A notorious serial killer just walked out of prison. The house where they planned the murders was up for sale two years before her release. It is all part of a tragedy that left nursing home residents dead, and many people’s lives shattered forever.
Catherine Wood walked out of the minimum-security prison in Tallahassee, Florida, on January 16, 2020, after serving close to 30 years for taking part in the murder of at least five nursing home residents. The victims, aged 65 to 97, lay helpless in their beds while Wood and her lover, Gwen Graham, smothered them. Because of the age and physical condition of the patents, their deaths were
|Cathy Wood mugshot 1988|
Catherine May Wood (b.1962) met Gwendolyn Gail Graham (b. 1963) when the two worked together in 1986 as nurse’s aides at Alpine Manor Nursing Home in Grand Rapids, Michigan. They became lovers, Graham moving in at Cathy’s home on Effie Street in Grand Rapids. Wood had a reputation for stirring up trouble, keeping coworkers in constant drama, with fights, love triangles, and playing “mind games.” There were “jokes” and pranks at work that went unpunished: switching patients in their rooms, hiding under patients’ beds to scare each other, slipping in and out of places via windows, coworkers meeting for sex, and coming to work intoxicated. Wood was also physically and
|The house where the planning took place|
Cathy Wood’s excuses for the killing varied. The murders began as a “game” between Wood and Graham; they were killing specific patients, so the victim’s initials spelled MURDER. Then it was to forever bond the two lovers in a “secret pact.” Later, Wood told others it was she who killed, and she blamed Graham to get revenge. But the only two people who know the truth are Wood and Graham. Wood, being a classic narcissist and sociopath, is a practiced liar. All information about the murders came from her; otherwise, there was no real evidence. Graham never admitted guilt.
Graham would be found guilty of five counts of murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder in 1989 and is serving five life sentences in state prison. For testifying against Graham and for cooperating with authorities, Wood was arrested in 1988 and charged with one count of second-degree murder and one count of conspiracy to commit second-degree murder. She received 20 years on each count in a federal prison. She was denied parole each time she was eligible.
Alpine Manor has changed companies and names several times since the tragedy. People of Grand Rapids still remember the horror. The victim’s loved ones will never recover. The house on Effie has new owners. And Cathy Wood has a new life, thanks to a bureaucracy that allowed a sociopath to make a slick deal, ensuring her release into the world she destroyed for innocent people.
New York Times Best Selling Author Lowell Cauffiel’s “Forever And Five Days” details the case in depth. Read a sample and purchase the book HERE.
Thanks to Ryan Matthews for providing information.