HUNTSVILLE, Texas — A woman convicted of torturing and killing a mentally impaired man she lured to Texas with the promise of marriage was put to death Wednesday in a rare execution of a female prisoner.
The lethal injection of Suzanne Basso, 59, made the New York native only the 14th woman executed in the United States since the Supreme Court in 1976 allowed capital punishment to resume. Almost 1,400 men have been put to death since then.
Before being put to death, Basso told a warden, "No sir," when asked to make a final statement. She appeared to be holding back tears, then smiled at two friends watching through a nearby window. She mouthed a brief word to them and nodded.
As the drug took effect, she began to snore. Her deep snoring became less audible and eventually stopped.
Basso was pronounced dead at 7:26 p.m.
She was sentenced to die for the 1998 slaying of 59-year-old Louis "Buddy" Musso, whose battered and lacerated body, washed with bleach and scoured with a wire brush, was found in a ditch outside Houston. Prosecutors said Basso had made herself the beneficiary of Musso's insurance policies and took over his Social Security benefits after luring him from New Jersey.