A callous, gambling-addicted grandmother who committed a brutal double murder escaped a death sentence in Florida, given life in prison after pleading guilty to first-degree murder to avoid the lethal injection.
Lois Riess, who became known as “Losing Streak Lois” for her bad luck at local casinos, went on a gambling spree across the US after killing her husband David in March 2018.
The 54-year old’s body was discovered at the home they shared in Blooming Prairie, Minnesota after colleagues grew worried at his non-appearance.
Despite his wife Lois’ excuses that he was on a fishing trip and then unwell, police were finally called in and David’s body was found – dead from gunshot wounds to the chest.
By this time, however, Lois had scarpered in the family’s white Cadillac, having forged cheques from her husband’s worm-growing business.
She was caught on CCTV gambling at a casino in Iowa and had reached Fort Myers Beach in Florida by the time her husband’s body was found.
Her murder and theft spree was far from over, however, the woman dubbed the ‘Killer Grandma’ befriending a similar-looking woman, 59-year old Pamela Hutchinson.
When Pamela’s body was found a few days later, it was clear Lois was the prime suspect – gunshots wounds to the chest matching those from her husband’s recent slaughter.
“Losing Streak Lois” took on her second victim’s identity, stealing her car and using her ID to withdraw more than $5000, spotted in Louisiana casinos as she fled cross-country yet again.
On April 19th, in a South Padre Island, Texas, restaurant, her luck ran out when she was recognised by a staff member – police arresting her for the double murder and various other federal charges.
When faced with the sheer volume of evidence against her, the murderous grandmother changed her plea to guilty of first-degree murder of Pamela Hutchinson.
That saved her from the death penalty, and the life sentence was doubled when she was extradited to Minnesota and pleaded guilty to her husband David’s first-degree murder.
Before her sentencing for David’s murder in August of this year she stated:
“What I did was an unpardonable crime. Solitude is forever. I feel I deserve this. I will have no reprieve.”