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Scientist Convicted of Poisoning Wife with Cyanide
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Scientist convicted of poisoning wife.

Summary: A Pennsylvania jury convicted Robert Ferrante, a manager of a scientific lab, of poisoning his wife with cyanide.

The case appears as clear cut as it is mind boggling. Robert Ferrante, who managed a chemical laboratory, has been convicted of murdering his wife with cyanide. His wife, 41-year-old Autumn Klein, worked as a University of Pittsburg medical researcher, and the two were apparently happy, taking care of Klein’s 6-year-old daughter Cianna and considering having another child. In fact, neighbor Blithe Runsdorf said, “I’ve never seen anything to suggest they were anything but a happy couple with a beautiful little girl.”


As always, appearances aren’t everything. Though the couple had recently returned from a trip to Puerto Rico, and all seemed well, there were hidden tensions under the surface. Klein wanted to get pregnant, and was taken creatine, something her husband (errantly) said would help her become pregnant. One neighbor confided that Ferrante did not want to have another child.

Further, Ferrante accused his wife three times within the weeks before her death of having an affair, and “Further, evidence has been uncovered that reflects that the victim intended to have a conversation with Ferrante and Ferrante would ‘not have liked the discussion.’”

Ferrante called 911 on April 17, 2013 claiming his wife might be having a stroke, after which she died. The court case didn’t get going until this October. During that case it was revealed that Ferrante used his credit card to order over a half-pound of cyanide, which, upon later investigation, was shown to have over 8 grams removed from it.

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Though Ferrante’s lawyer, Bill Difenderfer claimed that his client “did extremely well” on the stand, jurors felt otherwise. “I thought he was very candid, and he was telling the truth.”

One juror disagreed saying, “I think he has excellent coaches. I think he had a year to think about the story he wanted to tell.”

That juror, Helen Ewing nevertheless told reporters that “It was very hard for me to accept and to believe that he could have done it. But I felt that the facts were clear, and I couldn’t argue with them.”



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