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Due to the graphic nature of these killers crimes, listener discretion is advised this episode includes discussions of murder, domestic violence and sexual assault that some people may find offensive. We advise extreme caution for children under 13. A woman awaiting execution on death row once said these words, My story is a love story. Those tortured with love can understand what I mean in the history of the world. How many crimes have been attributed to love?


The answer to that question, too many to count, whether it's a crime of passion committed in the heat of the moment or a killing spree carried out by lovers.


We're all familiar with stories in which love and murder dovetail thanks to the popular culture infamy of criminal couples like Bonnie and Clyde.


We sometimes imagine that these romances, while dark, are built on a real connection.


But if you take a closer look at the real life bonds between couples who kill in tandem, you often find they're rooted not in romance but in fear, obsession and toxic co-dependency. If love keeps you locked in a cycle of abuse or turns you into somebody you don't recognize, can you even call it love? And what does love mean if the person you love is also the one who destroys you?


Hi, I'm Greg Olsen.


This is Serial Killers, a Spotify original fun podcast. This is the first episode of a four part look at couples who kill over the next two weeks. We're taking a closer look at for Valentine parings who were driven to murder. I'm here with my co-host, Vanessa Richardson. Hi, everyone.


You can find episodes of Serial Killers and all other Spotify originals from Parker cast for free on Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts here on serial killers, we're usually looking at just one monster exploring what moved them to kill and kill again.


But this month, we're looking at love in some of its more twisted incarnations, whether for money, sex or a shared madness. These couples work together to kill and conceal, while from the outside they look just like two people in blissful, innocent life. Today, we're delving into the murder spree of Rae and Faye Copeland, some of the oldest people ever sentenced to death in the United States.


We'll explore the Copelands deprived upbringings, their abusive marriage and how race, violent nature ultimately landed them both on death row. Over the next three episodes, we'll look at other couples whose victims and motivations differed greatly from Ray and Fais. But these parents all have one thing in common an unbreakable bond of love. We've got all that and more coming up.


Stay with us.


Ray Copeland learned at a young age that the world was unfair. Born in 1914 to Oklahoma farmers, Copeland came of age just as the Great Depression was beginning.


But even before the crash of 1929, in Ray's rural community, neighbors were losing their homes and land to foreclosure. Ray's own family wasn't spared.


When he was in the fourth grade, he had to drop out of school to help out on the farm, likely because they could no longer afford to hire help as a result. Ray grew up functionally illiterate, surrounded by despair and economic anxiety.


Resentment began to build in Ray, along with an amoral streak that would define his adult life. When he was about 20, Ray began stealing. He stole hogs from his own father and then government checks from his own brother.


Ray's parents knew about his crimes, but perhaps because they were too preoccupied with their money worries, it seems that they struggled to discipline him. Instead, they likely covered for him. Word traveled fast in their small community, and they didn't want him in trouble.


Still, trouble found him soon enough. In his early 20s, Ray was arrested for forging checks and sent to prison for a year. Far from reforming him, his time behind bars only hardened his determination to get ahead by any means necessary. He'd seen first hand where following the rules got you poor and desperate.


But despite his disregard for the law, Ray was traditional by his mid 20s, he was ready to settle down and find a wife who would dote on him. In 1940, when Ray was 26, he made a fateful visit to a doctor's office in the rural community of Red Star, Arkansas.


There, he struck up a conversation with a shy 19 year old named Fadila Wilson. The sparks flew instantly. Early on, Ray and Faye seemed to complement each other perfectly. She was as meek as he was bullish, and within days they began a whirlwind romance phase.


Upbringing was, in many respects, the polar opposite of Ray's.


Born into a strict religious family, Faith grew up in a household her father ruled with an iron fist. She was used to a male authority figure telling her exactly what to do. And perhaps that's what drew her to Ray, who was confident and assertive.


Vanessa is going to take over unless the psychology here and throughout the episode. Please note, Vanessa is not a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist, but she has done a lot of research for this show.


Thanks, Greg.


It may sound cliche to say that we're drawn to people who remind us of our parents, but research really has shown that the relationship between a child and their parents has a huge impact on how that child will approach relationships throughout their life. Attachment Theory, a branch of developmental psychology, claims that a child's early experiences with parents or caregivers influences how they process emotions as adults. It also determines how they will bond with other people, such as romantic partners are infantile interactions with our parents, therefore create a model that shapes how we approach adult intimacy.


To quote John Bowlby, the psychologist who developed attachment theory in the 1950s and 60s, a child's relationship with their parents affects their behavior, quote, From the cradle to the grave, Ray may have reminded Fay of her overbearing father and young as she was.


That was probably reassuring on some level. She knew how to live in harmony with this kind of man, or so she thought.


It wasn't just Ray's domineering nature that appealed to Fay. She, too, grew up during the Great Depression and economic anxiety, ran deep in her race, spoke about money with confidence, as though we had plenty of it and seemed like he would be a good provider.


As far as Fay was concerned, Ray's word was gospel. Little did she know he was really a penniless con man, putting on a practiced facade. Within months of their first meeting, Ray and Fay married.


The couple had two sons, Everett and Billy Ray, and moved their young family to Fresno County, California, craving a fresh start in the Golden State.


Ray and Fay had two more children in California, but becoming a father didn't soften Ray's rough edges. And soon his criminal impulses brought their life on the West Coast to an abrupt end.


In the late 1940s, Ray was accused of stealing horses from a local farmer in Fresno. No charges were ever filed, but the allegation destroyed his reputation in the community. Then, soon after the birth of his fifth child, Ray moved his family back to Arkansas. Within a month of arriving, he was arrested for stealing cattle and sentenced to a year in jail.


And so began a years, long period throughout the 1950s, in which Ray was constantly in and out of jail for livestock theft and check forgery. The family moved around a lot during this time between Arkansas, Missouri and Illinois. The most peaceful periods for the Copelands were during Ray's prison stints. When he was behind bars, Fay and the kids could breathe easy, but when he came home, things got ugly. It's not clear if Ray was violent and abusive from the beginning of his marriage to Faye or whether his personality darkened over the years, but by the time the Copeland children were old enough to form memories, they were likely terrified of their father.


When Ray's third son, Al, was a teen, Ray beat him with a pair of metal cow kickers, leaving him with lifelong back problems, recalling his father's violence in an interview with Investigation Discovery. al-Said, whenever Ray came home from prison, you had to be on your guard as far as what you said to him, how you said it, because if you said it wrong to him, you'd get physically abused.


According to Al, what was even worse was watching his mother take the abuse. In the same interview, Al said that he and his siblings became accustomed to seeing Fay with bruises and black eyes and knew what it meant. According to Al, Ray treated his wife a lot worse than trash. Despite the violence, it's not clear whether Fay ever considered leaving Ray. Given the relentless abuse she and her children experienced over the years, it's likely that the thought at least crossed her mind.


But there are many reasons why leaving may not have felt like a viable option. Fay was a deeply religious woman raised in a Christian fundamentalist family where the patriarch's word was law. What's more, she believed that divorce was a sin. On a more practical level, she was also financially dependent on Ray with five children to feed. And so Fay stayed with her husband and life carried on.


By the 1960s, Ray had a new strategy for cattle rustling. Instead of simply stealing the cows, he bought them in a seemingly legitimate transaction. But since he lacked the funds to actually afford them, he used bad checks that promptly bounced. This scheme unraveled fast. In 1961, Ray was caught and sent back to jail. A few years later, he served another jail term for the same crime. By 1966, Ray had moved his family to Mooresville, Missouri, and bought a 40 acre farm.


Hearing this, you might assume that the couple's finances had taken an upswing, but in fact, the purchase was a stretch, and the Copelands continued to live a hand-to-mouth existence, even as landowners Ray and Fay both took odd jobs to make ends meet him on other farms, her at a local motel, and sometimes they'd rent out parts of their farm for pasture.


By this time, Ray and his children had all left home and were no longer around to help out on the farm. This left Ray no choice but to hire employees to pick up the slack, but stretched financially as he was, he had to get creative about his recruitment methods. The precise dates get a little murky here, but at some point during the 1970s, Ray started picking up hitchhikers rather than giving them the ride they wanted. He offered them work on his farm, which many accepted.


He also sought out employees at a local homeless shelter, offering 50 dollars a day, plus free room and board.


It was an offer not many desperate people could turn down. And so the Copelands neighbors watched warily as disheveled drifters came and went from the farm. Over the years. Little did they know it was Ray himself. They should have been keeping an eye on not his hired hands.


That said, there's no record of any confirmed criminal activity during this time. It's possible that Ray put his cattle theft on ice for a while, perhaps spooked by his numerous stints in jail. But one report paints a deeply disturbing picture of Ray and Fay's disintegrating marriage. According to forensic psychologist Lenore Walker, who was interviewed by Investigation Discovery, Ray brought farmhands home and forced Fay to have sex with them in front of him, sometimes at gunpoint. Walker speculates that this was done for Ray's pleasure and should be thought of as part of his abusive behavior.


Forcing your wife to have sex with strangers and wanting to watch it happen is an act of such perverse evil that it's hard to make sense of. But if this report is true, it may have laid the groundwork for Ray's next scam.


After all, if Ray could force his employees to have sex with his wife at gunpoint, why not force them to commit other crimes for him to? Ray resented the men he hired. He felt they were living off the welfare money paid for by hard working taxpayers like himself. He felt that they owed him something. He saw them ultimately as dispensable. And with that in mind, he hatched a horrifying new plan. Coming up, Ray Copelands murder spree begins.


Hi, it's Vanessa from Parkhurst.


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Now back to the story. As the 1970s drew to a close, Ray Copeland, now in his mid 60s, was entering his golden years. Most Americans retire by this time ready to relax, reap the rewards of their working years and spend more time with their families. But Ray, a violent and cold man who terrorized his wife and children, had no interest in this kind of future.


Even if he had, it wasn't an option. Having spent his entire adult life scraping together a living, Ray was in no position to retire.


But he had come up with a new plan to get ahead. He'd been caught more than once using bad checks to buy cattle and had no desire to spend any more time behind bars. Instead, he figured he could use his farm hands to do the dirty work for him.


Ray had nothing but contempt for the drifters he hired. He saw them as lazy men who never bothered to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and resented having to pay them for their labor. But now he found a way to make use of them.


One of the first unwitting participants in Ray's new scheme was a man named Gerald Perkins, based on Ray's pattern of behavior. It's likely that after hiring Gerald, Ray took him to the local bank and helped him to set up an account.


Next, he drove Gerald out to a cattle auction and pointed out the cars he wanted to buy. He had Gerald make the purchases on his behalf, using the starter checks from his new bank account.


Finally, Ray sold the cows on to another buyer, then ordered Gerald to leave town. The idea was that by the time the checks bounced, the cows and their buyer would both be long gone, leaving no paper trail back to Ray.


But it didn't work out quite like Ray planned. Gerald eventually confessed the whole scheme to police and so back to jail, Ray went.


After he was released, he'd learned his lesson. It wasn't enough to get rid of the paper trail. He needed to get rid of every single piece of evidence, including the human being at the center of his plot. By now, murder might have seemed like an inevitable next step. Ray had always been violent and abusive with his family and among his neighbors. He had a reputation as a suspicious weirdo. He was snappy and cold. All it took was a little desperation to push him over the edge into true evil.


And by the 1980s, Ray was desperate. That was when the Copelands financial troubles spiraled out of control. Their son Al went to visit his parents in 1986, accompanied by one of his brothers. They knew that their parents were on the verge of bankruptcy and they wanted to help. But Ray wouldn't hear of it.


In fact, he was furious. She shouted at his sons, telling them to stay out of his business. 1986 proved to be a critical year for 72 year old Ray. Records indicate that this was the year he finally put his murderous new cattle rustling scheme into action.


Perhaps he'd been sitting on the plan for years, not quite daring to start. And perhaps the shame of his son's pity was what finally pushed him over the edge.


Here's how Ray's new scheme worked.


He hung around places where transients came for food and shelter. He'd talk a big game about money and job opportunities, waiting to see who bit. In September of 1986, Ray met a 31 year old man named Dennis Murphy. He offered Murphy money plus free room and board. In exchange, he said he expected help around the farm and most importantly, help with purchasing cattle at auction.


Ray's story may have been that he was hard of hearing and couldn't manage by himself and the fast paced environment of a rural auction to a homeless man in desperate need of income and housing.


This deal must have been a no brainer.


Once he had Murphy on board, Ray likely took him to a nearby town and had him open a new post office box and checking account. Ray would have fronted him the money for both.


From there, the cattle scam began. Ray and Murphy traveled together to rural auctions all around the county where Murphy bought cattle at Ray's direction. Using his starter checks.


Ray sold the new cattle immediately afterward and pocketed the profit. He knew the checks would bounce, but it didn't matter. There was no way to trace Murphy's account back to Ray.


Now all he needed to do was make sure Murphy couldn't rat him out as Ryan Murphy returned to the farm on October 17th racetrack.


He shot Murphy in the back of the head with a 22 caliber rifle, killing him instantly. Murphy crumpled to the ground and Ray sprung into action, he dragged Murphy's body into the back of his truck and drove out to a neighboring farm where he sometimes did odd jobs there. He fixed the corpse to a 40 pound concrete weight, then heaved both over the side of a well. He thought no one would find him there.


Just a month later, in November of 1986, Ray carried out the plan again, he hired a new worker, Wayne Warner, and had him fraudulently purchased cattle at an auction once Worner served his purpose.


Ray shot him in the back of the head and drove his body out to the same farm where he'd buried Murphy. He buried Warner's body in a shallow grave beneath bales of hay and drove back to his own farm where Fay was waiting for him. At this point, we have to wonder, did Ray put on a facade for his wife, pretending that Warner and Murphy had simply quit? Did she believe or play along with the lie, preferring to keep the peace rather than risk a fight?


Or did they know exactly what was going on?


The answer is unclear, given that these men lived with the Copelands on their land. It's hard to believe that Fay was completely in the dark. At the very least, she would have noticed their disappearances.


But since Ray made a point of hiring drifters with no close ties in the area, they probably wouldn't have found it strange if they moved on without saying goodbye. And she worked regularly at a local motel. So it's possible she wasn't home to hear the gunshot when either of the men were killed.


However, given what we know about the Copelands marriage, it also makes sense that Fay might have simply looked the other way after enduring years of abuse, she knew better than to ask too many questions. If this is the case, then Fey's behavior could be attributed to learned helplessness coined by psychologists studying animal behavior in the 1960s. The term learned helplessness now describes what happens when an individual faces a continuous, uncontrollable negative situation and gradually gives up on trying to change their circumstances.


Research suggests that living within a cycle of abuse for sustained periods can lead to learned helplessness in the victim. Even if they knew what was happening, she may have felt unable to stop Ray. If she couldn't keep him from abusing her and her children, how could she keep him from hurting strangers?


It's also possible that Fay did more than look the other way. She probably wasn't directly involved in the actual murders. Killing someone with a rifle isn't typically a two person job, but perhaps she helped Ray dispose of the bodies and clean up any evidence afterwards.


In a 1990 paper on joint murders for the Journal of Crime and Justice, Philip Jenkins described two types of partner serial killers, the dominant submissive pair and the equally dominant team in a dominant submissive pair. One partner, usually the man is the dominant partner and the woman participates to please him. She may or may not take part in or observe the actual murders. It's clear that Ray was the dominant force in the Copelands marriage. Fay submitted to him both out of fear and because of her traditional values.


If she was involved, this was likely the dynamic whether his wife knew the truth or not.


Ray's murders went undetected for years, since both Murphy and Warner were drifters. It doesn't seem like their disappearances were investigated by authorities. Or if they were, the investigation didn't get far.


Over the next three years, Ray Copeland hired and murdered at least three more farmhands, 27 year olds Jimmy Harvey and John Freeman and 21 year old Paul Cowart in the cases of Coward and Freeman, and likely for Jimmy Harvey as well. Ray had each man open up a bank account and buy cattle on his behalf. After each job was done, Ray shot his most recent employee in the back of the head execution style.


By the spring of 1989, when he killed Cowart, 75 year old Ray was one of the oldest serial killers in American history. He'd been getting away with murder for three years, and he was on top of the world.


In his twilight years, he'd finally found a reliable source of income that would keep him and his wife above water. And as far as we can tell, the human cost of the scheme didn't trouble Ray for a moment.


After all, Ray saw the many hired as leeches on society. He resented them for relying on government benefits paid for by working people like him. This is ironic since Ray himself made a lifelong habit of stealing things he hadn't earned. Self-awareness was obviously not his strong suit. Soon, Ray was ready to strike again. In July of 1989, he hired 56 year old Jack McCormick as his newest farmhand. As always, he told McCormack that he needed help purchasing cattle.


Under Ray's instruction, McCormack opened up a P.O. box and a bank account. Then began accompanying Ray to cattle auctions before we get any further into McCormick's story. It's important to note that some consider him to be an unreliable narrator because of his own criminal history.


His account is crucial to our understanding of the Copelands. However, he's a near victim who lived to tell the tale.


MacCormick once described himself as a, quote, common gutter tramp and drunk. Even still, he was sharp enough to pick up on a strange vibe at the Copeland farm, and of the weird atmosphere wasn't bad enough. His new employers had some strange ground rules.


On his first day, Ray told McCormack that he was not to receive any visitors at the farm. This seemed reasonable enough, but Ray went on to tell him that phone calls and mail were also forbidden.


This suggests that Ray didn't want anybody to know that McCormick was on the farm for obvious reasons. McCormack tried to brush it off. He was making good enough money to put up with a few quirks.


But soon McCormick noticed Fay watching him as he went about his work on the land. His unease turned to real discomfort.


One day in early August, according to Jack McCormick's account, McCormick was walking past the Copelands barn when he froze a few yards away. Protruding from the ground was a bone large, possibly a leg or an arm. As McCormack looked more closely, he noticed something else a skull. And just like the bone, it looked human.


Shaken, MacCormick headed back towards the house where he was met by Fay. According to McCormack, she seemed upset and told him that she and Ray didn't want anyone going behind the barn.


This story is chilling, but seems odd. We know that Ray drove his victims bodies out to neighboring farms and made a point of not burying them on his own land.


It's possible McCormick made up the story because he was suspicious of the Copelands and wanted to get the attention of police. He was afraid for his life. Here's why.


After a few days, Ray announced that he was unhappy with McCormicks work, complaining that he'd done a poor job of buying cattle. Sensing an out, McCormack told Ray that he didn't think the partnership was working and that he wanted to quit. It's not clear what Ray said in response to this, but the next day Ray walked towards McCormick, holding a 22 caliber rifle. Ray looked right at McCormick, his eyes cold. He said. There's a raccoon loose in the barn.


We got to chase it out.


He handed McCormick a stick and gestured into the dark barn, telling him to try and scare the raccoon out from where it was hiding behind. Ray McCormick noticed a tractor backed up close to the barn. Attached was a two wheeled trailer, and on top of the trailer was a shovel and a piece of plastic.


Uneasy, McCormick headed into the darkness of the barn. He felt the hairs on the back of his neck standing up and had an overwhelming sense that something was very wrong.


When he turned around, Ray was pointing the rifle right at him with his finger on the trigger. It's not clear exactly how this tense moment ended, but it was the last straw for McCormick, who persuaded Ray to take him to the nearby town of Brookfield to close his bank account. Along the way, they stopped to pick up Fay, who seemed surprised to see McCormack once the bank account was closed, Ray and Fay invited McCormick to come back to the farm and collect his belongings.


But by now, McCormick feared for his life and refused to get back into the car with them. He skipped town soon after and ended up in Nebraska. But though he escaped with his life, McCormick couldn't shake the feeling of dread that settled over him during his time on the farm. He couldn't forget the atmosphere of evil that hovered over the Copelands. He knew he had to do something.


In late August 1989, McCormick called a Crime Stoppers hotline in Nebraska. He told the operator the story about seeing human remains on the Copelands farm. Given his own rap sheet, McCormick was nervous about being arrested for the bad checks he wrote for Ray. So he hung up as the operator tried to get more information.


But soon enough, the authorities caught up with McCormick anyway. He was arrested in Oregon for the bad check. He wrote in an auction in Missouri on Ray Copeland's orders.


During his police interview, McCormick explained the whole story. He told them he was afraid for his life and that he was sure Ray was killing people and burying the bodies on his farm.


Intrigued by the claims, Nebraska authorities contacted police in Missouri. The sheriff's department in Livingston County was bewildered by the call. Theirs was a quiet rural county with very. Little criminal activity, but they turned up evidence that seemed to corroborate at least part of MacCormick story, a number of bounced checks for cattle purchases signed by Jack McCormick, it was enough to convince them to look into the rest of the outlandish claims. So search warrant in hand. The police headed for the Copelands farm.


Coming up, the authorities make a disturbing discovery about Fay. Now back to the story. In August of 1989, Ray Copeland made a fatal error, he'd planned on killing his employee, Jack McCormack, after using him to fraudulently buy cattle. But McCormick had sensed that something was up and left town. Ray let him leave a decision he would soon come to regret.


On October 9th, police arrived at the Copelands farm with a search warrant when 68 year old Fay answered the door. She was polite and cooperative, but explained that Ray wasn't home. He was having breakfast in a neighboring town.


They took her into custody for her involvement with the scheme to pass bad checks once she was in jail. They searched her purse and found blank checks signed by McCormick.


That same day, they tracked down Ray and arrested him two, charging both Ray and Fay with conspiracy to commit theft.


In separate interviews, neither Ray nor Faye admitted any wrongdoing. At some point, Ray told the cops. You'll find nothing on my place.


But in fact, back on the farm, the search was incredibly fruitful. The police found bank and livestock records showing suspicious irregularities, along with Ray's 22 caliber rifle.


They also found a variety of clothing, some with name labels stitched into the fabric which didn't belong to either Ray or Fay. The most incriminating discovery was a piece of scratch paper with a list of names written on it.


The names each had a notation written beside them. For victims like Wayne Warner and Dennis Murphy, the notation was simply an X.


Spurred by this ominous finding, the investigators brought in police dogs and bulldozers searching for evidence to corroborate McCormicks story about human remains. Over the next several days, they found deer bones, pig bones, cow bones, but no human remains.


Still, the investigation was gathering steam. Within days of the arrests becoming public, the townspeople began to come forward with stories. It was clear that Ray was not well-liked in his community and hadn't done much to engender loyalty among his neighbors.


Ray regularly worked odd jobs like painting, fixing barns, filling in wells, which took him all over the county. Based on this, police were able to put together a thorough list of the areas where Ray was regularly seen.


Just a few days into the investigation, a local farmer gave the police their breakthrough. He recalled seeing bones sticking out of the ground on one of the farms where Ray worked. At the time, he'd assumed it was a deer. But now, in light of the rumors about Ray, he'd begun to wonder.


When investigators searched that farm, they found strange looking soil inside one of the cattle barns excavating the soil. They found three human bodies buried just beneath the surface and discovered a fourth body. Later, the men were identified as Paul Cowart, John Freeman and Jimmy Harvey.


All three were shot with bullets from the rifle seized from the Copeland house. On another farm, police found the bodies of Wayne Warner and Dennis Murphy. One man had been buried and the other was found at the bottom of the well.


By this stage, the evidence against Ray was damning, and soon Fay was incriminated to the list of names was sent away for handwriting analysis.


When the results came back, they showed that the writing was Fais, according to a popular rumor about the case. The police also found a disturbing piece of evidence that incriminated Fay, a handmade quilt fashioned out of the dead men's clothing.


At this point, prosecutors were sure they had a killer couple on their hands. So on December 28th, Ray and Fay were both charged with five counts of murder. Both denied everything.


Fay insisted she knew nothing about Ray's crimes. It's not clear whether she ever offered an explanation for the quilt. But as to the note, she said that Ray asked her to write the list because he was functionally illiterate. He dictated it to her and she didn't ask questions.


Not asking questions was a cornerstone of Ray and Fais marriage. And it's crucial in trying to understand Fay's role in all of this. The Copelands daughter, Betty Lou, recalled in a 1990 news interview that Ray's authority was absolute. He told us exactly what to do and when to do it. There was no discussion. That was it. Faye knew her place. It's possible she either had no idea Ray was killing people or that she did know, but was too afraid to do anything to stop him.


Their son Al suspects his mom had some knowledge of race scheme, but doesn't believe she was directly involved in harming any of the victims. This brings us back to the idea of Ray and Faye as a dominant submissive pair, as defined by Philip Jenkins in 1990, Jenkins wrote that the submissive partner in these couples may later describe themselves as a reluctant participant or claim that they were brainwashed by the leader, particularly if they're facing legal charges. This is effectively what these attorneys did at her trial in November of 1990.


They pleaded not guilty. Her defense team said that as a victim of abuse, they only went along with Ray's scheme out of fear.


Specifically, they said she had battered woman syndrome, battered woman syndrome or battered person syndrome isn't the condition listed in the DSM five, but it is recognized in the CDC's international classification of diseases. BWC is the term used to describe a pattern of signs and symptoms that are commonly found in women who have experienced long lasting intimate partner violence or domestic violence. The criteria for BWC are similar to those for post-traumatic stress disorder, which, according to the DSM five, include intrusive memories, avoidant behaviors and difficulty maintaining close relationships.


But there are other symptoms unique to battered woman syndrome, which are important to think about here. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, victims of abuse may still feel they love their abuser and make excuses for them, believing they can change a case in point. They refuse to testify about the abuse she suffered at her husband's hands, even though it was at the core of her defense. Her loyalty to Ray was stronger than her will to defend herself.


Even now, she protected him.


Forensic psychologist Lenore Walker, who coined the term battered woman syndrome in the 1970s, discussed Fais case at length in the documentary about the Copelands.


She said, There's absolutely no question in my mind that Ray Copeland continued to control Faye Copeland at the trial and after the trial when they were in prison. That's the strength of the bond between batterers and their victims.


But the jury didn't buy the defense's argument and sided with the prosecution's case that Fay was a willing participant. On November 13th, 1990, Faye was found guilty on all counts and sentenced to death.


Tellingly, the loyalty Faye showed Ray at her trial was not returned. When Ray was told about his wife's conviction, his response was nonchalant. He reportedly said, well, it happens to some of them and soon enough it happened to him.


At his own trial in March 1991, Ray Copeland was also found guilty on all five charges and sentenced to death.


But his punishment was never carried out. Two years after he was sentenced, Ray died from a stroke at the age of 78, and in death, his hold over Fay finally broke with Ray in the ground.


Fay became more willing to open up. Finally, she admitted to the abuse she'd suffered from him.


Over the years, though, Ray's abuse of control over Fay faded after his death. Her love for him did not. In footage of Fay from sometime after the trial shown in the Investigation Discovery documentary, Fay said, I only know what I was told. He's my husband. There will always be a love in my heart for him. What other people think I don't care. In August of 1999, face death sentence was commuted to life in prison. She died four years later at the age of 82 at a nursing home where she was living on medical parole.


We'll never know the full truth of their relationship or to what extent Fay is culpable for her husband's brutal killings is there is a story of an abuser and his victim or a murderer and his accomplice or both, no matter what.


It seems that despite everything phase commitment to Ray endured to the end her love or perhaps her loyalty and fear consumed everything else, including her self-preservation instinct. And in the end, the relationship destroyed her. Thanks again for tuning into serial killers.


We'll be back soon with Part two of our Killer Couple series to explore another story of a love that turns deadly because sometimes love doesn't destroy so much as it reveals.


For more information on Ray and Faye Copeland, amongst the many sources we used, we found the investigation Discovery series Wicked Attraction, extremely helpful to our research.


You can find all episodes of Serial Killers and all other Spotify originals from podcast for free on Spotify. Will see you next time. Have a killer week. Serial Killers in a Spotify original from podcast.


Executive producers include Max and Ron Coddler, Sound Design by Anthony Vasic with production assistance by Ron Shapiro, Carly Madden and Erin Larson. This episode of Serial Killers was written by Emma Daybed in with Writing Assistants by John Carlin, fact checking by Claire Cronin and research by Brian Peteris and Chelsea Wood.


Serial Killers stars Greg Polson and Vanessa Richardson. Hi, it's Vanessa again. Before you go, don't forget to check out the new Parkhurst Limited series. Criminal couples from apocalyptic cult leaders to bank robbing bandits to married mafiosos. These couples give new meaning to till death do us part. Enjoy two part episodes every Monday starting February 1st. Follow criminal couples free and exclusively on Spotify.