Suzanne Basso was born May 15, 1954 in New York State. Her maiden name was Suzanne Burns
Suzanne Basso was married in the early 1970’s to a former Marine who would later be arrested for molesting their daughter
Suzanne Basso would move and be romantically involved with a man named Carmen Basso. Suzanne who did not divorce her first husband would take his last name. Carmen would die in 1997 from natural causes.
Suzanne would meet Buddy Musso who was living in an assisted living home and the two would start a long distance relationship. Soon after Buddy would move to Houston to be with Basso.
Suzanne along with her son James O’Malley, Bernice Ahrens Miller and her children, Craig and Hope Ahrens, and Hope’s fiancé, Terence Singleton all lived in the residence when Buddy Musso moved in. Reports indicate from the moment he moved in he was treated like a slave and abused by the people in the home. Two weeks after his arrival Buddy Musso would be brutally tortured and murdered.
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Suzanne Basso became the fourteenth woman to be executed in the US in the modern era after a last-minute appeal to the Supreme Court failed on Wednesday.
The 59-year-old former seamstress was put to death by lethal injection at the Texas state penitentiary in Huntsville, near Houston.
She is the 510th person to be executed in Texas, the nation’s most-active death penalty state, since America restored the death penalty in 1976. Of those, 505 were men.
Basso was the first female inmate executed in the US since Kimberly McCarthy was put to death in Texas last June. Only four women have been executed nationwide since 2002 – three in Texas, which accounts for more than a third of the total number of prisoners executed in the US.
Basso declined to make a final statement and was pronounced dead at 6.26pm local time, eleven minutes after the lethal dose of pentobarbital was administered, Associated Press reported.
Basso’s lawyer, Winston Cochran, asked the Supreme Court to review Texas’s criteria for assessing the mental health of prisoners sentenced to death.
In earlier appeals to state and federal courts, Cochran argued that Basso was delusional and did not meet the standard of mental competency required for an execution to proceed.
However, last month a judge in Houston ruled that Basso was competent enough to be executed. Cochran also contended that she had not received a fair trial. He said that no mitigating evidence was presented, the testimony of a medical examiner was questionable and no testimony or evidence showed that she personally killed Musso or proves exactly how he died.
Originally from New York, Basso was found guilty of the 1998 murder of 59-year-old Louis “Buddy” Musso.
According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, she lured the mentally-disabled man from New Jersey to Texas under the pretence that she would marry him. But she the ringleader of a group who tortured and killed him by kicking and beating him with belts, baseball bats and steel-toed boots. He was found by a road in a Houston suburb with extensive injuries.
Basso’s five co-defendants, including her son, were convicted of involvement in Musso’s killing but not sentenced to death. At the trial in 1999 it was suggested that Basso hoped to cash in on his life insurance payout.
Women account for about 10% of murder arrests but only represent 2.1% of death sentences imposed at trial and less than 1% of completed executions, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.
There are now eight women on Texas’ death row, including Linda Carty, a British citizen born on the Caribbean island of St Kitts.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Suzanne Basso Execution
Suzanne Basso would be executed by lethal injection on February 5, 2014
- Suzanne Basso Last Words
Suzanne Basso did not make a final statement
- Suzanne Basso Last Meal
Texas does not offer a last meal to those about to be executed