis was a result of a beating administered by a guard, however the attorney claimed that Suzanne suffered from a degenerative condition, which led to her paralysis. Evidence to Suzanne's incompetency was introduced during the hearing, including her belief that she was one of triplets born in the office of a Catholic bishop and that she was a friend of the former Governor of New York, Nelson Rockefeller. On Wednesday, January 15, 2014, State District Judge Mary Lou Keel ruled that Suzanne was competent; that she understood why she was being executed.

Suzanne was known for making up elaborate stories.During her relationship with Carmine, she posted an engagement announcement in the paper in which claimed to be, among other things, a wealthy oil heiress, to have studied in Europe, an ex-gymnast (Suzanne was over 300 lbs at the time), and to have had children by Carmine.Suzanne also said Carmine was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.None of the claims were true.Suzanne also had fake birth records for children that never existed.

Please pray for peace for the family of Buddy.Please pray for strength and healing for the family of Suzanne and all those living with the consequences of this crime.

 

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