Margie Velma Bullard Barfield (Margie Barfield)

Margie Velma Bullard Barfield

The subject of Jerry Bledsoe’s 1998 book, “Death Penalty,” Velma Barfield was the first woman executed in the United States since 1962 for the arsenic murder of Stuart Taylor, her fiance. It was later discovered that she had also killed her own mother, Lillie Bullard; three people for whom she served as caretaker, Montgomery Edwards and his wife, Dollie, and John Henry Lee, and her second husband, Jennings Barfield, all by arsenic poisoning. She had been stealing and forging checks to finance a prescription drug habit and did away with her victims to prevent her forgeries and thievery from being discovered. Just before she was executed in 1984, she confessed to her son. Ronnie, that she had killed his father, her first husband, Thomas Burke, by setting a fire in the bedroom while he was passed out, drunk, on the bed. He died of smoke inhalation at the age of 38.  The fire also killed the family pets: a Siamese cat, Sadie, and a poodle, Termite.  Velma Barfield was convicted and sentenced to death in 1978, but appeals and stays of execution delayed justice for six years. She was finally put to death on November 2, 1984, by lethal injection at Central Prison.  Her son buried her with her first husband, Thomas Burke.  Family links:  Parents:  Murphy Olive Bullard (1911 – 1972)  Lillie McMillian Bullard (1910 – 1974)  Spouse:  William Thomas Burke (1932 – 1969)*  Siblings:  Olive Odell Bullard (1930 – 2002)*  Margie Velma Bullard Barfield (1932 – 1984)  John Samuel Bullard (1935 – 2007)*  Tyrone Stanley Bullard (1944 – 2002)** *Calculated relationship**Half-sibling


  • October, 29, 1932
  • USA


  • November, 11, 1984
  • USA


  • Parkton Cemetery
  • USA

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