—excerpt from Fighting the Devil
There was a time when the millionaire rancher, Jerry Sternadel, gave all the orders. No one dared to tell him times were a-changin’. When he discovered in May of 1990 that his wife, Lou Ann, and his bookkeeper, Debbie Baker, had stolen thousands of dollars from him, he demanded the money back by Memorial Day, threatening to have them arrested for embezzlement if they did not. He also told his wife he was going to divorce her.
A week before Memorial Day, Jerry ate lunch with Lou Ann and Debbie as he often did.
Soon after consuming his taco salad, he became violently ill, with nausea, vomiting, and severe diarrhea. He was admitted to the hospital on three different occasions between May 23 and June 12.
Doctors were mystified as to what was causing this otherwise healthy forty-nine-year-old man to become so deathly ill. Jerry did not smoke or drink and he exercised daily. During his final stay in the hospital, toxicology tests showed 4,895 mcg of arsenic in his system. Even while he was a patient in the hospital, the arsenic levels had continued to climb!
Jerry told nurses and anyone within earshot that his wife and bookkeeper were killing him.