The Nurse Who Killed Her Children Because She Loved Them

 Christina Marie  , a certified practical nurse, intended to inject the kids with medications she had received from her hospital in order to murder them. She tried to commit suicide after suffocating both of her children to death after injecting her son with potassium chloride, which only produced suffering rather than death.

Initially, Riggs’ mother and attorney claimed that she had been experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder due to her work as a nurse caring for victims of the Oklahoma City government building bombing.

However, 28-year-old Riggs waived her right to an appeal and stopped her attorney from requesting clemency because she could not bear the shame of the killings and yearned to be reunited with her children in heaven.

Riggs’ Early Life

Riggs was raised in Oklahoma City after being born Christina Marie Thomas in Lawton, Oklahoma. She claimed to have had sexual abuse as a young child, and at the age of 14, she started abusing alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana. At age 16, she experienced her first pregnancy, which she later gave up for adoption.

After graduating from high school, Riggs obtained her licensure as a practical nurse and worked as a home health nurse and for a VA hospital.

In 1991, Riggs got pregnant and gave birth to her son Justin. Although the child’s father was not actively involved in their lives, she started dating Jon Riggs before Justin was born in June 1992.

Christina and Jon Riggs wed in 1993, and in December 1994, Shelby was born. In 1995, the pair relocated to Sherwood, Arkansas, where Christina Riggs’ mother resided, and she accepted a position at Baptist Hospital. After Christina claimed that Jon Riggs had punched Justin in the stomach, the two separated.

Justin and his sister

 Christina Marie’s Horrifying Crime

Children of Riggs were murdered in the family’s Sherwood residence as they slept. Injectable potassium chloride, calming tablets called amitriptyline, and the painkiller morphine were all part of Riggs’ original plan for the kids.

She took the morphine and potassium chloride from the hospital where she worked, and she bought the amitriptyline from a nearby drugstore.

Justin received the potassium chloride injection from Riggs first, and the undiluted medication burned his veins horribly but did not kill him. She attempted to give him a morphine injection to lessen his suffering, but it was unsuccessful, so she strangled him instead. She didn’t inject Shelby, instead smothering her after witnessing Justin’s suffering from the potassium.

Riggs was a registered practical nurse

In addition to writing suicide notes, she placed the kids on her bed and covered them with a blanket. She then injected herself with undiluted potassium chloride after taking 28 amitriptyline pills.

Police in Sherwood, Arkansas, were notified of an apartment just a few blocks from from the police station on November 4, 1997. A mother had called the police after complaining that she hadn’t heard from her daughter Christina Marie Riggs and her two grandchildren in some time. She requested that cops check on her welfare.

When the cops came, they discovered a Radio Flyer wagon and a small red tricycle in a side yard. They could not have been prepared for what they discovered inside. Two kids, Justin Dalton Thomas, age 5, and Shelby Alexis Riggs, age 2, were found dead. They also located Christina, their mother. Although she was asleep, she was still breathing. She was taken urgently to North Little Rock Hospital, where her condition was listed as critical.

North Little Rock Hospital, where Riggs was resuscitated

Police discovered a suicide note written by Christina and addressed to her mother inside the flat. She expressed concern in her writing that once she took her own life, her children, who all had different fathers, would be split up. She added in her letter that she didn’t want her children to know that she had killed herself. It was now clear that a murder-suicide attempt had been made.

Christina’s attempt at suicide would fail, and after she came to in a hospital, she was charged with two charges of murder. The remains of Justin and Shelby were taken to the local medical examiner’s office while the cause of their deaths was investigated. The responding police reported that there were no obvious symptoms of trauma. It only appeared that the kids were dozing off.

She wrote a suicide note addressed to her mother saying:

“I can’t live like this any more, and I couldn’t bear to leave my children behind to be a burden on you or to be separated and raised apart from their fathers and live knowing their mother killed herself.”

The Sentencing

She was depicted by the prosecution as a cold-blooded killer who considered her children to be a “inconvenience.”

As a result of her depression and the trauma she experienced from working as a nurse close to the scene of the Oklahoma City bombing, Riggs argued at her trial in June 1998 that she was not guilty by reason of insanity. According to the prosecution, Riggs killed her kids because she hated them.

The jury in Pulaski County found her guilty. Riggs declared she wanted to be put to death during the sentence phase and blocked her counsel from putting forth a case. Later, she succeeded in persuading the court to let her withdraw her appeals.

She succeeded in persuading the court to let her withdraw her appeals

She had been sexually abused as a youngster, had a string of failed relationships with men, was poor, and had low self-esteem due to her fat, according to doctors who testified on her behalf.

She was 122 kg when she died (270lb). When her executioners were unable to locate a vein in her arm, she consented to the execution needles being inserted in her wrists.

County prosecutor Larry Jegley refuted the notion that her bad luck justified her behavior, saying: “She claims she was severely unhappy, overweight, a single mom, and she didn’t have enough money.

Riggs’ Execution

Riggs was transported by air from McPherson to Cummins on April 30, 2000, in order to be put to death.

On May 2, 2000, at 9:28 p.m. Central Daylight Time, she was executed by lethal injection of potassium chloride, the same drug she had intended to kill her children.

Prior to the start of the execution, she said: “No amount of words can truly convey how sorry I am for taking my babies’ lives. There is no way I can undo the harm I have done to everyone who knew and loved them.” She said, “I love you, my babies,” as her final words.

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