When marriages fail, divorce can turn ugly - even, deadly: what was once a passionate union becomes plagued by spite, greed, betrayal and, literally, backstabbing. Each episode explores tumultuous, shocking, and disturbing divorces, and delves into the criminal psychology behind what actually happens when one spouse determines that the only way out is murder. Guiding viewers through these crimes of passion are Dr. Brian Russell, an attorney as well as a forensic and clinical psychologist, and Stacy Kaiser, a licensed psychotherapist and relationship expert. In each episode, the two experts examine the couple featured and provide analysis on marriages that break down to the point that divorce and murder collide.
Runtime: 60 minutes
Fatal Vows - Della Sutorius - Netflix
Della Faye “Dante” Sutorius (August 8, 1950 – November 20, 2010) was an American woman who was convicted of murdering her husband in 1996.
Fatal Vows - Investigation and trial - Netflix
Investigation into the background of Dante Sutorius revealed that her real name was Della; she had begun using the name “Dante” sometime in her 20s, feeling that “Della” sounded too African-American. It also showed it was not the first time she had been associated with violence. Her third husband alleged that she had repeatedly threatened to kill him during their marriage; after the couple divorced, she was charged with threatening another man, this time a boyfriend, with a gun. One husband had found knives hidden around the house he shared with her and had been surprised when she told him she “could kill you”, while her fourth husband told investigators that she was mentally abusive and he feared her to the point of hiding the bullets to his gun to prevent her from being able to use them. Dr. Sutorius had discovered that virtually everything Della/Dante had told him about her background was false. She claimed to have graduated from UCLA, but in truth had never finished high school. She claimed to have owned a day care business, but had never held a steady job in her life. When he learned about these lies and her violent history, he cut Della out of his will and began divorce proceedings. A week before his death, he was planning to formally serve her with papers and have her thrown out of their house. Hamilton County, Ohio prosecutor Joe Deters theorized that Della Sutorius had “a serious problem with rejection” after colleagues of her husband reported that he had been considering divorce. According to her sister Donna Hall, Sutorius's approach to men had long been colored by monetary gain: “She said you find a wealthy man and, when they die, you'd get their money”. Sutorius declined to take the stand in her own defense at her trial. Though her lawyers argued that police had failed to prove that Darryl Sutorius's death was anything but suicide and that his wife's statements to police had not been preceded by a Miranda warning, she was convicted on June 7, 1996, with the jury deliberating for fewer than five hours before finding her guilty of aggravated murder, use of a gun in a crime of violence, and drug possession. Later the same month, she was sentenced to 23 years to life in prison, the maximum penalty allowed. Judge Richard Niehaus said that contrary to her media portrayal as a “black widow,” she was more akin to a lionfish, who attracts prey with its brilliant stripes before using its poisonous spines to kill them.
Fatal Vows - References - Netflix