In 2003, Brian Wells robbed a bank. This was no ordinary bank robbery though. Wells had an explosive strapped to a collar around his neck. Before it went off, Wells claimed that he'd been forced to go through with the robbery.
The investigation led back to Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong (pictured), a 58-year-old woman who is currently imprisoned for the murder of an ex-boyfriend, James Roden. Prosecutors allege Armstrong planned to force Welles to rob the bank in order to pay someone to kill her father. They also claim that Roden's murder was to keep him from telling anyone about the bank robbery plot. From the Philadelphia Inquirer:
In 2005, Diehl-Armstrong pleaded guilty but mentally ill to murdering Roden on or around Aug. 13, 2003, about two weeks before Wells' death. Roden's body was found in a freezer at the home of another former boyfriend, William Rothstein, after he tipped off police in September 2003.
Though Armstrong says she's not mentally ill, evidence in her trial for the murder of Roden alleged past psychiatric problems such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Her lawyer claims that her obsessive personality means she was too focused on that murder to have been involved in the robbery.
Armstrong is currently being held at SCI-Muncy. For statistics about women in prison, go to the jump, or check out the Prison Society's Working Group to Enhance Services for Incarcerated Women.
- There are more than 2,000 women in Pennsylvania state prisons
- An estimated 60 percent of incarcerated women are women of color
- The number of women behind bars has risen at more than double the rate of men over the past decade
- Nationally, one in three women is incarcerated for a drug offense
- Forty-six percent of incarcerated women experience some psychological disorder
- Pro-arrest policies have led to a dramatic increase in incarceration for women committing domestic violence crimes despite the declining number of murders committed by women