Haunting Story of Southern Idaho Female Serial Killer
Twin Falls is a beautiful place. It's well known for its views of the Snake River, stunning Shoshone Fallsl, and Perrine Bridge, but very people know the dark history that exists there. A pretty prolific female serial killer, named Lyda, who is known to have killed at least 5 people
A few weeks ago I wrote a blog about Idaho's most famous or rather infamous serial killers.. One of the most well-known murderers on the list was Lyda Southard of Twin Falls. (Also known as Lyda Trueblood)
Thanks to Only in Your State, we now know a little more about Lyda's killing spree in Twin Falls.
Lyda's story begins when she married Robert Dooley and moved to Twin Falls back in 1912. The couple lived with their small child and her husband's brother, Ed. Three years later Ed passed away shortly after a life insurance policy was taken out on him, payable to Lyda and her husband upon death. A few months later her husband Robert, mysteriously died as well. Then a while later, their infant daughter passed too. Each time her family members passed, Lyda became wealthier and wealthier as the insurance companies paid of the benefits of her the insurance policies.
Two years after her first husband's death, Lyda married another man and moved to Montana. He mysteriously died shortly thereafter due to similar "mysterious circumstances". Southard's husband #3 came and went the same way.
For a long time it was believed that only men could be serial killers because men were prone to be aggressive and women to be more passive. For years, Southard stayed under the radar with the pleasant attitude she showed to others in the community. However, she eventually picked another victim - her fourth husband, Ed Meyer, and her dark secrets began to fall apart.
When Ed fell sick and passed away right after their marriage, many people in Twin Falls grew suspicious. His body was ordered for inspection and arsenic was found in his blood. Shortly thereafter a local sheriff was assigned to the case and ordered testing on all of Southard's husband's dead bodies. There was no surprise that arsenic showed up in all of them!
Of course, Lyda ran when suspicions arose about her. She was eventually caught in Hawaii and returned to Idaho where she was sentenced to 10 years to life in the Idaho State Penitentiary here in Boise. Southard was sneaky and escaped the Penitentiary in 1931 with the help of another inmate. She was picked up in Colorado and returned to the prison until 1941 when she was paroled.
After leaving prison Lyda married again. The man disappeared years later, but his disappearance was never proven to be linked to Southard. Though Lyda was living in Salt Lake City when she died in 1958, her body was transported back to Twin Falls where it now lays - buried close to the sheriff whose search halted her killing spree.
Get more on Lyda Southard here