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Mary Ellen Samuels

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 12, 1994 | ANN W. O'NEILL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
As David Navarro tells it, he was a young man with big dreams and a puny wallet in November, 1988. So, when he needed someone to bankroll his fledgling house-hunting business, he turned to Mary Ellen Samuels, the mother of one of his friends. Samuels said money was tight, but she did have a job for him. She asked Navarro to kill her estranged husband, according to Navarro's testimony last week in Van Nuys Superior Court. "I just blew it off. It was like, yeah, whatever . . .
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 17, 1994 | ANN W. O'NEILL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Mary Ellen Samuels, portrayed during her murder trial as a cold, calculating "green widow," who orchestrated two murders for money, on Friday became the fifth woman to be sentenced to death in California since the state resumed imposing capital punishment. Ten members of the jury that in July had recommended Samuels' execution packed the courtroom's front rows as Superior Court Judge Michael R.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 22, 1994 | ANN W. O'NEILL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The Porsche, the parties, and the Cancun beaches she savored as a newly rich widow now only a memory, Mary Ellen Samuels sat stunned Thursday as a jury recommended that she be executed for orchestrating the murders of her estranged husband and the man she hired to kill him. A hush fell over the packed Van Nuys courtroom as the jury delivered the verdict. Samuels, 45, did not change expressions as a court clerk read the verdict of the jury--reached after two days of deliberations.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 17, 1994 | ANN W. O'NEILL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Mary Ellen Samuels, portrayed during her murder trial as a cold, calculating "green widow" who orchestrated two murders for money, on Friday became the fifth woman to be sentenced to death since California resumed capital punishment 17 years ago. Ten members of the jury that in July had recommended Samuels' execution packed the courtroom's front rows as Superior Court Judge Michael R.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 10, 1994 | ANN W. O'NEILL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
There she was, the recently widowed Mary Ellen Samuels, lying on her back in a hotel bed in Cancun, wearing only a smile and about $20,000--cold cash. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the Polaroid snapshot now officially known as People's Exhibit 2 promises to be a star prosecution witness for Deputy Dist. Atty. Jan Maurizi, who is alleging that Samuels killed her husband--and then the hit man she hired to do the job--for financial gain.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 25, 1994 | ANN W. O'NEILL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Flourishing a large blown-up photograph of the defendant wearing only $100 bills and a smile, a prosecutor told jurors Thursday, "This is the real Mary Ellen Samuels . . . clothed only with the blood money of her husband." Spectators gasped. Camera operators from tabloid television shows zoomed in. And jurors leaned forward in their seats as Deputy Dist. Atty. Jan Maurizi walked the picture past the jury box in Van Nuys Superior Court.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 6, 1994 | ANN W. O'NEILL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Nicole Samuels Moroianu's face betrayed no emotion Thursday as she told the jury at her mother's murder trial in Superior Court that her stepfather had beaten and raped her starting when she was 12. Moroianu, 24, said she didn't tell anyone for several years, afraid her disclosure would break up her parents' marriage. She said she felt embarrassed and ashamed.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 15, 1994 | ANN W. O'NEILL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Imploring a jury to spare his client's life, a defense attorney portrayed Mary Ellen Samuels, who masterminded the murders of her husband and another man, as a cookie-baking jailhouse "den mother" who should not be sentenced to death. To the prosecutor, though, Samuels is a remorseless, money-grubbing killer who deserves to be executed. Now, the decision whether Samuels lives or dies is in a jury's hands.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 2, 1994 | ANN W. O'NEILL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Mary Ellen Samuels, dubbed the "green widow" because she spent the $500,000 she inherited from her slain husband at a dizzying pace, was convicted Friday of two counts of first-degree murder for arranging his death and that of his executioner seven months later.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 24, 1994 | ANN W. O'NEILL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
As Mary Ellen Samuels told it, she was a shy person whose spending habits changed not a whit after her husband was murdered in 1988 and she received $500,000 in insurance and inheritance. "I paid bills. I lived like I normally did," Samuels told a jury last week as she testified in her own defense at her murder trial in Van Nuys Superior Court. "I bought a new car."
NEWS
July 22, 1994 | AARON CURTISS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Mary Ellen Samuels is about to join an exclusive club. If a Van Nuys jury's recommendation Thursday is upheld, the woman dubbed the "Green Widow" for masterminding the murders of her husband and a hit man will become just the fifth woman on California's Death Row. Only four women have been legally put to death in California since 1893, although the records are unclear whether any were executed by local authorities before that time. All the women were convicted murderers like Samuels.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 22, 1994 | ANN W. O'NEILL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The Porsche, the parties, and the Cancun beaches she savored as a newly rich widow now only a memory, Mary Ellen Samuels sat stunned Thursday as a jury recommended that she be executed for orchestrating the murders of her estranged husband and the man she hired to kill him. A hush fell over the packed Van Nuys courtroom as the jury delivered the verdict. Samuels, 45, did not change expressions as a court clerk read the verdict of the jury--reached after two days of deliberations.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 15, 1994 | ANN W. O'NEILL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Imploring a jury to spare his client's life, a defense attorney portrayed Mary Ellen Samuels, who masterminded the murders of her husband and another man, as a cookie-baking jailhouse "den mother" who should not be sentenced to death. To the prosecutor, though, Samuels is a remorseless, money-grubbing killer who deserves to be executed. Now, the decision whether Samuels lives or dies is in a jury's hands.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 2, 1994 | ANN W. O'NEILL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Mary Ellen Samuels, dubbed the "green widow" because she spent the $500,000 she inherited from her slain husband at a dizzying pace, was convicted Friday of two counts of first-degree murder for arranging his death and that of his executioner seven months later.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 2, 1994 | ANN W. O'NEILL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Mary Ellen Samuels, dubbed the "Green Widow" because she spent the $500,000 estate she inherited from her slain husband at a dizzying pace, was convicted Friday of two counts of first-degree murder for arranging the husband's December, 1988, shooting death--and his executioner's strangulation death seven months later. Samuels, who had denied from the witness stand that she was involved in either killing, leaned heavily against defense attorney Phil Nameth but showed no other reaction as the jury returned the verdicts, reached after 18 days of deliberations.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 24, 1994 | ANN W. O'NEILL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
As Mary Ellen Samuels told it, she was a shy person whose spending habits changed not a whit after her husband was murdered in 1988 and she received $500,000 in insurance and inheritance. "I paid bills. I lived like I normally did," Samuels told a jury last week as she testified in her own defense at her murder trial in Van Nuys Superior Court. "I bought a new car."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 21, 1994 | ANN W. O'NEILL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
To look at Mary Ellen Samuels, nothing would make you expect to find her where she will be this week--in a courtroom, on trial in the murders of both her husband and the man she allegedly hired to shoot him. "Hi, Muffin," remarked a friend recently, waving at Samuels, 45, from the front row of a Van Nuys courtroom. "She's so darling," the friend added to another court watcher. But the prosecutor, Deputy Dist. Atty.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 31, 1990 | MICHAEL CONNELLY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A Sepulveda woman was charged Tuesday with soliciting her husband's murder, then paying assassins to kill the man who arranged the slaying, authorities said. Two San Fernando Valley men were also charged in the second death plot. Mary Ellen Samuels, 41, faces two counts of murder with the special circumstance of soliciting a killing for financial gain.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 6, 1994 | ANN W. O'NEILL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Nicole Samuels Moroianu's face betrayed no emotion Thursday as she told the jury at her mother's murder trial in Superior Court that her stepfather had beaten and raped her starting when she was 12. Moroianu, 24, said she didn't tell anyone for several years, afraid her disclosure would break up her parents' marriage. She said she felt embarrassed and ashamed.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 19, 1994 | ANN W. O'NEILL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
As David Navarro tells it, he was a young man with big dreams and a puny wallet in November, 1988. So when he needed someone to bankroll his fledgling house-hunting business, he turned to Mary Ellen Samuels, the mother of one of his friends. Samuels said money was tight, but she did have a job for him. She asked Navarro to kill her estranged husband, according to Navarro's recent testimony in Van Nuys Superior Court. "I just blew it off. It was like, yeah, whatever. . . .
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