Today’s Odd, Violent, Yet Truly Morbid Fact!
Suzanne Basso was an odd woman by any standard. Massively obese, she was obsessed with everything Irish, though she herself had no Irish blood at all. She spun fanciful stories about herself, such as claiming to be heiress to a Nova Scotia oil fortune. She also had a violent temper and was believed to have had something to do with the death of her husband Carmine Basso.
In 1997, Basso met Louis “Buddy” Musso in New Jersey. Musso was 59, and though he lived independently and worked at a local grocery store, he was mildly mentally retarded and was overly trusting. Basso had little trouble wooing Musso and despite the misgivings of his family and friends, he left New Jersey to travel to Texas with his new girlfriend in June of 1998, believing they would marry. Basso was more interested in Musso’s Social Security checks. She became his representative payee, meaning his checks went directly to her; she cut off all contact with Al Becker, a longtime friend of Musso’s who had been his payee for twenty years, and she dodged attempts by Becker and Musso’s niece to check up on his welfare. She also took out life insurance on Musso, with an extra payout to be received if he died through violent crime.
Through all this, Musso lived in squalor with Basso and her grown son, James O’Malley, whom it is widely suspected she was having a sexual relationship with. They, along with friend Bernice Ahrens, her son Craig, daughter Hope, and Hope’s fiance Terence Singleton, regularly tortured Musso. He was forced to sit or kneel for hours on a plastic mat, and if he tried to move out of position he was kicked with steel-toed boots, beaten, stomped or burned with cigarettes.
On August 25, 1998, Musso received an especially severe beating, with the overweight Basso jumping on him while he was on all fours. Musso asked for somebody to call an ambulance. Instead, his six tormentors bathed him using a solution of bleach and Pine-Sol and a wire brush. He died during this “bath.” Musso’s body was dumped in a ditch outside Houston, Texas and was found a couple of days later. Every inch of his body was bruised, cut or burned; the medical examiner could not determine which had been the fatal injury. Even his palms and soles were bruised, and he’d suffered a hinge skull fracture, broken ribs, whip marks and burns that appeared to come from a cigarette or a hot poker.
Basso was sentenced to death and was executed by lethal injection on February 5, 2014. she was 59 years old, the same age as her victim.
We can argue over whether or not putting Suzanne Basso to death is justice for the death of Buddy Musso, but few would disagree that nothing could ever be adequate retribution for what Musso went through before his death. – Aimee