Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Top News

Texas execution: Woman executed for torture kiling mentally disabled man in 1998

See also

A Texas execution of a 59-year-old woman is only the 14th time a female has been put to death in the United States in over three decades, reports the AFP via Yahoo! News today. The state of Texas had not executed a woman since 1998. Since 1976, the year the Supreme Court allowed capital punishments to resume, only four women have been put to death in Texas. Wednesday's execution makes five.

In 1998, Suzanne Basso killed 59-year-old Louis “Buddy” Musso, whom she had met at a church carnival. Musso was mentally impaired but able to care for himself. He later moved in with Basso in her home in Jacinto City, just east of Houston.

“She lured him to Texas with the idea they’d get married,” recalled Colleen Barnett, who prosecuted Basso for the murder.

Basso was already married, but schemed to make herself the beneficiary of Musso’s life insurance policy and the death recipient of Musso’s Social Security disability benefits.

Musso’s body was found in a ditch by a jogger. He had been bathed in bleach and scrubbed down with a wire brush. An autopsy showed he had at least 45 cuts to his body, cigarette burns on his back, and multiple fractures. Many of the injuries were sustained in the months prior to his killing.

“It was just horrible, horrible, horrible,” Barnett said. “When you talk about the death penalty, what the death penalty was made for, it was for a case like this.”

Barnett said Basso herself suffered from delusions.

“She would pretend to be different things,” Barnett said of the wheelchair bound killer. “One setting she would pretend to be blind. One setting she would pretend she couldn’t walk. One setting she had the voice of a little girl… I don’t know how to describe her.”

At a recent appeals hearing, Basso’s attorney Winston Cochran argued that she is not mentally competent enough to face execution. Basso testified from a jail bed – the result of being paralyzed years ago from a severe jail beating.

As of January 2013, there were 60 female prisoners on death row waiting to be executed. That number represents just two percent of the total inmate population awaiting execution.

"The numbers are very small because generally women do not often commit the kind of aggravated murder for which the death penalty is sought," said Richard Dieter, who heads the Death Penalty Information Center.

Since the first in 1632, there have been 571 recorded executions of women – only three percent of the total executions.



  •  Day 17
    Israel continues their ravaging bombardment on Gaza as the conflict wages on
  • MH17 victims arrive home
    40 bodies of the MH17 plane crash return to a somber homecoming in Holland
    Top News
  • Military advisers to Ukraine
    President Obama announces the deployment of military advisers to Ukraine
  • Bubonic plague in China
    A bubonic plague outbreak in Yumen prompts China to quarantine the city
    World News
  • Air Algierie disappearance
    A flight headed from Burkina Faso to Algeria disappears from radar over Mali
  • Windows Phone training portal
    Microsoft launches Windows Phone training portal in attempt to woo consumers

Related Videos:

  • Miguel Panduwinata: Did young boy predict his death on Malaysia Flight 17?
    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//;allowfullscreen=true&amp;autoplay=1"></iframe>
  • Elizabeth Ramsey: Stepmother starved her son to death, forced him to eat feces
    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//;allowfullscreen=true&amp;autoplay=1"></iframe>
  • Angry husband sends wife spreadsheet of a month of sex rejections
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518331091" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url=""></div>