Blue eyes, pretty smile, charming personality, features that are pleasant and desirable; so how can someone with such desirable features engage in an undesirable action? Susan Wright, a blonde hair blue eyed woman who appeared admirable for a wife and a mother turned that attractive demeanor into an ugly look. The same hands that nursed her children and cooked, cleaned and catered to her husband are the same hands that took his life away, leaving her a young widow and her children fatherless. Many people wondered why and how could a woman kill her husband in such a gruesome way that churns stomachs and weakness knees. This is the story of how a beautiful hands can do monstrous things.
193, that’s how many times Susan Wright stabbed her husband, nearly 200 times. What made Susan a monster wasn’t that she stabbed her husband, it was how she did it and how many times she did it as well as what she did with the body afterwards. “The medical examiner concluded Jeff Wright died of multiple sharp-force injuries. He had been stabbed at least 193 times. Among these injuries, Jeff suffered 41 stab wounds to his face, 23 to his neck, 46 to his chest, 22 to his abdomen, 7 to his pubic region, including a superficial cut on his penis, 19 to his legs, 23 to his arms and hand, and one to his back.” (Wright v. State.) Unfortunately, we hear about killings, murders and mass shootings often however there is a deeper, more negative and sickening connotation to stabbing someone to death. In my previous monster essay on The Joker, I evaluated what made him a monster and I discovered his love for knives. In a quote from the Joker in The Dark Night, he says that guns are too quick, you can’t “savor all the emotions.” Stabbing is more personable, allowing you to murder someone through close contact while you watch them slowly die. For this reason, Susan’s case is viewed as unjust and unthinkable.
Before she met her husband Jeff Wright, Susan never lived a privilege or easy going life, she had to work hard just to get by and make ends meat. She performed okay during school, getting by with C’s, barely making it to graduation. In a small town in Texas, she didn’t have many options however she was able to get by with her charming looks and good girl persona. Before she met her soon to be husband Jeff, she briefly worked as a dancer to support herself, playing off her looks to sustain in life. When she met Jeff, he was secure and had a stable income, unlike her, her came from a two parent loving home. Jeff looked promising and her future for the first time looked stable and clear. Her and Jeff started dating and quickly fell in love however just months into their relationship, she became pregnant with their first child, a baby boy. All would seem good and happy except for the fact that she told Jeff she was on birth control and he believed she set him up, getting pregnant on purpose to trap him. Pregnancy trap, in Susan’s eyes, could’ve been the only way to keep Jeff; after all this was the first time Susan had a chance at a stable and secure future.
Desperate for advice, Jeff turned to his father who told him that “the child needed a father,” (Francis, 2005.) With the pressure to raise his family and be in his son’s life, Jeff decided to marry Susan hoping to have a happy, long lasting love but little did he know, he was in for a rude awakening. Shortly after their wedding and the birth of their son, their marriage begin to take a turn for the worst. with tensions rising high, Jeff decided to take on boxing to find relaxation but sadly the punching bag wasn’t the only thing he was taking his frustration out on. During the trial, Susan admitted to being beaten by her husband, he was emotionally, verbally and physically abusive. Susan shared that she vented to her mother and sister about her fears of him continuing to abuse her. However, when they offered for her to move in with them she refused to leave her husband and returned back to him despite her allegations of being abused. Susan had multiple opportunities to leave him and start a new life. Jeff also took up a bad habit of snorting cocaine, the immense amount of bills and marriage pressures led him to seek drugs as a coping mechanism which led to him abusing his wife while he is impaired. However, during trial, Susan’s prosecutor Siegler revealed some cracks in Susan’s story when she asked Susan why hadn’t she visited the hospital if she suffered severe trauma to the skull and battered ribs from her husband’s abuse?
As the trial proceeds, more truth unveils about the Wright’s relationship. Jeff’s friend and co worker agreed to testify and he revealed being with Jeff during a phone call he received from Susan in which Susan was harassing him about not taking care of the life insurance policy. Jeff’s friend admitted that Susan sounded upset with Jeff and Jeff told her “don’t worry honey, you’ll be a rich woman when I’m dead.” (Blue-Eyed Butcher.) This became a leading motivational cause for why Susan had ended her husband’s life instead of simply divorcing him. Suan, coming from humble begins, saw that she could have a prominent financial standing and means to take care of herself and her children without her husband and unhappy marriage.
On Monday January 13, 2003, Jeff Wright was to come home after boxing and snorting coke to a home cooked meal prepared by his wife in hopes of a romantic dinner date. Susan had spent the day preparing the house and dinner for her husband when he comes home, she adorned in a nice dress as she did her hair and makeup. According to Susan, Jeff began playing fighting with their son who was still up and greeted Jeff when he came home, the playful fighting ended not so playful when Jeff accidentally hit his son in the mouth, busting his lip. Though Jeff apologized, claiming it was an accident, Susan became angry and harsh words between the two were exchanged when Jeff told his wife she looks like a whore as he smudged her makeup then proceed to bed. That’s when something clicked and Susan decided she’d had enough, that dinner would be the last effort she made to rekindle her marriage. Late that night, while Jeff was sleeping, Susan hovered over him with a knife in her hand, she tied him up to the bed with his ties then straddled him while she repeatedly stabbed him over and over again. She only stopped when she heard a knock on their bedroom door, her son had woken up due to all of the noise. She then hid the knife and rushed to send him back to bed, but according to Susan, she feared that Jeff would find the knife and come after him so she went to the kitchen, grabbed another butcher knife went back into the bedroom and continued to stab him over and over again. During trial, when asked why she stabbed him so many times, weren’t her arms tired? She revealed that it felt like an outer body experience, she couldn’t remember how it felt she just remember that for every stab, she thought of every time he abused her, every time he called her a whore, every time he forced her to have sex when she didn’t want to. She couldn’t stop or control herself.
The damage didn’t stop there, she dragged her over 200 pound husband out of the bedroom and to the backyard where she dug a hole and buried him in it. the next day she went the the local department store and bought bags and bags of dirt to cover up his body. Two days later she filed a police report against him, staging an endangerment for her life, claiming she needs a restraining order against her abusive husband. She then took out all of the money out of his account and surely she didn’t forget to go after the jackpot known as his life insurance. For an entire week, she lied to her and his friends and family, claiming that he ran away until one day she confessed to her mom that she ‘thinks’ she killed her husband.
Susan strategically constructed her defense in hopes that the jury would find her to be the victim. By trying to stage a restraining order as an act of defense against her husband and claiming that even after she stabbed him 193 times, she believed he was still alive, she wanted the jury to believe that he abused her so much that she had no other option as an act of self defense and she wanted the world to believe that she was mentally ill as an effect of that. Her lawyer had her sent to a mental hospital where she was evaluated and though she proceeded the sherad of claiming she believed her husband would wake up and still abuse her and attack her, she slipped up one day and admitted to the psychologist that her husband was sleep when she killed him and that he is dead now. All of the cracks in her story began to unveil during trail and the jurors found no sympathy for her, finding her guilty and sentencing her to 25 years in prison. Her sentenced was then reduced to 20 years and Jeff’s family finally got the justice they believed they deserved.
What made Susan’s case monstrous was that she didn’t act on self defense as she tried to claim to the jurors, but rather it was premeditated. She lied to the court, stating that Jeff had the knife first, threatening to kill her but in reality, as she soon revealed to her psych doctor, Jeff was sound asleep when she attacked him. As Cohen’s seventh thesis states, “monsters are our children,” (Cohen 1997.) Susan’s monstrous actions were created by her need for survival ever since she was a child and as she stated, the abuse from her husband led her to do what she did.
Cohen, Jeffrey Jerome. “Monster Culture (Seven Theses).” Monster Theory: Reading Culture, University of Minnesota Press, 1997.
This source states and explains all seven monster thesis and how they can apply to all types of monsters. I will use this source to make connections to how I Susan Wright is considered a monster. This source is useful when I have to evaluate what classifies Susan as a monster. This source is reliable because it is from a educational reviewed book.