May 18, 2009

Barbara Stager Denied Parole

Convicted murderer Barbara Stager today
Source: news-record.com

I am a bit late reporting this news but I am overjoyed to hear it.

Convicted killer Barbara Stager was denied parole in March for the first degree shooting death of her husband, Russ, in 1988. Stager was convicted in 1989, sentenced to death and resentenced in 1993, with the death penalty being overturned in favor of life imprisonment. This was her first parole hearing.

If you have never heard of this case, I highly recommend that you pick up Jerry Bledsoe's Before He Wakes, a chilling recounting of Barbara Stager's life and crimes. Not only does Bledsoe, a North Carolina resident himself, dig deep into Russ and Barbara Stager's marriage, but also that of Barbara's first marriage - - to Larry Ford, father of her two sons and also a husband who ended up dead from a gunshot wound in their marital bed. For the record, Barbara was never charged in Larry's death and it was not allowed to be introduced into her trial for Russ' murder.

This woman is a cold, calculating killer who put financial gain ahead of family and love. She collected hundreds of thousands of dollars upon her husbands' deaths and for that, she should have received the death penalty in my opinion. Is there anything worse than a family member killing another for money? Greed isn't one of the seven deadly sins for nothing.

Stager is eligible for parole in 2012 and here's hoping justice for Russ Stager (and Larry Ford, although not through the courts) continue to be served.

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

KUDOS!!!!! To the NC Parole Board. I have never written to a Parole Board before but did in the case of this cold hearted BIT**. The death penalty never should have been reversed. May Larry and Russ rest in piece. May she rot in Hell.

love of god said...

I watched this Awesome movie about her. I do believe she is paying for her crime. But God forgives. I believe you can not bring anybody back. And when you lose someone it is painful may the parents of Russ have peace. And I blame her Mother for putting pressure on her and making her become so perfect. But it does not excuse her murdering Russ. May she find torment for what she did and find the real Jesus in prison. May she face her full term in prison. And my heart goes out for first Wife may she be blessed for her faith fullness.

juliem said...

I watched the movie before he wakes. she is evil and should never be allowed out. she should have got death. I hope they find enough evidence to convict her off the murder of her 1st husband. She a hypocrite christain they do not do bad stuff like that. she is ugly is though she would be good looking like the woman was in the movie. hopefully she will not be able to marry anymore men.

Anonymous said...

God sees all,God will serve justice by HIS time clock until then prison is where she belongs

Anonymous said...

I was incarcerated with Barabara, and I firmly believe that she is remorseful and deserves forgiveness for what she did. Only God can judge. We all make mistakes and deserve forgiveness. No sin is bigger than another. That is what people seem to forget in these cases. So, Barabara, if I don't see you out of prison, I'll see you on the streets of gold.

Anonymous said...

I too believe in forgiveness, but that does not mean that consequences are not to be paid. This woman more than likely is a double murderess. Let her live her life out in prison. The fact that she gets to continue living is a form of forgiveness.

Anonymous said...

I also believe in foregiveness. It is truely scary how mean and unforgiving people have become. Her crime was awful and she is paying for it. With her time in prison and her necessary self-reflection. But my gosh! The hate and vengence & evil coming from people who want revenge is really disturbing. Especially the victims first wife. Shame on her ** Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. Colossians 3:13 **

Anonymous said...

Most people have no idea how she affected so many lives when whe took those two. The loss of Larry was 30 years ago, but the effects and pain still linger on. She deserves to die in prison.

Anonymous said...

I also believe in forgiveness, so I will forgive the justice system for overturning death sentence but Barbara is not to be forgiven. She needs to rot in prison. Her sons are better off with no Mother than one like that. Further more her Mother is not to blame every parent should try and bring out the best in their children. May god bless Russ and Larrys families and of course Barbaras two sons.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
I was incarcerated with Barabara, and I firmly believe that she is remorseful and deserves forgiveness for what she did. Only God can judge. We all make mistakes and deserve forgiveness. No sin is bigger than another. That is what people seem to forget in these cases. So, Barabara, if I don't see you out of prison, I'll see you on the streets of gold.



Anonymous, do you really expect us to believe that you served time with this woman....and that you are speaking out in her defense here instead of in a national forum? Seriously?? I doubt it highly. If you wanted something interesting to write, you could have just put your opinion instead of making up some bullsh*t story.

Anonymous said...

All we can hope is that her fellow incarcerated peers are giving her what she deserves every day. For her husbands that lived it everyday until the day she took their lives. Lets hope she has the same h*ll life she created for those men. And god bless the real widow that helped put her in a place she deserves.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the death of her 1st husband was truly an accident and because the story flew the first time... She thought for sure if she did it again, they would believe her this time... I just hope her son is doing well!

Anonymous said...

I just saw a show on this case and the show was several years old so I was interested to learn if she made parole. I am delighted to see your update and that she was not paroled. I am quite surprised more wasn't done about her first husband's death after authorities learned about his death but I am glad she was convicted for Russ'. She is getting what she deserves.

Anonymous said...

God has forgiven her and she is where she has put herself and now she can be thankful for just being a live!

Anonymous said...

I have watched the TV programs about this wicked witch--a true horror story. She is obviously psychotic. Forgiveness is one thing, but stupidity would be another if she is ever released. Sure, forgive, but NEVER let her out, or we all will be asked to forgive her again, the next time she murders someone, which she will do if she is ever released. God in your wisdom, forgive her, but hide the key to her prison cell.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, do you really expect us to believe that you served time with this woman....and that you are speaking out in her defense here instead of in a national forum? Seriously?? I doubt it highly. If you wanted something interesting to write, you could have just put your opinion instead of making up some bullsh*t story.

Acually I was incarcerated with Barbara in Troy, NC. Feel free to look me up on the NC DOC webpage. My DOC# is 1108439.

Anonymous said...

hahah, she told you to look it up and gave you the number! guess maybe you should stop being an ass. anyway, i don't care is she is remorseful or not she killed 2 people and deserved the death penalty, which she originally got but was over turned to life in prison and she should NEVER get out. i am tired of paying for these people. her original verdict should have been upheld and carried out.

Anonymous said...

1993 - The State Supreme Court affirms the conviction, but overturns the death sentence and Barbara Stager is sentenced to "Life." Life means serving a minimum of 20 years before parole eligibility.


that is NOT life. that is 20 years.

Anonymous said...

I was a only 10 years old when she killed her second husband so i am just now really learning about this tragedy. i became interested in the case after seeing the movie and then reading the book. I firmly believe this woman is guilty of killing both husbands. Her stories are just too ridiculous to believe. I am a christian and i believe that the death penalty should have been upheld. she didn"t give either of her husbands the chance to live so why should she have that opportunity. if she ever does get out i firmly believe that she will do it again. it is just her nature.

Anonymous said...

to anonymous who was incarcerated with her;
i looked you up. you were in DOC for 3 months. that does not seem like a long enough time to really know if someone is who they say they are to me.
also, stager was viewed as an upstanding citizen and was well liked in the community before the murder of Russ. maybe she's just good at fooling people.

TheBonescraper said...

did you ever consider that the justice system is terrible to begin with? If this lady killed two husbands for money that deserves the death sentence. MAYBE she could afford to pay for a fancy lawyer or buy a judge or jury member?hmm.. she did stash lots of money away.. you don't think THAT might have affected her fate? If she was broke they would have given her the death sentence and no movie deal.Is this lady getting any money for the movie and book and the feature on "deadly women" that I just saw? SHAME on all of us for glamorizing this..Praise Jesus. Thats about the ONLY thing that makes sense out of this whole page!!!!

Lori Hedgpeth said...

Thank you, everyone, for taking the time to post and share your opinions.

I appreciate everyone's opinion and they surely are varied on this case and with Barbara Stager.

Personally I believe there is still a huge reluctance in this country, and perhaps especially in the south, to sentence a woman to the death penalty. It's not fair, as we are all supposed to be treated equally in the courts of law but as anyone who has watched or read about celebrities and pseudo celebrities being indicted and tried knows, justice is not always fair nor equivalent.

I believe the 1993 jury saw a sad, broken down woman with two children - - two children who had already lost two fathers - - and showed Barbara more sympathy than she had shown Larry Ford or Russ Stager. Such is the way it goes with juries.

I don't know if Barbara is truly remorseful, nor even if she is capable of feeling remorse. What I do know is that she is where she should be for her actions, based on her sentence. But for their murders, Larry and Russ would most likely still be alive and enjoying their lives and in my opinion, Barbara should not be allowed to be free to enjoy hers when she prevented them from doing the same.

And while I do believe that God forgives and I do believe that all people make mistakes, I cannot possibly consider the planned and cold-blooded murder of not one, but two, husbands to be "mistakes". Barbara Stager made clear and conscious choices, just over a decade apart, after setting the stage for an apparent "accident". That's not a mistake in my book. That's cruel and that's murderous and for that, Barbara Stager receives no sympathy from me.

Happy Sunday, all.

Anonymous said...

I don't suppose anyone noticed that Melissa (the anonymous poster who stated that she knew Barbara Stager in prison) is marked as "Absconded" on the NC DOC website?

Perhaps that's why she's not chimed in about her experiences with Babs again. ;)

As for Babs, I agree: keep her in prison.

As for her being remorseful, if you believe that, I have a bridge I'd like to sell you, cheap. :)

If she had the capacity for remorse, why wasn't she remorseful enough after Larry's death to just put on her big girl panties and confess to Russ? Being able to murder a defenseless, sleeping human being twice speaks of a lack of remorse. Or character.

And for those citing her current behavior in prison as being "proof" of her rehabilitation, this sort of murder is "episodal" ~ meaning, just because she's been a good little girl in prison doesn't mean that IF she's in the same situation again, she won't murder again (rather than deal with the situation as a normal, rational human being).

Anonymous said...

Before He Wakes is the name of the book. Not While He Sleeps.

Lori said...

Thanks for the heads up, Anonymous. I can't believe I mistook the title of the Bledsoe book . . . shame on me.

Anonymous said...

Wow, this has been informative reading, although our comments are varied, we all agree on one thing...Barbara should never be released. Now my question here is this, Why was her sentence overturned from DEATH to life? I've read the book and watched the LMN movie more times than I can count and I've yet to find what the Court could establish that would change her verdict. I noticed one comment posted,her mother shouldn't have pressured her into being so perfect, as though her mother's demands was the reason she committed these crimes. I think that is unfair to accuse/insinuate the mother for Barbs behavior. If that be the case, who do you hold accountable for the atrocities committed by those who come from homes/families where there are morals, values, respect? I'm just asking.

Anonymous said...

I believe her narsistic attitude and greed coupled with the knowledge,she got away with the first crime,allowed her to cultivate her manipulation skills which deluded her into thinking she could get away with another murder, not because of the act in and of it's self but the benefit it would procur. I too agree, IF she is ever released she will kill again. Who knows, she may be like the woman in Ann Rule's book called All She Ever Wanted (from GA). who killed her In-Laws and their elderly parents and after her release from Prison she got a job as a (of all things)Caregiver and killed her employers wife and would have killed him had her eldest daughter not contacted the Police. By the way, It's a good read.

panzi said...

I have just finished reading 4 of Jerry Bledsoe's books..one being *Before He Wakes*..if any of you are into true crime, do yourself a favor, and look Jerry's books up..you won't be sorry..Barbara was/is the epitome of manipulating, conniving and strategy for her own gain..I'm sorry to say that she got just what she deserved..she thought more of herself,and the opinions of others about her, than she thought of her children..murdering both their Fathers..just goes to show that even after 20/30 years, KARMA has a way to biting you in the butt..

Lori said...

Hi panzi,
Thanks for your comment.

Jerry Bledsoe writes some well done true crime work. It's a shame that he has apparently decided to step away from that.

"Before He Wakes" is a marvelous retelling of the Stager story. Any true crime fan will appreciate it and anyone feeling sympathy for Barbara should read it.

Barbara's actions are as old as time itself. Greed, lust and coveting. That is all. She is exactly where she deserves to be and she's lucky the state of North Carolina cannot execute her for her crimes.

Lori said...

Anonymous,
I am so sorry about my late response. I'd like to give you my opinion about why Barbara escaped the death penalty.

I think there are two main reasons. The first is that I believe people are still hesitant to execute a woman. Call it the double standard if you like but I think if it had been Russ Stager or Larry Ford on trial for shooting Barbara (and for financial gain), the State of North Carolina would not have been so hesitant to throw the switch, so to speak.

The second reason is that I'm sure the second jury didn't want to execute the church going woman and mother they were presented with. Her attorneys hammered home how devout she was (despite being a murderer) and how productive she was in prison and would continue to be. It really gave the jury an out and relieved them of having to decide to put a woman to death.

I think Brian knew his mother was a killer but no child, even an adult child, would necessarily wish death on a parent. And no jury could be unmoved by a child crying for his parent's life to be spared.

So that is my opinion. Did she deserve the death penalty? Absolutely. Was it overturned because of a sympathetic second jury? Absolutely.

Anonymous said...

It may b true the courts are gender biased with the death penalty; however, I read that the year Barbara was convicted, 1993, is 1 year prior to a new law being implemented in 1994 that prevented the death penalty in this type case. Personally, I'm a christian and believe the Bible says in Leviticus 12, I believe, "if you kill without my permission; you are to be taken from my altar and be put to death."( paraphrasing ) yes, I believe in the death penalty, and before many of you good people tell me Leviticus is " just for history," ask yourselves if you would leave out teaching your children the cornerstone of the Old Testament, the 10 commandments! I truly believe our prisons should be for people who commit counterfeiting, embezzling, armed robbery, fraud, etc. Rape, murder, and torture should receive the death penalty. Thanks for your time.

atonyclifton said...

My favorite post is from the hideous excuse for a woman who thinks "murder is a mistake" and that "no sin is bigger than another". That one deserves the "sleeve size iq of the year award". She goes on to screech about only "god being able to judge". I've got news for ya, there's something sickeningly wrong with a person who DOESN'T judge a woman who has murdered two people. That's not a "mistake" we just sweep under the rug and say "oh well, i've got it, let's forgive her". Killing people isn't a "mistake", buying the wrong size shoes is .It never ceases to amaze me how unbelievably stupid people are. And thanks, Einstein, for explaining to all of us that she knew exactly what she was doing when she murdered those men. Maybe she hasn't informed you yet but according to her she hasn't murdered ANYONE. I'm real pleased, however, that she admitted remorse for crimes that she never committed. That's one for the books alright. So i guess you've also "forgiven" her for being a liar as well as a murderer, huh? Thank god this evil hobag twat is exactly where she belongs. She most certainly should have a date with the needle, but nobody can compete with the ignorance, ineptness, wimpyness, hypocrisy, sexism, and severe lack of common sense of this country's "justice system".

ed rusiecki said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Real world justice! said...

First and foremost people, "there is no god"! It's so very sad that so many people still live in denial because of their unfortunate indoctrination most likely as a child, not mention their obvious inabilities to deal with the realities of living in the real world! My point being that the only justice this evil woman will ever face is that of the judicial system and so it's very simple! An eye for an eye, she has chosen her destiny by committing these self serving, despicable crimes & must spend the rest of her miserable days in preferably the harshest prison environment possible! My sincere condolences to the victims families.

FlowerPower said...

The only thing this woman is sorry for is the fact that she got caught !
Just think about it -If she was not challenged on her actions there would MORE than likely been husband No3 and she would have carried on happily been a murderer .
And for all the people on here who are talking about forgiveness remember ''Thou shall not kill '' Something that she was quite willing to overlook !
Well IF she really is a believer then -She deserves what's waiting down stairs for her and knows what's she is in for.
Those poor kids and the rest of the families are who I shall save my feeling for .
Annie

syl m said...

The only thing this now old bag is remorseful about is that she got caught, convicted and now sitting in prison-
I hope she dies in there. If not for the first wife...she would've gotten away with
this murder too.

Anonymous said...

God said forgive and I believe Barbara Stager received that when her death sentence was overturned. She should be counting her lucky stars that she at least get to live out her life period. Forgiving doesn't mean let a double murderer out to murder again. What her ex con buddy doesn't seem to want to realize that this woman planned and carried out the murder of two husbands. If that isn't horrible enough, contrary to the belief of the person who spent time with her, she has never shown any real remorse for her crimes. She continues to stick to that "it was all an unfortunate accident" story. I could possibly say "yeah, let a person out on parole who gets into a bar fight that ends in the death of one's opponent but this woman shot and killed her second husband while he slept and quite possibly shot her first husband and watched him gasped for air till death, both for money. I won't go as far as to say she should've gotten the big juice but on the outside of prison walls is definitely not where she should be or deserves to be.

R. Weiss said...

Foreviveness has absolutely nothing to do with punishment. She Killed two men that supported her, helped raised her children and Russ Stager helped raise and inspire many children as a teacher and coach. If it makes you feel better to forgive a self-centered scorned adulterer of a woman who for One Reason killed two men two fathers, two brothers two uncles, two sons for greed and money so,be it. You categorize people as mean and unforgiving for seeking justice and punishment in an attempt to perceive yourself as superior by denigrating others views. One shall not judge, lest you be judged. Practice what you preach.

pannie said...

It is one thing to forgive someone,but the State has an obligation to protect society as well. Life without parole is the best way to ensure that she doesn't kill again.