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Due to the graphic nature of these killers crimes, listener discretion is advised this episode includes discussions of murder, incest and child abuse that some people may find offensive. We advise extreme caution for children under 13.


Jan in New York is a tough month. It's typically the coldest of the year with none of the December holiday excitement to distract from the bitter wind and merciless snow. But a few days after New Year's 1949, Janet Fay had never felt happier.


A widow at 66, Janet never really expected to find love again. Still, she'd put a Lonely Heart ad in the newspaper because a friend had refused to drop the subject. She hadn't really planned to go on any dates, and she certainly never expected to meet a man like Charles Martin.


Janet looked across from the passenger seat at Charles, who was driving them south to their new home in Long Island. He grinned back at her, a smile that lit up his whole handsome face. And Janet felt the delightful fluttering in her stomach.


The last few days had been a whirlwind. She knew she was being reckless, that Charles was decades younger than her, that her family and friends would be bewildered when she introduced them. But there wasn't a doubt in her mind this was the man she was supposed to marry. There was just one problem, not even a problem, really, so much as a peculiarity. Charles's sister, Martha, was sitting in the back seat and would be moving in with them.


Janet couldn't quite make sense of the relationship. Charles insisted he and Martha were so close that he couldn't possibly move unless she came with them. But the siblings barely seemed to interact. Martha was withdrawn, and whenever she and Charles were in the same room, there was an undercurrent of tension.


Janet shook it off and offered Martha a smile. She knew only too well how complicated family could be. The fact that Charles was so devoted to his sister was a good sign, just more evidence of his kindness.


Janet gazed across at her fiancee again. She was so absorbed by him that she didn't notice Martha glaring at her, her eyes dark, with pure, vicious hatred.


Hi, I'm Greg Polson.


This is Serial Killers, a Spotify original fun podcast. This is the final episode of a four part look at couples who kill. We've been 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 podcast 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 love.


Last time we looked at the murder spree of Gerald Gallego and Charlene Williams, who kidnapped and murdered at least 10 people despite the dark bond between the couple, Charlene later claimed that she'd been too afraid of Jarold to disobey him and that she was, in fact, one of his victims.


Today, we're delving into the story of Raymond Fernandez and Martha Beck, a.k.a. The Lonely Hearts Killers. In the late 1940s, Raymond seduce vulnerable women who we met through personal ads and con them out of their life savings. But once he met Martha and insecure and volatile woman with a troubled past, the spree took a violent turn. We've got all that and more coming up.


Stay with us.


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Based on his seemingly idyllic childhood, Raymond Martinez, Fernandez's family never imagined what he would someday become.


Born in Hawaii in 1914, Raymond spent his first three years there before relocating with his family to the seaport town of Bridgeport, Connecticut. We don't know much about Raymond's childhood, but by all indications, he and his family lived a peaceful life. At 17. Raymond moved to Spain, where he spent time working on his uncle's farm and fell in love with a local girl.


The couple were married by 1935, when Raymond was 20 and had four children together. But Raymond was restless, a young man with ambitions that didn't include raising a family. And so by 1939, Raymond abandoned his wife and children and embarked on a military career during World War Two.


Raymond made a name for himself, serving first in the Spanish merchant Marines and later the British intelligence service. Officials saw him as loyal and diligent, noting that he carried out his difficult and dangerous duties.


Well, Raymond had a bright future, and after the war, he decided it was time to seek his fortune back in America. But the trip home was a fateful one. Onboard the ship, Raymond suffered a terrible accident, a steel hatch fell directly onto his head, fracturing his skull and causing damage to his frontal lobe when he recovered. Raymond was different.


Vanessa is going to take over and 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.


True crime fans may well be familiar with the body of evidence linking childhood head trauma to homicidal behavior later in life. It specifically damage to the frontal lobe, the area of the brain responsible for memory formation, impulse control and even empathy that has been associated with violent crime. A 2001 overview in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry noted that the strongest evidence was for an association between prefrontal lobe damage and, quote, an impulsive subtype of aggressive behavior. In other words, the head trauma Raymond suffered could have made him less cautious and more reckless.


Raman's reported personality change following the head trauma suggests that he may have suffered the kind of frontal lobe damage described in these studies. And along with this shift in his nature, his career ambitions seemed to evaporate too soon after he was released from hospital in the US.


Raymond was arrested for petty theft and sentenced to a year in prison if the head injury had pushed him toward darkness. His time behind bars was the straw that broke the camel's back. Raymond's cellmate was into the occult and only too happy to share his knowledge of voodoo and other black magic. Raymond saw this as an opportunity. He believed that he could use his new supernatural skill set to seduce women, but his intentions were anything but romantic.


Once a respected intelligence officer, 31 year old Raymond was now a con man in the making, he emerged from prison in 1946 with a fully formed M.O. After moving to New York City, he wasted no time putting it into action. Raymond's plan was simple, a 1940s ancestor of what we now might call cat fishing.


He scoured personal ads in local newspapers looking for women who seemed lonely and vulnerable. He responded to their ads with charming, thoughtful letters describing his military service and his deep desire to settle down. He reportedly started wearing a toupee, which hid the conspicuous scar from his accident and made him just a little bit more handsome after sweeping his target off her feet and gaining her trust, Raymond would steal money, jewelry and anything else of value he could find before disappearing into the night.


Most of Raymond's victims, realizing that they had been conned, were likely too embarrassed to report him. Raymond knew this only too well. In fact, his scheme relied upon it. It was thanks to this sense of shame that he managed to go undetected for at least a year during which he conned an unknown number of women.


One would be targeted was 27 year old Martha Beck, who Raymond began writing to in 1947. He had no idea he was about to meet his match.


Born in 1920 in Florida, Martha Jewelz Seebruck grew up feeling out of place. She reportedly had a glandular condition that caused her to gain weight and to go through puberty early. All of these factors amounted to a lonely childhood during which Martha was often mocked by her peers at school.


As she entered her teenage years, Martha's life took an even darker turn. When she was around 13, she was reportedly raped by her older brother. It seems likely that the trauma of this assault compounded the self-esteem issues she already had. Despite her struggles, Martha worked hard and was determined to succeed. After finishing high school, she attended nursing school and graduated first in her class at the Pensacola Hospital, where she was hired. She was promoted quickly and later moved to California to work at an Army hospital.


But Martha's personal life remained a struggle. She got involved with a man who refused to marry her after she became pregnant, which was unthinkable at the time. Ashamed but defiant, Martha returned to Florida to have her baby and told friends and family that the baby's father had died tragically at war.


Her life was so convincing that the story was featured in a local newspaper not excited about the prospect of raising her child alone. Martha remained resolute in her search for love. Soon after giving birth to a daughter, she became involved with a bus driver and got pregnant again. The couple were briefly married, then divorced after just six months, but she kept his name back.


Now, a single mother of two young children, 26 year old Martha, feared she would never find the love she craved. So when she put a personal ad in the paper in 1947, she didn't hold out much hope for the responses.


But Raymond Fernandez's letter felt like an answer to her prayers. He was accomplished, ambitious and based on the photographs he sent her handsome.


Sure, he had some odd requests. In one letter, he requested a lock of Martha's hair, explaining that he wanted to use it in his occult practice. But it appears she was more than happy to oblige. In December of 1947, 33 year old Raymond flew to Florida to meet Martha in person. It's not clear exactly what happened during their tete a tete, but it doesn't seem as though Raymond stole anything from Martha.


Still, it seems that Raymond planned to break things off with Martha fairly quickly, but she had no intention of letting him go so easily.


In January, Martha lost her job. Though she was distraught, she figured there was nothing keeping her in Florida anymore and flew to New York. When she appeared on Raymond's doorstep with her two children in tow, he was stunned.


Raymond agreed to let Martha stay on one condition, but children had to go. He had abandoned his own young children in Spain and had no desire to help Martha raise hers.


A few days later, 26 year old Martha left her son and daughter at the local Salvation Army and moved in with Raymond.


This callous act was a disturbing demonstration of just how far she was already willing to go for Raymond.


Up until this point, Raymond had worked alone. He was good at it. It's striking, therefore, that he let Martha in not only into his home but also in his nefarious scheme.


Perhaps asking Martha to abandon her children was a kind of test for Raymond to see how far her devotion to him would go if it was she passed.


In exchange, Raymond opened up to her. He told her about the lonely women he'd conned and the family he'd turned his back on in Spain rather than alarming her hearing the truth apparently made Martha more certain that this was the man she was destined to be with for so long.


Ever since the abuse she'd suffered as a child, Martha had felt she had to hide who she really was. But in Raymond, she found someone who truly understood her. She'd do anything to keep him by her side.


It seems as though neither Raymond nor Martha had regular employment at this time and money was tight. Raymond couldn't afford to give up his lonely heart scam, and Martha didn't ask him to. Instead, just a few weeks after moving in, she became. His partner in crime. 40 year old Esther Henie was a Pennsylvania schoolteacher who fell for Raymon scheme that February before the month was over.


The couple had gotten married in a Virginia county clerk's office when Raymond returned to his New York apartment with his new wife.


They were greeted by Martha, who introduced herself as Raymond's sister.


While Esther may have found it strange that the adult siblings shared an apartment. It seems she accepted the arrangement, at least initially. Unfortunately for her, things only got weirder from there. In a moment, Martha's jealousy pushes her over the edge.


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Now back to the story. In February of 1948, 33 year old Raymond Fernandez was weaving a complicated and devious romantic web. He had just moved in with his new wife, Esther, after sweeping her off her feet.


Meanwhile, his girlfriend, 27 year old Martha Beck, moved in to under the pretense of being his sister.


Unbeknownst to Esther, she was the latest in a long line of victims who had been conned out of their savings by the seemingly charming Raymonde.


The newlywed bliss did not last long. Although Raymond kept up his polite, smooth talking act for a few days, the mask soon slipped. In an interview years later, Esther recalled that Raymond, quote, gave her tongue lashings after she refused to sign over her insurance policies and teacher's pension to him.


After this, Esther was scared and told Ramadhan Martha she wanted to leave. It's not clear exactly what happened between the trio, but Raymond and Martha stole hundreds of dollars from Esther before she was finally able to make it back to her home in Pennsylvania, perhaps to avoid any fallout from Esther.


The couple left New York for a while. Over the next several months, Raymond and Martha conned an unknown number of women out of money and valuables in just the same way.


The scam put a strain on Raymond and Martha's relationship. Watching Raymond Court and two other women was much harder than Martha had imagined throughout the spring and summer of 1948. She became consumed by jealousy and insecurity. The situation was a ticking time bomb.


That August, Raymond met 40 year old Myrdal Young through a lonely hearts club in Arkansas. Once again, Martha posed as Raymond's sister and was a constant presence by his side. As Raymond wooed Myrtle. Even after Raymond and Myrtle married, Martha was determined not to let them consummate the marriage, according to one report so determined that she slept in the newlyweds bed with them on their honeymoon.


Unsurprisingly, this sparked an argument, and Myrtle told Martha to leave. Raymond, sensing the scam about to go south, tried to persuade her to listen. But Martha wouldn't go.


Martha had already passed Raymond's test. She abandoned her children for him. Perhaps now she wanted him to prove his love by choosing her once and for all. This is one possible explanation for what happened next.


In mid-August, Raymond reportedly gave Myrdal an overdose of barbiturates, rendering her unconscious. Then he and Martha stole 4000 dollars from their victim and put her on a bus headed towards Little Rock, Arkansas. She was found on the bus by police clinging to life and died in the hospital on August 21st. It's not exactly clear what the couple's plan was or whether it was Raymond's intention to kill Myrtle barbiturates or sedative drugs often used as sleeping pills. So it's possible he hoped she would simply sleep through the journey and wake up with no clear memory of what happened.


It's also not clear whether Raymond and Martha ever found out that Myrtle died.


In any case, she was history as far as the couple were concerned. They were already seeking their next victim. Martha's jealousy and insecurity didn't mesh well with the couple's scheme, which required Raymond to seduce and often marry his victims. But money was still tight, and they didn't see another way to make ends meet.


So during the fall of 1948, Raymond answered several lonely hearts ads from women who seemed promisingly, vulnerable and eventually honed in on a target, 66 year old widow Janet Fay, who lived alone in downtown Albany, New York.


She was a devout Catholic, so Raymond adapted his writing, including plenty of religious references as he courted her by mail.


Raymond's favorite thing about Janet was her money. Her late husband had left her with a nice nest egg. And Janet, well, like so many women before her, she was smitten with no idea of Raymond's intentions. That December, she invited him to come and visit for a romantic New Year's Eve on the big night.


Raymond met Janet at her apartment. Notably, Martha stayed behind at the couple's hotel. On this occasion, it's possible that Janet asked him to leave Martha behind, understandably not thrilled by the idea of her new man bringing his sister to their first date.


Or perhaps Martha simply knew herself well enough by this point to know that she was better off not seeing the seduction. She knew that Raymond was devoted to her and only her.


She knew that these lonely women were only marks, that they meant nothing to him. So why put herself through it?


But the next day, Raymond did introduce his sister Martha to Janet. The two must have gotten along well enough because Janet soon invited both Raymond and Martha to stay at her apartment.


Within days, Raymond proposed to Janet, who was thrilled. Raymond persuaded her to move to Long Island with him and to clear out all of her local bank accounts in Albany before she did. Janet agreed and withdrew her life savings of around 6000 dollars today. That would be around 60000 dollars on January 4th, 1949.


The trio drove south to Long Island and already trouble was brewing. The very next day, Martha caught Raymond and Janet in bed.


Together, she felt jealousy and rage surged through her at the sight of Janet with her arms around Raymond. After days of holding it all in, Martha saw red. But she didn't complain and she didn't shout no. Instead, she picked up a ball peen hammer and bludgeoned Janet to death. Then Raymond made sure the job was finished, perhaps to prove his loyalty to Martha. Once again, he choked Janet with her own scarf, making sure there was no life left in her.


Just as quickly as Martha's rage erupted, it subsided. The couple worked quickly to clean up the bedroom, wrapped Janet's body in bedsheets and stuffed it temporarily into a closet.


It's notable here that Martha was the one who initiated the violence, a rarity in killer couples. Back in our first Keiller Couples episode, we discussed a 1990 paper on joint murders for the Journal of Crime and Justice, in which Philip Jenkins described two types of partner serial killers, the dominant submissive pair and the equally dominant team in all three of our episodes so far. Ray and Faye Copeland, Alton Coleman and Deborah Brown and Gerald Gallego and Charlene Williams, the central couple fits squarely into the dominant submissive category.


Each of these cases involved an older male partner with more criminal experience and a younger, abused female partner. In those instances, the woman's participation in the criminal activity seems more compliant than enthusiastic and perhaps motivated more by fear of the male partner than anything else. Raymond and Martha, though, seem to be a rare example of an equally dominant team in this type of partnered homicide. Both members of the couple derive satisfaction from the killings, and both are willing participants.


Raymond did have an extensive criminal history before he met Martha, but he had no track record of violent crime, only theft and fraud. Martha had no criminal history at all that we know of. Which begs the question, would Raymond's Lonelyhearts scam still have escalated to murder if he never met Martha? Would Martha's insecurity and anger have boiled over into violence if she hadn't been drawn into Raymond's scheme? It's impossible to know for sure, but it was too late to turn back now.


The couple had bound themselves to each other at a terrible price. They'd committed acts of unthinkable darkness and cruelty in the name of love and neighbor, only just getting started. A few days later, Raymond drove Janet's body to a house he had rented in Queens. He dragged her into the basement, where he broke through the floor and dug a hole below. He lowered Janet's body down, then refilled the hole with cement. Now all that was left was to make their getaway.


Over the next few days, the couple cast as many of Janet's checks as they could while forging letters from Janet to throw her family and friends off the scent using a typewriter, they impersonated an ecstatic Janet who was, quote, having the time of her life with her new fiance, Charles Raymond. And Martha sent these letters before they left town, hoping to cover their tracks, but they made a miscalculation.


Janet didn't own a typewriter, nor has she ever sent type letters and they received the phony correspondence. Janet's friends and family were immediately suspicious and contacted New York authorities.


But by then, Martha and Raymond were long gone, allegedly heading for Alaska, where they intended to stay off the grid. They just had one stop to make in the Midwest. Raymond always had one eye on the next con and had been corresponding with a new mark for weeks.


Delfine Downing was a 41 year old widow living in a suburb of Grand Rapids, Michigan, with her two year old daughter, Rainelle. She'd been intrigued by Raymond, who sounded charming and successful in his letters.


More important to Delphin, though, was the fact that Raymond said he loved children.


Raymond and Martha met up with Delphin right after arriving in Michigan.


As ever, Martha introduced herself as Raymond sister and the unsuspecting. Delphin invited the couple to stay in her home once again.


As soon as Raymond and Delfine started having sex, Martha was consumed by her jealousy. No matter how many times the scenario played out, and no matter how well she knew exactly where it was going, she simply couldn't stop the rage from bubbling up.


Though Martha restrained herself and didn't resort to violence, Delphin was still suspicious. According to one report, she was alarmed when she caught Raymond without his toupee on and saw the scar on top of his head. This unsettling revelation, coupled with a strange atmosphere Martha caused, made something click for Delphin. She rightly accused Raymond of being a fraud and told him to get out of the house. She didn't want him anywhere near her daughter.


Here's where the details get a little fuzzy. Either Raymond or Martha gave Delphin some sleeping pills to calm her down, presumably hoping to buy themselves some time.


But with Delphin asleep, Martha's agitation only grew. Two year old Rainelle, probably frightened by the shouting and by her mother's sudden absence, was crying incessantly. The sound set Martha's teeth on edge.


Finally, she snapped and strangled the toddler until she was unconscious.


As soon as he realized what Martha had done, Raymond decided that the jig was up right now, was still alive. But she had bruising around her neck, which Delphin would see as soon as she woke up. There was only one thing to be done.


As Delphin slept, Raymond found a handgun that had belonged to her late husband. He wrapped the gun in a blanket to muffle the sound and shot Delphin point blank in the head. After their experience with Janet Fay, Raymond and Martha knew what to do next. They carried Delphine's body down to the basement, where they dug a deep hole and dumped the corpse inside.


While Raymond filled in the makeshift grave with cement. Martha cleaned up the bloody bedroom as best she could. Bizarrely, the couple were in no rush to leave the scene of the crime. In fact, they stayed in Delfine house for several more days, rifling through her possessions, stealing everything of value. But there was another problem to deal with.


Rainelle woke up and began crying again. The couple tried to feed her, hoping food might quiet her down, but she refused to eat.


Eventually, the murderous duo decided they had only one option left. The girls crying was going to attract the neighbor's attention before much longer.


While Raymond went down to the basement to dig another grave, Martha fill the sink with water and drowned Rainelle.


Meanwhile, it had been days since Delphin or right now were last seen outside the house and their neighbors were beginning to talk. News travels fast in a small town and before long someone filed a missing persons report.


Still, Raymond and Martha had no intention of fleeing the scene. They liked the Downings House, especially now that they had it all to themselves. And basking in the afterglow of their latest slaughter, they felt more in love than ever. Up next, Raymond and Martha sloppiness catches up with them. This episode is brought to you by Amazon Prime video. What if you thought you killed someone but you just couldn't remember? In the new Amazon original series, Tell Me Your Secrets, Emma, the girlfriend of a serial killer is trying to figure out what role she played in the disappearance of a missing girl.


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New episodes of the CBS original Clarice Thursdays at 10:00, 9:00 Central or Stream any time on CBS. Now back to the story in February of 1949, Raymond Fernandez and Martha Beck had killed at least four people in their murder for profit spree.


They hadn't initially set out to kill people merely to con them out of their savings and valuables.


But 28 year old Martha's violent Jelassi and 34 year old Raymonds cold amorality proved to be a deadly combination.


After burying Delphin Downing and her two year old daughter Rainelle and their own basement, Raymond and Martha didn't leave. Instead, they hung around for days, plotting their next move and luxuriating in a home that wasn't theirs.


On February 28th, Michigan police arrived on the downings quiet suburban street and knocked on the door.


Martha and Raymond tried to deliver a plausible cover story, claiming that Delphin and right now were out of town and had left them to house it.


But given what they'd heard from the neighbors, the police were not inclined to believe them.


Before long, the cops search brought them down to the basement, where they found the very clear evidence of two freshly dug graves. After confirming that Delphin and Rainelle were buried there, they arrested Raymond and Martha at the Kent County District Attorney's Office.


The couple seemed calm and willing to talk, but only on one condition. They wanted a guarantee that they would be tried in Michigan, not New York. At the time, Michigan didn't have the death penalty, while New York did so. Raymond and Martha knew that if they were extradited to New York to stand trial for Janet Fais murder, they would very likely be executed when the Kent County D.A. reportedly assured them that they would not be handed over to the authorities in New York.


The couple opened right up. They signed a 73 page sworn confession detailing all of their murders and cons.


According to some reports, the couple confessed to murdering as many as 20 women. It's impossible to know how accurate this total really is, especially since the tone of their confession was described as gleeful as experienced con artists who lied as easily as breathing. It's entirely possible they exaggerated their kill count after making their deal with the d.A.


Raymond and Martha felt cocky on top of the world now that they knew they weren't going to die themselves. It seems they were riding high on the thrill of all the lives they'd taken.


Unfortunately for Raymond and Martha, they were about to get a taste of their own medicine.


The D.A. s reported pledge not to extradite them was a lie before the ink was even dry in their signed confession. Michigan authorities started making arrangements to send the couple back to New York. What goes around comes around.


The con artists in the end weren't smart enough to know they were being conned.


In early March, Raymond and Martha arrived in New York charged with murdering Janet Fay. Their trial began in June of 1949 and captured headlines nationwide as the media dubbed them the Lonelyhearts killers.


Raymond took the stand first and adopted a contrite tone that stood in contrast to his earlier admissions. He insisted that he had nothing to do with Janet's death and tried to recant his confession.


He claimed that he only confessed to taking part in Janet's murder to protect Martha, who he said killed Janet in a violent rage. He insisted all my statements were made for the purpose of helping Martha. I love her. It couldn't be anything else.


But Raymond didn't do much to help himself on the stand. He talked explicitly about his sex life with Martha and with his various victims. He also described how he would toy with the women, playing them off against each other to determine who would get to sleep with him.


Things weren't going well, however. When Martha took the stand on July 25th, her testimony started out on a more sympathetic note. She described being the victim of incest and sexual assault from her brother and about her string of bad luck with men.


And then she described how Raymond had changed her life, how she would do anything for him, and how the two of them grew closer as they conspired to scam vulnerable women out of their life savings.


Far from remorse, she showed contempt for the victims, recalling that Raymond used to mock the, quote, old hags who wrote back to him. Martha went into lurid detail about their relationship, describing how they incorporated Raymond's love of black magic into their sex life. But when the D.A. asked about their feelings for each other, Martha responded. We loved each other and I. I consider it absolutely sacred after a somewhat promising start, the jury seems less fond of Martha by the end of her testimony.


At least that's what the verdict suggests. On August 19th, the couple were found guilty of first degree murder and sentenced to death.


Raymond Fernandez and Martha Beck spent less than two years on death row at SingSing, exhausting all of their limited options for appeal. On March 8th, 1951, Raymond and Martha's Time ran out.


36 year old Raymond was the first to die in the electric chair as he was escorted into the execution chamber that night. He was reportedly paralyzed by fear and had to be forced into the chair by guards. But his final words were defiant. He declared, I want to shout it out. I love Martha.


Before leaving her cell, 30 year old Martha made her own unforgettable final statement to the media, words that emphasized her utter lack of remorse for her crimes and the twisted romance she used to justify them, she said.


What does it matter who is to blame? My story is a love story in the history of the world. How many crimes have been attributed to love?


Martha was right. Countless crimes throughout the centuries have been explained away as an unavoidable consequence of passion, lust or romance. But her words seem to suggest that she believed love should be a get out of jail free card for moral consequences. Perhaps even that being in love should be treated like a mental disorder that makes a person not responsible for their criminal actions.


Though we've all heard the phrase love makes you crazy, there's no medical basis for this idea. The closest condition in the field of psychology is called Shared Psychotic Disorder, which is commonly known by its French name for Lizardo or Madness for to a condition where two people share the same fantasies or delusions. In her 2013 overview of partnered homicide in the journal Aggression and Violent Behavior, criminologist Elizabeth Aguri and discussed shared psychotic disorder as it relates to couples who kill together, she lays out the most common scenario a charismatic and dominant partner who is also paranoid, delusional or both, and who succeeds in instilling their beliefs in their more suggestible lover.


But there's no evidence that either Raymond or Martha suffered from psychosis, and neither was the obviously dominant partner, though she might not have been a true mastermind.


It seems that Martha's uncontrollable jealousy played a key role in the couple's murder spree. Curiously, though, stories about her and Ray know her strong emotions. Martha seemed steady in the face of death. Unlike Ray, Martha was calm and said nothing. She was led from her cell for the last time. She was pronounced dead a little after 11:00 p.m..


Society and pop culture tell us that romantic love is the be all and end all for human happiness. Even today, the message often seems to be that if you're in a committed romantic relationship, you've achieved peak happiness. It's where so many stories end with a happily ever after. But this can obscure the darker and more dysfunctional side of intimate relationships, because sometimes love is just a smokescreen that narcissists and abusers use to justify their behavior.


Love can manipulate. It can be wielded to control vulnerable people.


And as we've seen throughout this series, love can destroy lives in more ways than one.


Thanks again for tuning into serial killers. We'll be back next week with a new episode for more information on Raymond Fernandez and Martha Beck.


Amongst the many sources we used, we found our Barry Flowers book, Serial Killer Couples, extremely helpful to our research. You can find all episodes of serial killers and all other Spotify originals from podcast for free on Spotify.


We'll see you next time. Have a killer week. Serial Killers is a Spotify original from podcast. Executive producers include Max and Ron Cutler, Sound Design by Anthony Vasic with production assistance by Ron Shapiro, Carly Madden and Joshua Kern.


This episode of Serial Killers was written by Emma Didin with writing assistants by Joel Callon Fact Checking by Bennett Logan and research by Brian Petrus 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.