Susan Russo, convicted of arranging murder of husband in '90s, has died at 67

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Saturday, October 1, 2022
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Susan Russo, who was convicted of arranging the 1994 murder of her husband, has died at 67.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Susan Russo, who was convicted of arranging the 1994 murder of her husband in Fresno County, has died at 67 of natural causes, said California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Attorneys called her "the black widow" during her trial.

Russo was sentenced to serve life without parole in 1996 for conspiracy to commit first-degree murder of her husband in 1994. She was also sentenced to serve six years for soliciting or join in the commission of murder, served concurrently with the life sentence.

Investigators said Russo arranged to pay her then-boyfriend to kill her husband, David Russo, so she could collect benefits as his surviving spouse, including a nearly $1 million insurance policy.

She let her boyfriend and an accomplice into her Riverdale home, where they shot her husband and disposed of his body, while the couple's children were asleep in another room.

In 2017, Russo's sentence was commuted by Governor Edmund G Brown, Jr., allowing her to have parole hearings.

After being found suitable for parole on Jan. 25, 2018, the governor reversed the parole grant later that June.

Russo had been assigned to Central California Women's Facility in Chowchilla and had been receiving medical treatment a local medical facility since August, 2022, the CDCR said.

The Fresno County Sheriff-Coroner's Office will determine her official cause of death.