Catherine May Wood, sentenced to prison for the murder of nursing home patients and the subject of a popular true crime book, has a personal ad on the web. This is despite a law in Florida, where she is incarcerated, that forbids inmates to seek online pen pals.
Wood is currently incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institute Tallahassee in Florida. Part of her plea bargain included incarceration at a federal institution while her ex – lover and partner in crime, Gwen Graham, served life in state prison. Wood served time in a federal prison in Lexington, Kentucky until the institution was turned into a male facility. In 2012 her seventh attempt for parole was turned down.
In 1988 Catherine Wood admitted to murdering at least five elderly patients as they lie in their beds in a Michigan nursing home. She told people “it was fun” and it was part of a love pact between herself and Graham. She had a reputation as being manipulative, childish, and “evil.” During interviews she admitted to child abuse, theft, child molestation, drug use, molestation and abuse of the elderly victims, and the murders. Her story is covered in detail in Lowell Cauffiel’s book “Forever and Five Days.”
On October 5, 2008, Wood posted two photographs of herself along with her physical attributes (6’0, 280 pounds, 44-38-48) on cowtowninfo.com (formerly jailbabes.com). She also included the following:
Teach me! I've been incarcerated for two decades. I go to the parole board soon and I need someone who's kind and patient to teach me about the exciting new things in the world. I'm looking for a friend, male or female, to teach me everything I forgot. Are you honest? I am honest and non-judgmental. We can talk about anything and everything. I've never done drugs and I don't smoke. I like to play and have fun. Do you have time for a good friend?
On the website, the potential pen-pal is warned: When you write to any inmates in Florida state prisons, do not mention that you found their "pen pal ad"...it's against DOC policy for inmates to advertise for pen pals on the Internet. In 2003 the Florida Department of Corrections created a policy prohibiting inmates from advertising for pen pals or getting mail from pen pal groups. Department of Corrections spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger has explained, "We're doing it to protect the public. Inmates can have pen pals — they just can't solicit for pen pals” (source). In 2011, “a federal appeals court has rejected a complaint from three pen-pal services that challenged a Florida policy banning inmates from advertising themselves on the online sites” (source). The Federal Department of Corrections adopted the state rule; thus, federally incarcerated inmates can no longer advertise for pen pals.
It is not the first time Catherine Wood has broken rules.
My book on crime
Credit – photo of J. Yates