Womb raider killer just hours from execution on Donald Trump’s last-minute death list
Lisa Montgomery will be given a lethal injection for strangling a pregnant woman in Missouri, US
Our free email newsletter sends you the biggest headlines from news, sport and showbiz
Sign upWhen you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters. Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer. OurPrivacy Noticeexplains more about how we use your data, and your rights. You can unsubscribe at any time.Thank you for subscribingWe have more newslettersShow meSee ourprivacy noticeInvalid Email
America is due to execute its first female federal inmate in almost 70 years – unless there is an unprecedented last-minute act of clemency by Donald Trump.
Womb raider Lisa Montgomery will be given a lethal injection in the federal death chamber at USP Terre Haute for strangling a pregnant woman in Missouri before cutting out and kidnapping the baby.
Unless the President grants the 52-year-old an 11th hour reprieve, she could very make history as the last women ever executed by the US as new President Joe Biden hopes to abolish the State’s bloodlust for revenge once and for all.
For many, despite her guilt never being in question, the taking of her life will mark a turning point in the America’s lethal legal system.
Ten of thousands of Americans feel to kill Montgomery will be an injustice on top of an injustice after she was systemically failed by the Government, her family and society.
Few could imagine the truly horrific upbringing she endured during which she was repeatedly raped, forced into child prostitution and sadistically treated throughout.
What do you think about capital punishment? Let us know in the comments below
Victoria Jo Stinnett miraculously made it through her ordeal unharmed
Police withdraw £200 fines for two best friends who travelled five miles for walk
Thug tipped disabled man out of his wheelchair on night out leaving him unconscious
But, unless Trump has a change of heart, he will ensure she will be one of three more inmates to be placed on his conveyor belt of killing in his last days in the White House.
He hopes to have executed six since between his November election loss and next week’s inauguration.
Last year, for the first time in US history, the Government executed more people than all 50 states.
The number of federal prisoners put to death in 2021 was ten – the highest since President Grover Cleveland’s second term in office in 1885.
Before Trump leaves office in nine days, three – Montgomery, Cory Johnson and Dustin Higgs – will be added to the list.
The last federal executions of women, both in 1953, were of Bonnie Heady, killed in a gas chamber in Missouri, and Ethel Rosenberg.
Montgomery will be only the fifth woman put to death in a federal execution in history if she is not reprieved.
Her only hope is for a temporary stay pushing her execution beyond new President Biden’s swearing in.
A pregnant Bobbi Jo Stinnett at a dog show
The incoming US leader has said he will push to end America’s death penalty.
Montgomery ended up on death row following the events of December 16, 2004, when she drove from Kansas to the home of Bobbie Jo Stinnett, in Skidmore, Missouri, purportedly to purchase a puppy.
“Once inside the residence, Montgomery attacked and strangled Stinnett – who was eight months pregnant – until the victim lost consciousness,” the Department of Justice says.
“Using a kitchen knife, Montgomery then cut into Stinnett’s abdomen, causing her to regain consciousness. A struggle ensued, and Montgomery strangled Stinnett to death. Montgomery then removed the baby from Stinnett’s body, took the baby with her, and attempted to pass it off as her own.”
The baby was returned to her father, after being recovered from Montgomery. Incredibly, the child survived and was brought up by her dad Zeb.
Baby Victoria Jo was released from hospital the night before her mum was to be buried in Skidmore.
Zeb who has raised her with support from his and Bobbie Jo’s families.
Zeb and Victoria Jo in 2005
The girl’s relatives appear to have gone to great lengths to protect her from the media glare since the horrific attack. She turned 16 on December 16, 2020.
It was and remains a genuinely heinous crime that shocked America but her horrific childhood, although not an excuse, is what has left many conflicted over what her execution will achieve.
Montgomery’s post-conviction legal team have petitioned the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights claiming her trial “fell far short of minimum standards of fairness”.
They argue it violated international law, and that the US government bears some blame for her crime given its abject failure, throughout her life, to protect her from severe child abuse and sexual violence.
Montgomery’s childhood, although not an excuse for her crime, was horrific.
Granted, her guilt was never in question, but she was sentenced to death because her then lawyers appeared not to understand how to defend her.
She has “bipolar disorder, temporal lobe epilepsy, complex post-traumatic stress disorder, dissociative disorder, psychosis, traumatic brain injury” and most likely born fetal alcohol syndrome.
All of which was backed by medical professionals.
US Editor Chris Bucktin at the grim looking jail, Terre Haute prison, Indianapolis, where Lisa Montgomery is due to be executed the first woman in nearly 70 years
She was raised into a family rife with mental illness, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression.
Her father left when she was a toddler.
According to court documents and mitigation investigations with nearly 450 family members, neighbours, lawyers, social workers and teachers, she was abused by her mother Judy Shaughnessy, in extreme and sadistic ways.
She was forced to sit for hours in a highchair if she didn’t finish her food while her mouth was so regularly covered duct tape to keep her quiet, she learned not to cry.
Shaughnessy, who is now dead, told an investigator her daughter’s first words were, “Don’t spank me. It hurts.”
Compounding her childhood further her stepfather, Jack Kleiner, began to sexually assault her when she was around 13.
He built a shed-like room with its own entrance on the side of the family’s trailer outside Tulsa, Oklahoma and kept Montgomery there.
Her post-conviction team learned Kleiner, a rampant alcoholic, would bring friends over to rape her, often for hours, sometimes three at once.
Shaughnessy also began to prostitute her daughter to cover the bills for plumbing and electric work.
Before he died in 2009, Kleiner videotaped a statement denying the abuse, but his employer testified he had admitted to raping Montgomery.
In 2013, her half brother Teddy Kleiner testified their mother would make the other kids go outside while she was being raped.
However, in her 2007 trial, the jury failed to hear little of what made her into a killer.
Instead, her legal team tried to frame her other half brother Tommy Kleiner despite having his probation officer as his alibi.
Now, with her appeals exhausted Montgomery’s attorney have pleaded with Trump to agree to her clemency petition and save her life.
So far, he has refused to grant anyone compassion.
Even before his Presidency, the then businessman’s love for putting people to death was well known.
In 1989 he spent the equivalent of a £135,000 taking out newspaper ads demanding the death penalty for the ‘Central Park Five’.
Although no DNA evidence connected the black and Latino boys, aged 14 to 16, to the rape of white jogger Trisha Meili, it didn’t stop him calling for their executions.
“BRING BACK THE DEATH PENALTY. BRING BACK OUR POLICE,” read the alarming ads, which Trump accompanied with a first-person article.
Get the day's biggest stories to your email – sign up for the Mirror newsletter
“I want to hate these murderers and I always will. I am not looking to psychoanalyse or understand them, I am looking to punish them.”
The teenagers were exonerated by DNA evidence and a confession from the actual perpetrator in 2002, 13 years after they were vilified by prosecutors and in the press after being charged and convicted.
To this day, Trump refuses to say he was wrong.
Instead, he has pursued the use of the death penalty while in office as others have backed away.
Only in November, public support for the death chamber hit its lowest mark in half a century as 60 per cent prefer a life sentence to capital punishment.
Trump, however, show no signs of leaving the other 40 per cent behind.