Beth Dickison Richards, 37, in Florida makes a mean tuna sandwich. Richards, a Central Florida mail carrier, reportedly confessed to trying to murder her husband by poisoning Gregory Lawrence Richards’ tuna sandwich. As with the Ronald Dahl’s “Lamb to the Slaughter,” the evidence might have been destroyed (though not the blood test evidence) if Gregory did not stop eating the sandwich and complain of feeling ill.
What Gregory was feeling was not bad tuna but multiple crushed up Trazodone pills, used for depression. Beth is now charged with attempted first-degree murder, poisoning food with the intent to kill, possession of cannabis and possession of drug paraphernalia. The last charge stems from a bag of pot found in the residence.
The difference between Mary Maloney’s frozen leg of lamb and Beth’s tuna sandwich is that the latter leaves blood traces that could be spotted during a standard autopsy. One question for the defense will be whether the Trazodone was for Beth and whether a claim of incapacity could be raised. The problem is that depression is a common condition and not generally something that is viewed a basis for an insanity defense.