Suzanne Basso Executed for Murdering a Disabled Man

Suzanne Basso

Suzanne Basso, 59, who was convicted in the murder of mentally disabled Louis “Buddy” Musso in 1998, was executed on February 5th, 2014. Her crime is described as premeditated murder, because she intended to lure Musso to come to Texas in so she could marry him. Meanwhile, she was planning to kill him in order to take his life insurance money and be in possession of his Social Security. She was aided by five defendants to fulfill her crime.

The autopsy of Musso’s body showed many bruises, cuts and cigarette burns. It was proved that he had been severely tortured. There were plenty of cuts on his head and his skull was shown to be fractured, in addition to a fractured bone in his neck as well as 14 broken ribs. Due to the merciless, violent, anti-human act that was done to a disabled man, she was sentenced to death.

Suzanne Basso was a baffling character. A state judge explained that she had a talent of fabricating stories. At one session in the court, she would speak in the voice of a little girl. In another court session, she would pretend to be blind. Another time, she would act as if she could not walk. One time, Suzanne Basso narrated a story that she apparently invented of a nurse who attempted to kill her by a snake when she was in a prison hospital. She also claimed to be beaten in prison until she became paralyzed. However, she was discovered to have a degenerative illness which forced her to use a wheelchair.

Basso’s attorney, Winston Cochran, rejected the quick judgment of execution. He wanted Basso to be tested for psychological issues, which might have changed the sentence on the case. He attempted to take advantage of Basso’s peculiar behavior in court. However, the murderer could not outperform investigators in the first place. It was evident when Musso’s corpse was found that Basso was trying to distance herself from the crime, as she had called the police to report that Musso was missing.  Unfortunately, this was the moment when Basso became the major suspect in the crime.

Meanwhile, some organizations fought against Basso’s execution by sending a petition to the Governor of Texas, pleading with him to commute her death sentence to life in prison, referring to the criminal’s mental illness and physical paralysis. The petition also concluded that it would be unfair for someone in her physical and psychological  situation to face a death penalty. However, there was no response received on the petition, because the court declined to halt the execution.

Suzanne Basso was executed by a lethal injection of pentobarbital, which took about 11 minutes to happen. She was pronounced dead at 6:26 p.m. Before her death, she was being asked if she wants to say anything, but she refused.  She whispered a message to two of her friends who were present at the scene, who smiled and nodded. Although Basso was one of the six people involved in the crime, she was the only one for whom prosecutors wanted the death penalty. She was thought to have been the leader and the mastermind, responsible for killing a disabled man in a brutal manner. Suzanne Basso is one of  only 15 women to be executed in the U.S. since 1976.

By: Mona Salman

BBC News

 abc NEWS