1 May 2001 – Marilyn Plantz
Life insurance provided the incentive for today’s criminal – all $300,000 of it. It was this tidy sum that drove Marilyn Kay Plantz to arrange for her husband to be killed, although in the trial she suggested that she was motivated by the fact that he was abusive.
Seeds of intrigue
The truth was she was bored. She sought the kind of the excitement she felt she’d missed out on, having got pregnant at an early age. There are reports that she would dump her kids on a babysitter, then sell herself so she could score drugs. During this time she hooked up with a younger man by the name of William Bryson, who became infatuated. It was then that the brazen plan was hatched to jump her husband as he got home from work, even though her two children were asleep upstairs.
As she actually needed someone to carry out the deed the bored housewife persuaded Byson and his mate to do her dirty work. And sure enough when Mr Plantz arrived home late one night, they set upon him with his own son’s baseball bats and beat him to a pulp. As he lay there all bloodied and bruised Marilyn thought it all looked too obvious so she came up with the not-so-bright idea of setting him alight, to make it look like an accident.
So the boys drove the body of Mr P. to a remote spot in his own pick-up truck and set light to it with him in it. Apparently Jim Plantz was still alive as the flames took hold – the autopsy showed smoke inhalation and he apparently even tried to get out of the truck before he succumbed to the fumes.
After the murder the boys went round to another mate’s house and bragged about their deed.
His body was found the very next morning and three days later Plantz was taken into custody and the two boys just one day later. The irony is that Plantz family rallied in the early days vowing to get her a lawyer. That is until they started hearing what Plantz was being accused of. ‘…when they started finding things out about her, that’s when she died as far as I’m concerned’ said the victim’s dad and her ex-father-in-law.
But her defence seriously started to unravel when her lover’s mate turned grass. William McKimble dished the dirt on the lovers in return for a lesser sentence. A jury took just two hours to send them down for their crimes. The lovers got death and Bryson went to meet it first. He was lethally injected on 15 June 2000, aged 29.
Plantz followed a year later, also by lethal injection aged 40. She became the second woman to be executed since Oklahoma became a state in 1907 and the second woman in America to be executed in 2001 – the first being Wanda Jean Allen.