Inaccurate Accounts of Bertha

I try to do justice to Bertha’s story. It’s a mission for for me to make sure the facts are reported correctly. I’ve been known to argue with people over what they report as the “facts.” The biggest and most disturbing is the amount of victims.  I want to set the record straight on this. Her alleged number of victims range from 3 to 17.

Henry Graham

Emilie Gifford

James Gifford

Bernard Stuhlfelder

Sherman Pounds

Jim Ogle

“Little” Beulah Pounds

Margaret Stuhlfelder

Beulah Ardella Pounds

Irene Stuhlfelder

Mary Elizabeth Brinley

Mary Stuhlfelder

Loyd Schamel

Elmer Schamel

Leona Slocum

Birdie Unnerstall

Ed Brinley

These are the 17 victims that most associate with. There may be as many as 4 more that I’ve researched but not sure of.

Ethel Schamel

Caswell Brinley (Doubtful. Was injured in a car wreck and may have been cared for by Bertha.)

Arthur Davis

Mary Brown (Doubtful)

Some people claim that she poisoned some 30 or more people and that most were children. 


Out of the 17 “alleged” victims, nine were children. Just a bit over half. That’s not mostly. A lot of that has come from the owner of Morse Mill Hotel, the same motel that Bertha and her first husband Henry ran during the early part of the century. No children were poisoned there either. Another rumor found to be untrue. Also, a paranormal investigator and a man I respect in that community has also said the same thing on his website. Simply not true, folks. 

Also, any rumors of Bertha haunting the motel or the court house, not true either. There are no truth to her haunting the State Hospital in Farmington either. As for her old house, I can’t say for sure. There is an eerieness about the place. I’ve always felt that, even before I knew who Bertha was. And there are reports of an older woman in 1920’a clothing seen out in the fields near the house, but that could be anyone.

I feel bad for Kay, with the new-found surge in interest in Bertha’s story, all the negativity. Seen one on her blog, several on find-a-grave, and countless others around the internet. The portrayal of Bertha on “Deadly Women” didn’t help any. People are going to be that way, that’s human nature. It’s just a shame that people have to be this way.

So when you’re out there looking for new info on Bertha, be careful of that information. It may not be right. If you’re wanting to know more of the truth, let me know and if I’m not sure, I know people who probably do know. For the sake of everyone involved, let’s get the story straight and then maybe Bertha’s spirit can rest in peace.


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