Army Veteran Doug Gissendaner Murdered for the Marital Home & Life Insurance, Wife Kelly Sentenced to Death for First Degree Murder & Executed in Georgia (1997)

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Doug Gissendaner, US Army Veteran

Army veteran Doug Gissendaner was murdered by his wife Kelly and her lover Gregory Owen in Auburn, Georgia on February 7, 1997. Doug met his wife Kelly in 1989 in Georgia. Kelly was a party girl and had already been married for six months and divorced when she met Doug. She had a child from her previous marriage and Doug welcomed the child with open arms. Within two months, they were married and then Kelly got pregnant. Doug loved being a father, husband, and family man. Then Doug joined the Army and got stationed overseas in Germany. While Doug was away, Kelly resorted to her old ways and started partying at the clubs on base. Kelly loved being on base with soldiers since the military base was a ready supply of men. It was reported that Kelly was so promiscuous on base that eventually she was asked to leave and her and the children were sent back to the United States. In 1991, Doug returned home from his enlistment in the Army. He decided to forgive his wife and they reunited. Shortly after the reunification, Doug learned that Kelly was pregnant with someone else’s child. He was disappointed to say the least as he wanted to keep his family together. Divorce was inevitable. But after three years of being alone, Doug was desperate to be with his family again. The couple remarried and moved in together. Doug put up with Kelly so he could be a family man and provider to the children. Kelly wanted a house so Doug bought her one. What Doug didn’t realize is that Kelly was having an affair with 25 year old Gregory Owen. Kelly approached Owen about three months prior to the murder and asked him to get rid of Doug. Owen didn’t take her seriously initially and suggested she simply divorce him.

On the day of the murder, Kelly drove Owen to her residence in Auburn where he would wait for Doug with a knife and a nightstick that she provided to him. Kelly went out drinking with her friends to establish an alibi. Owen ambushed Doug when he got home and forced him into his own vehicle. He then took him to a remote wooded area where he forced him on his knees, hit him on the head from behind with the nightstick, and stabbed him in the neck ten times. Owen paged Kelly after he was done. Kelly showed up to the crime scene, demanded to see the body, and used gasoline, an accelerant, to set Doug’s car on fire. Kelly Gissendaner reported Doug missing to the police the following day. Investigators suspected Kelly immediately because they believed she was not being truthful. They found Doug’s body eleven days later. Kelly eventually admitted to police that she was having an affair with Gregory Owen and this tip led investigators to the man who would eventually confess to the murder of Doug Gissendaner. Owen was tormented with guilt and felt manipulated and used. As a result, Owen testified at Kelly’s trial that she wanted to cash in on an insurance policy and become the outright owner of the marital home. In exchange for his testimony, Gregory Owen was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole in twenty-five years. Kelly Gissendaner maintained her innocence but was found guilty of malice murder and sentenced to death in 1998. She lived her prison life in solitary confinement and was executed by the State of Georgia on September 30th, 2015. Kelly Gissendaner wanted things her way no matter the cost and conveniently had her husband killed after he bought her a house.

Related Links:
Find-A-Grave: Douglas Morgan Gissendaner
Family: Kelly Gissendaner’s murdered husband ‘is the true victim’
Gissendaner v State of Georgia 2000
Kelly Gissendaner execution postponed indefinitely
Sentence upheld against only woman on Georgia’s death row
Georgia’s only female death row inmate to be executed
Only woman on Ga. death row denied clemency, set for execution
Georgia woman’s execution postponed because drugs appeared ‘cloudy’
Kelly Gissendaner: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know
Former Ga. chief justice regrets vote in Gissendaner case
WATCH: Kelly Gissendaner’s 1997 Interview on the Search for Her Husband
Kelly Gissendaner Death Unfair? Boyfriend Gregory Owen Did the Murders, Gets Parole in Eight Years
Georgia Executes Kelly Gissendaner, Renewing Questions About Death Penalty
Kelly Renee Gissendaner got her lover, Gregory Bruce Owen, to kill her husband Doug for the insurance money; She is now on death row
Execution Date Set for Kelly Renee Gissendaner, Convicted of Husband’s Murder
Georgia to execute its first female prisoner in 70 years
Kelly Gissendaner First Woman Executed in Georgia in 70 Years
Children of woman on Ga. death row plead for her life to be spared
Family split over whether Kelly Gissendaner should die tonight
Kelly Gissendaner Left Message for Kids Before Execution Was Postponed
Ga.’s female death row inmate’s last meal request
Georgia death row inmate requests 2 whoppers and more for last meal
Georgia Woman Kelly Gissendaner Sings ‘Amazing Grace’ During Execution
Georgia inmate Kelly Gissendaner executed after failed appeals
Georgia executes Kelly Gissendaner after Supreme Court denies stay requests
Kelly Gissendaner Executed in Georgia After Courts Deny Stay Requests
Kelly Gissendaner executed for planning husband’s murder as man who killed him escapes death sentence
She sang Amazing Grace then the drugs took hold and she stuttered into silence: As the state of Georgia executes its first woman for 70 years, a chilling dispatch from inside the chamber
Georgia executes Kelly Gissendaner, despite plea from Pope Francis
Detective recounts how he put Kelly Gissendaner on death row
The Premeditated Murder of Kelly Gissendaner
Justice has different meanings for Kelly Gissendaner’s family
Profile of Husband Killer Kelly Gissendaner
First We’ll Kill My Husband by Lyn Riddle (Amazon)
Review of First We’ll Kill My Husband
Deadly Women: For the Money Honey (YouTube)


For these women, one good man wasn’t enough. A middle-aged woman used looks to prey on elderly gentleman; an army wife didn’t want a soldier but a squad; and a serial wife cooks up meals to die for. These Deadly Women married for the money, honey. -Discovery ID

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