The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


September 27, 2013

General Sadler and the Black Widow - part 2



All suspicions then focused on the one person who had to know what really happened. Her prior marriages got dredged up and, apparently, there was another husband who had also died under mysterious circumstances. Investigators found too that, even though she had stated Bob had only $15,000 of military insurance, she had, in fact, initiated a newer $400,000 life policy on him. A web of circumstantial evidence began to build.


A tip from her son led the F.B.I. to jewelry and silver ($150,000 worth!) behind a false wall in a closet of her home -- items allegedly stolen from her during a break-in when the couple first met! She claimed, variously, that husband Robert had arranged the burglary himself; and/or, that he had somehow recovered the booty and secured it behind the fake wall until he could repay the insurance. Both stories seem ludicrous, especially when prior insurance pay-outs.… for her earlier home’s untimely destruction and for her earlier husbands’ untimely deaths…. were brought to light.


And yet, amazingly, Mary Faye Craft Sadler was acquitted of 1st Degree Murder! Prosecutors failed the capital case’s high burden of proof. This saddens but didn’t deter the Sadler Family, who cringed as Mary Faye shouts, “Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord!”, as the verdict was read. -- However, she wasn’t out of the woods yet!


Following on the heels of the murder trial, a fraud case was brought by her insurance company. Her own son again testified, (which didn’t help her case), and confirmed several seriously damaging allegations. Ultimately, she was found guilty of improperly claiming and receiving insurance monies. Outside the courtroom, some of the Sadlers then chanted: “Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord, Mary Faye is guilty!!” Their jubilation is short-lived, however, for she received but a three-year suspended-sentence. Was Mary Faye Craft off scot-free? Hardly.

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