‘Black Widow’ Accused of Killing Husband for Life Insurance
September 2nd, 2010
Termed the ‘black widow,’ 51 year old Tami Duvall of Indianapolis has been accused of murdering her husband. Her motive: cashing in her husband’s $100,000 life insurance policy.
Alan Duvall, 61, died at his home in Columbus back in 2007 and the cause of death was initially determined to be alcohol poisoning. Tami Duvall confirmed these findings, stating that she believed he had ‘drunk himself to death.’ But Mr. Duvall’s blood also had a high level of morphine in it at the time of death – around 82 times the recommended therapeutic level.
Increasing Suspicion from Life Insurance Company and Victim’s Family
The presence of drugs in his system made Mr. Duvall’s family suspicious: Duval’s stepbrother stated that Alan Duvall enjoyed his drink but strictly abhorred the use of drugs – he told the Republic newspaper that “if someone walked in his house and had drugs, he would throw them out.”
Working at a local nursing home, Tami Duvall would have easy access to certain drugs such as morphine, which killed her husband. Prosecutors affirm that the cause of death was drugs which were placed in Alan. Duvall’s food by Tami Duvall on the night he died.
Life Insurance Policy Worth $100,000 Believed to be the Motive
The prosecution reported that just a month prior to his death Tami Duvall persuaded her husband to take out a life insurance policy of $100,000 naming her as the beneficiary, even though she had recently told friends that she intended to divorce her husband.
Duvall Anxious to have Life Insurance Payout Released
Tami Duvall began acting suspiciously after her husband’s death; she became anxious to get the body cremated as quickly as possible and asked investigators several times how much longer they were going to take since she needed to collect on a life insurance policy.
Tami Duvall later changed her statement to police about what happened the night of her husband’s death. She stated that Alan Duvall had taken the morphine himself in order to commit suicide.
Tami Duvall has been charged with murder, insurance fraud and obstruction of justice. A plea of ‘not guilty’ has been entered for her at a preliminary hearing and the trial date is set for January 2011.
Source: Chicago Tribune August 2010