Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong, as one judge described her, is “a coldly calculated criminal recidivist and serial killer.” She had experienced a lifetime of murder, mayhem, and mental illness. She killed two boyfriends, including one whose body was stuffed in a freezer. And she was convicted in one of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s strangest cases: the Pizza Bomber case, in which a pizza deliveryman died when a bomb locked to his neck exploded after he robbed a bank in 2003 near Erie, Pennsylvania, Diehl-Armstrong’s hometown.
Diehl-Armstrong’s life unfolded in an enthralling portrait; a fascinating interplay between mental illness and the law. As a female serial killer, Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong was in a rare category. In the early 1970s, she was a high-achieving graduate student pursuing a career in education but suffered from bipolar disorder. Before her death, she was sentenced to serve life plus thirty years in federal prison.
In Mania and Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong, Jerry Clark and Ed Palattella examine female serial killers by focusing on the fascinating and tragic life of one woman. This book also explores mental illness and forensic psychology and provides a history of how American jurisprudence has grappled with such complex and controversial issues as the insanity defense and mental competency to stand trial. The authors’ account shows why Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong was unlike any other criminal – man or woman – in American history. Accounts of Diehl-Armstrong’s travails – her difficult childhood, her murder trials, her hoarding – are interpolated with chapters about mental disorders and the law.