All too horrifically often, men commit crimes of passion against women — rather than vice versa — in overwhelming numbers. Still, as the famous proverb goes, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!”
So in honor of Sadie Hawkins Day — when ladies reverse traditional roles with the lads for whom they feel affection — check out the following five females who went homicidal over affairs of the heart.
1. JEAN HARRIS: THE “SCARSDALE DIET” DOCTOR MURDER
PURCHASE, NY — By late winter 1980, The Complete Scarsdale Medical Diet by Dr. Herman Tarnower had sold more than three million copies and made a media star of its cardiologist creator. The diet’s success also allegedly motivated the 69-year-old Tarnower to behave like every day was his own personal “cheat day.”
That accusation came from Jean Harris, 57, the headmistress of a tony private school who had been in an “open relationship” with Tarnower for 14 years. Upon hitting the best-seller lists, Tarnower informed Harris he was shutting their whole romance down, and he took up full time with Lynne Tryforos, his 37-year-old assistant.
So on March 10, Harris confronted Tarnower in his bedroom with a loaded .32 pistol. She said she went to see him before planning to kill herself, but Tarnower ended up taking four slugs at close range instead.
Harris’s ensuing trial captivated the nation with tabloid scandal details. She claimed the gun discharged accidentally during a struggle. The jury didn’t buy it, though, and they convicted Harris of second-degree murder, for which she got 15-years-to-life. She got parole in 1993 and died from natural causes at age 89 in 2012.
Sales of The Scarsdale Medical Diet book, by the way, skyrocketed following the murder. [CrimeFeed]
2. SHANNA GOYLAR: MADE RIVAL VANISH & ASSUMED HER IDENTITY — FOR FOUR YEARS
DOUGLAS COUNTY, NE — On August 17, 2017, Shanna Golyar, 42, got sentenced to life for the elaborate 2012 elimination of Cari Farver, her chief competitor for the romantic attention of David Kroupa, who had dated both women.
On the morning she disappeared, Farver apparently texted her job to say she was quitting for another gig in Kansas, but that she’d be sending highly competent worker Shanna Golyar in her place. Of course, it was Golyar herself who sent the message.
Over the next four years(!), Goylar used Farver’s phone, email, and social-media accounts to interact to impersonate the missing victim and interact with people from her life. Goylar also shot herself in the leg in 2015 and claimed another woman did it and, a year later, smashed yet another female rival’s car windows.
Police never found Farver’s body, so it took years to build a murder case against Golyar, centered on chilling circumstantial evidence such as fingerprints on a pack of a gum and a photo of what’s believed to be Cari’s rotting foot.
Upon locking up Goylar, Judge Timothy Burns spoke for many when he said, “What some people are capable of has always astounded and mystified this court!” [CrimeFeed]
3. LISA BROWN: NFL PLAYER’S MISTRESS KILLS HIS WIFE, THEN HERSELF
ELENWOOD, GA — On July 14, 2015, a love triangle between Buffalo Bills tight end Buster Barnett, his wife Sandra Barnett, and his mistress Lisa Brown went from out of bounds to full-on tragedy.
Brown, 49, reportedly incensed that Buster had been planning to take his wife on a vacation, blitzed the couple’s home with a gun, and forced Sandra off the phone and into a Dodge Durango.
The pair could not be located until the next day, when police spotted the SUV speeding on an Alabama highway. The pursuit culminated in horror. As one officer put it, “The driver stopped in the middle of the highway, pulled out a handgun, and shot [Sandra Barnett] and then turned the gun on herself.” [CrimeFeed]
4. ANN MARIE ANNASTASI: MOM ENLISTS DAUGHTER, 13, & BOYFRIEND, 18, TO KILL HER HUSBAND & THEIR MUTUAL FEMALE LOVER
LOTHIAN, MD — On October 5, 2015, Ann Marie Anastasi, 42, fatally shot her husband Anthony Anastasi, 40, and stabbed Jacqueline Riggs, his 25-year-old romantic partner — with whom Ann Marie also had a sexual relationship — in the house they all shared.
Ann Marie’s accomplices in the bloodbath were Sara Anastasi, her own 13-year-old daughter, and Gabriel Ezekiel Struss, the daughter’s 18-year-old boyfriend.
Initially, Ann Marie claimed that Anthony, to whom she was still married, had committed murder-suicide. The story crumbled amid mounting evidence, including text messages between the three conspirators in which they discussed Sara “taking the fall” because she’d only be punished as a juvenile.
Apparently, Mr. and Mrs. Anastasi had initially had a threeway relationship with Riggs, but Anthony ultimately opted to set up a basement apartment with Jacqueline rather than remain upstairs with Ann Marie.
5. SHANYA HUBERS: GETS DUMPED FOR BEAUTY QUEEN, SHOOTS BOYFRIEND
FORT MITCHELL, KY — Ryan Poston, 29, had some bad news for his on-and-off girlfriend Shanya Hubers, 24 (main photo, top), on October 23, 2012. He announced he’d be dumping her once and for all and, what’s more, he had a date lined up that evening with Audrey Bolte, that very year’s reigning Miss Ohio.
Poston didn’t make the date. Instead, Hubers blasted him in the head six times with a handgun, then called 911 and announced, “Ma’am, I killed my boyfriend!”
Hubers immediately claimed self-defense. It seemed fishy after she danced and snapped her fingers in the police interrogation room, and then asked if she’d be able to still have a cell phone in prison, saying, “I don’t know if anyone will ever want to marry me if they know that I killed a boyfriend in self-defense.”
On April 23, 2015, a court convicted Hubers of murder and sentenced her to 40 years. As a result, she is not, in fact, allowed to have a cell phone. [CrimeFeed]
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Main photo: Shanya Hubers [Lexington-Fayette County Sheriff’s Office]