Biggest Failed Attempts to Collect Life Insurance Money

We always hear stories of crazy individuals taking the lives of their loved ones to claim life insurance money. It happens so often that many people spend time scrutinizing potential beneficiaries so that they don’t have to fear being poisoned in the near future.

The good news is that among the tragic cases are some murder attempts that have failed. Let’s look at some of the biggest failed attempts to collect life insurance money by beneficiaries.

1. Anti-Freeze Poisoning Doesn’t Equal Ecstasy for Criminal Wife

Kate Knight, a young wife from the United Kingdom looking for some extra cash, was all about filing a life insurance claim after her husband’s untimely death. There were only two problems with her plan. One, she couldn’t file a claim if she murdered him. And two, she couldn’t file a claim if he didn’t die.

This is precisely how Knight’s plans fell through when she spiked her husband Lee’s drinks with anti-freeze and ecstasy in hopes of claiming his £50,000 policy, only to realize that he didn’t die. Tragically, she left him blind, deaf and with left brain damage. The good news, however, is that she was sentenced to 30 years in prison for her crime and never received his money.

2. Two Life Policies, Two Attempts at Murder

Kimberly Boone, a Central Florida woman, was accused of committing two crimes in attempts to kill her husband. Her first attempted murder charge was for the shooting of her husband in March 2009, something that she initially said was committed by an intruder and then by her after assuming he was an intruder.

The second attempted murder charge was for trying to kill her husband three months prior by burning down their home after drugging him with Xanax. The prosecution said that in both attempts, Boone was hoping to make life insurance claims that would total $200,000.

Eventually, she was found not guilty for the shooting charge, but still has to face a jury on the second attempted murder charge in the coming months.

3. A Love Rat and His Land Rover

In 2009, Michael Hollins was accused of trying to kill his wife, Chloe, in order to collect her £500,000 life insurance policy. The so-called love-rat businessman was having an affair with a secret lover when he decided he was ready to rid himself of his wife and bring his secret affair to light.

To finish his job efficiently, he developed a plot to kill Chloe by having her run over with borrowed a Land Rover Discovery then pretending it was a tragic accident. The only problem is that when he hit her while she was walking their dog on a country road, she suffered two pelvis fractures and a broken leg, but didn’t die.

For his crime, he must serve 14 years in prison before he can apply for a release. Depending on his behavior while incarcerated, the sentence could stretch to 28 years. But the best part of the story is undoubtedly that he got no insurance money out of the deal.

4. Serial Killer Tries to Murder Son

In 2008, Scott Kimball was sentenced to 48 years in prison for his serial killing spree. But one incident that he never was found guilty of was the attempted murder of his son, who was critically injured, not once, but twice in one day.

The injuries started when a 200-pound metal grate fell on Kimball’s 10-year old son on his property. Matters only worsened when, on the way to the hospital, his son falls out of the car.

While it seemed at first that the incidents were a part of a series of coincidences, Kimball’s own mother suspected that he purposefully injured his son in two attempts to kill him. She felt so strongly about it that immediately after her grandson was injured, she changed the beneficiary’s name on his $60,000 life insurance policy from her son’s name to hers.

When Kimball’s son was able to speak again, he confirmed that his father pushed him out of the moving vehicle. But while he got away with attempted murder, the good news is he did not get away with the insurance policy.

5. Army Wife Kills Kids in Attempt to Kill Husband

This is one of the most tragic stories of the lot. Army wife, Billi Jo Smallwood, wanted a shot at her husband’s $400,000 insurance policy and would do anything to get it. To make sure she was able to stake her claim, she removed the smoke detectors, poured gasoline on the floor of their home and ignited it.

She was able to escape with small injuries but her two children, ages 9 and 2, were killed. The person she intended to kill, however, her husband–along a third child–was able to escape. Of course, she was unable to collect the insurance money she wanted. And as of March 2010, she was facing charges of life in prison with the possibility of a death sentence.

It’s always sad to think that people will go to such great lengths to get their hands on their loved ones’ life insurance policies. But it’s good to know that at the very least, some of the perpetrators fail to get away with the crime.