Velma Barfield was an arsenic poisoner. She is infamous not only for her crimes but because she was the first woman to be executed by lethal injection. Barfield was born in South Carolina on 23 October 1932. In she married a man named Thomas Burke in 1949. She had a son in 1951 and a daughter in 1953. But in the 1960s Velma became addicted to prescription drugs.
Then in 1969 her house burned down while she and the children were out. However her husband was inside and died of smoke inhalation. In 1970 Velma married a man named Jennings Barfield but he died less than a year later. Velma's mother, Lillian died in 1974. In 1976 Barfield got a job caring for an elderly couple, Montgomery and Dollie Edwards. Montgomery died in January and he was followed by Dollie in March. Barfield then cared for another elderly couple, John Henry and Record Lee. John Henry died in June 1977. Velma moved in with her boyfriend Stuart Taylor but he died in February 1978.
Barfield's sister called the police and told them that Velma was responsible for the death of Stuart Taylor and others. Barfield confessed to murdering her mother, Lillian, Montgomery and Dollie Edwards and John Henry Lee. However she was only convicted of the murder of Stuart Taylor. Velma Barfield was executed by lethal injection on 2 November 1984.