As part of their newest release wave, Warner Archive is offering a set of TV movies starring Elizabeth Montgomery, including Black Widow Murders: The Blanche Taylor Moore Story.
This one is a particular favorite for me, because I have a tenuous connection to the story. In addition to having one of those particularly Southern names, Blanche Taylor Moore was a serial killer in Alamance County, North Carolina, where I used to live.
She was finally discovered to be poisoning people with arsenic when her boyfriend, a preacher, became ill under suspicious circumstances. The movie description says
Childhood memories of her womanizing and abusive father fill Moore with a hidden rage towards all men. Her former boyfriend, first husband, and father all died of arsenic poisoning. Now her fiancé, the town’s minister, is stricken the same way.
She’s currently on death row, but before all the murder charges, she sued Kroger and her manager for sexual harassment in 1985. My mother worked for the small local law firm (as in, two lawyers, two assistants, one of whom was my mom) that represented her.
The Moore case was quite the local cause celebre in the late 1980s, especially when they started digging up the cemetery to check causes of death for those associated with her who’d died suddenly. Mom recalled how Moore used to bring food to the office to say thank you for the help with her case, and how that made them all very nervous to remember. I told her that this movie was coming out on DVD, and Mom said, “Oh, Elizabeth Montgomery is much more attractive than Blanche was.” That’s how Hollywood works.