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Woman Allegedly Tried To Buy 'Death Spell' For Ex-Husband -- Then Resorted To Murder-For-Hire

Kentucky Pediatrician Stephanie Russell Paid Death Spell Ex-Husband Murder-For-Hire

You know, even if this woman wasn’t going to prison we wouldn’t trust her as our pediatrician!

Dr. Stephanie Russell was a beloved small town children’s doctor in Kentucky. She had an office totally decorated in Disney themes. Sounds like a sweet woman… until she was charged in a murder-for-hire plot, that is. Dr. Russell was arrested way back in May 2022 after allegedly trying to hire a hitman to kill her ex-husband. Apparently she was furious her ex, Rick Crabtree, had been awarded sole custody of their two children. But the murder didn’t work out. Turns out the person she spoke to online — and agreed to pay $7,000 to kill Crabtree — was actually an undercover FBI agent. Oops! Now she’s charged with one count of using interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire.

But the case just took a very strange, magical turn…

Related: Young Dad Accused Of Killing Daughter Tells Cops Baby Was ‘Not Real’

Innerestingly, it was the defense who revealed this odd wrinkle in the case, per Law&Crime. They revealed a bevy of Whatsapp messages showing Stephanie didn’t jump right to a hitman. She first tried… voodoo? Witchcraft? We’re not sure which. But she reached out to the supernatural, in any case.

In the messages, she speaks to someone going only by the name Mama, from whom she is discussing buying a “death spell” for her ex. She asks:

“What is your success rate? Your price? Your guarantee?”

“Mama” then responds with the disturbingly reassuring messages:

  • “death success rates are 85%”
  • “price depends on the number of people”
  • “100% guarantee or money back”

Ultimately they land on $580 for a death spell for just one guy. With the money back guarantee? Damn, that seems like a reasonable deal. But that wasn’t enough for Steph. The not-so-good doctor asks for more specifics about the spell, even referencing animal sacrifice and the Afro-Brazilian religious tradition known as Quimbanda. But Mama shuts her down, saying simply:

“It’s a death spell my dear not a love spell. i can’t tell you inside details but i will do your job.”

But Dr. Russell didn’t stop there. For someone willing to believe in spells she could purchase, she stayed dubious — seemingly determined not to be an easy mark. She may have been new to the sorcery game, but she did what any savvy buyer would do. She shopped around.

She messaged someone just known as “Spiritual Healer” with the prompt that she was “looking for a death spell.” This one told her:

“Yes I will cast death Spell for you.”

She actually did get a better offer here, $430, only half up front, and the promise of “100% result in 6hours.” But Russell refused to pay up front at all, pleading with the Spiritual Healer, “Can I please pay after? I cannot afford to pay without results.”

The Spiritual Healer actually drops to $150 up front, citing the need to pay for the ingredients for the spell. The doc haggles down to $50. Amazing. Finally getting the price she wanted, Stephanie gives the magician her ex’s name and photo. However, she wants one more assurance — that this won’t involve Quimbanda. Spiritual Healer answers that it will be Voodoo only.

That seems to be that. But she reaches out to a third person going by “Sk” — this one tells her no, it’s not Quimbanda but rather “indian vedic magic.” But after Stephanie sends the name and photo, Sk actually advises her against using a death spell. Still, she tells them:

“The only way we will have peace is if he dies.”

But Sk warns her that “killing him etc is going to harm you and family as he has some type of protection on him.” They say he is actually “into black magic” — and as such suggest she purchase a “banishing spell only.” Dr. Russell forces the issue, asking:

“Is there anything you can do to cause the death?”

They don’t seem to want to touch it. And of course we know where she ended up after the magic didn’t pan out for her — hiring an undercover fed.

So why did the defense offer all this? Doesn’t it kind of prove she was trying to pay someone to kill Crabtree, even if it was through unorthodox means? Well, they argue it proves Russell wasn’t in her right mind. They’re arguing she didn’t have the mental capacity to be convicted of the crime she’s charged with — essentially because she was crazy enough to try to use magic!

“Ms. Russell’s mental health was severely disturbed, from both the empirical and clinical perspectives, when she engaged in the conduct alleged in the indictment… In March 2022, Ms. Russell reached out to self-described spiritualists for help, asking (with all credulity) for a ‘death spell’ on her ex-husband.”

We appreciate the legal curveball, but… will it work? One would have to be out of their mind to believe a spell could actually work, but then again, enough people believe in all sorts of supernatural things and just call it having faith in their religion, so… if she’s crazy, are all religious followers? We’ll have to see what the court thinks. The trial is set to begin April 22 in Louisville.

What do YOU think, Perezcious readers? Does this make her more guilty? Less? Mentally incapable? Or just eccentric? Tell us your thoughts in the comments (below)!

[Image via Oldham County Detention Center/Netflix/YouTube.]

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Mar 08, 2024 18:55pm PDT