Mother charged with killing sons for life insurance money

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 25, 2011 7:34 PM

By Harriet McLeod

CHARLESTON, South Carolina (Reuters) - A South Carolina mother who told police her son killed three family members and himself has been charged with quadruple murder because she wanted their life insurance money, police said on Tuesday.

Susan Diane Hendricks, 48, was charged with the murder of her two sons, Matthew, 23, and Marshall, 20, her ex-husband Mark Hendricks, 52, and her stepmother, Linda Burns, who was in her mid-60s, police said.

She was also charged with four counts of possession of a weapon during a violent crime. Hendricks was arrested Monday night in an Easley, South Carolina motel.

Police were called to the house in Liberty, South Carolina early on Friday morning, October 14, Pickens County Assistant Sheriff Tim Morgan said. Based on observation at the scene, forensic evidence and interviews with family members, they determined that Hendricks' version of what happened was false.

Family members told police that Hendricks' motive was life insurance money. Hendricks was the beneficiary of multiple life insurance policies taken out by the victims, according to a police report.

Police said Hendricks killed the victims with a handgun that she kept in her night stand.

Pickens County Sheriff David Stone called it "a horrendous act of evil."

There was no evidence that drugs were involved, Morgan said.

"I can't imagine a mom killing her two sons for money," he said.

In 2006, Hendricks shot Doyle "Brian" Teague dead, telling police he had entered her home uninvited and threatened someone. Police determined she had acted in self-defense.

(Editing by Greg McCune)