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Murderous Seduction: Susan Wright and the Murder of her Husband Jeffrey Wright

It was a twisted road, filled with pole dances and drugs for a young couple that was about to join on a path that ended with the murder of one of them.

Susan Lucille Wyche was a beautiful, blonde 21-year-old the day she met Jeff Wright. They were both in love after their first date, each without knowing the others darkest secrets.

Susan, shortly after graduating high school, had spent eight weeks working as an exotic dancer. When she’d grown tired of topless dancing, Susan used the money she earned to enroll in a nursing program at a community college and found a job at a hair salon. School, according to Susan, became too time consuming and expensive so she quit.

Jeff and Susan Wright familyJeff, alternatively, had spent his teen years and adulthood partying with friends, binging on alcohol and cocaine but as his thirtieth birthday quickly approached, Jeff had been thinking more about settling down with a wife and kids. And after he met her, he believed Susan was “the one.”

Everything was falling into place for Susan and Jeff. Although they each knew they wanted to be with the other forever, no one had really spoken the words just yet. But when Susan announced a few months into their relationship that she was pregnant, Jeff knew it was time to take the plunge.

Two weeks later Jeff and Susan were married in a small ceremony just outside of Houston, Texas.

It was Fall 1998.

Old Habits Die Hard

After Jeff and Susan’s son Bradley Wright was born, the couple bought a home on Berry Tree Drive in the White Oaks subdivision in the Cypress-Fairbanks section of Houston. Susan, even through the pregnancy and birth of a daughter, kept the outside neat and tidy by growing and tending to the flowers and shrubs. Jeff had recently dug out a section of patio off the screened in porch where, when he found time, he intended to install a fountain.

On the surface, things seemed perfect but chaos was brewing underneath.

Four years into the marriage, Jeff wasn’t partying as much as he once had but he still enjoyed tying one on every now and again. Susan hated it when he was high because Jeff was too aggressive, with her and with the children. She would later tell stories of being kicked, punched, and slapped during Jeff’s coke-fueled rages.

It irritated Jeff to no end that Susan constantly nagged about his drug use. He was a grown man and entitled to do as he pleased. After all, Susan knew he enjoyed partaking of the drugs when she married him – so why should he stop now?

Susan was growing weary of it. She loved Jeff and didn’t really believe in divorce, but she was so very tired. This nightmare had to end.

And it was going to, one way or another. But another one was about to begin.

Wright and Wrong

On the evening of January 13, 2003, Jeff was riding another cocaine high. As he played with Bradley, doing their play-fighting, Jeff had hit his son a little too hard in the face. Bradley began crying and Jeff was sure another lecture from Susan was about to be unleashed. He was glad when she seemed not to have noticed and kicked back to enjoy the last few hours of his high.

Jeff WrightAfter the kids had been tucked into bed and were sound asleep, Jeff was a little surprised to look up and see Susan standing in the doorway of their bedroom wearing only a silk bathrobe. She didn’t have to speak a single word for Jeff to turn off the television and get off the couch.

When Jeff entered the bedroom, he found the room aglow with red candles and soft music playing in the background. As the couple began to kiss, caress, and undress, Susan suggested that Jeff lay down on the bed. With cocaine buzzing through him, Jeff became even more excited when Susan began to slowly and seductively tying each of his limbs to the bed’s headboard and footboard.

Once Jeff was naked and spread-eagle, Susan put her plan to end the abuse into action.

First, she took one of the candles and, after kissing her husband’s chest, poured the wax on his inner thigh. Jeff yelped and struggled to get free but couldn’t because of the bindings.

Next, Jeff suddenly felt a horrible pain in his groin. Struggling to break free and see in the dim lights, he watched as his wife brought forward a knife while holding his “member” in her hand. It dawned on Jeff that Susan had cut him in the worst place with a knife that had obviously been in the room all evening and he knew, then and there, things were only going to get worse.

He was right.

Susan began telling her husband that, although she had been meek in the past, she was tired of his abuse and now she was in charge. With anger dripping from her voice, Susan again sliced at Jeff’s penis. Jeff screamed in pain. Susan gave it another nick of the knife.

Jeff broke out into a cold sweat and frantically tried to figure out how he was going to get out of this and get to a hospital when, without warning, Susan suddenly spun around to face him and raised the knife over her head. As Susan shook with rage and Jeff struggled to break free, she began stabbing her husband over and over again.

Crying and stabbing, Susan shouted out every injustice her husband had ever committed against her and the children. Emboldened by violence, which to Susan was righting the wrongs, she stabbed her husband again and again and again.

Jeff had been dead for quite some time before Susan, her rage finally spent after 193 blows, dropped the bloody knife onto the bed and silently slid off the bed to the floor.

Covering Up A Murder Becomes A Chore

Susan sat on the floor for a while, coming to terms with what she had done. But it was time to start taking care of business because Susan didn’t want to go to prison for murder.

Steeling herself for the task at hand, Susan flipped on the bedroom light. She’d expected it to be messy but she was astonished at the amount of blood everywhere. It was on the walls, the floor, the furniture – everywhere! Susan nearly became overwhelmed with panic, but she pulled herself together and went to shower.

Susan Wright crime sceneThen Susan went to work.

First things first, she called her in-laws 150 miles away in Austin. She cried as she told them that earlier in the evening Jeff had returned home from boxing lessons in a rage. She said he’d taken out his anger on her and Bradley. Ron and Kay Wright were shocked at what they were hearing and asked to speak to their son. Susan told them they couldn’t because Jeff had stormed out of the house and left. Susan said she was certain Jeff had left her for good. When her mother and father-in-law asked what had set him off, Susan replied, rather frankly, “Drugs” and proceeded to tell them about the cocaine and marijuana and the debt he’d run up trying to keep up with his habit. It was the first the couple had heard about their son using drugs since he’d married four years ago.

For a little more than an hour, Susan ranted and cried to Jeff’s parents about the problems between she and her husband but, when it was all over, Susan still had more to do; Jeff’s body still lay dead and bloody in the master bedroom.

What to do, what to do.

After a little while, Susan decided she would use the hole Jeff had dug for the fountain to bury his body. Finally getting momentum by grabbing his ankles, Susan drug him through the house to the patio, then pushed him into the grave Jeff had unknowingly dug for himself. Rigor mortis was setting in, however, and making fitting him into the hole a more difficult task than Susan had imagined. After cramming him in, she began scooping the dirt over the top of him; just as the sun was starting to come up. Susan realized it wasn’t a very good place to bury the body, but it would have to do for now.

Back in the house, Susan began cleaning up the blood beginning with the path of blood from the bedroom to the patio. She put the bloody sheets into a garbage bag and tossed the bloody mattress into the backyard while trying to figure out what to do with it later. Then she loaded the kids into the car and ran a couple of errands, including stopping by the hardware store to pick up a couple of gallons of paint. Every spare moment between caring for the kids and the dog, Susan worked at cleaning up the crime scene.

When she was done, Susan looked around the room. Except for the huge bleach spot on the carpet, which she was sure she could explain away if ever asked, she thought everything looked normal.

But thinking and knowing are two very different things.

Dang That Dog

After Susan’s call, Jeff’s parents had spent a sleepless night waiting for a call or a visit from their son but it never came. As morning slipped away to afternoon, the Wrights called Susan and asked if Jeffrey had ever returned home. Yes, she told them, he had returned home to collect his clothing and they had wound up in a shouting match. Jeff was so angry, Susan said, he took a bottle of bleach and shook it all over the bedroom and her clothing. This story really perplexed the Wrights and they were now even more desperate to talk with him. But again, Susan told them, Jeff had forgotten to take his cell phone.

Susan also received calls from Jeff’s boss and her neighbor. Susan told them the same story she told the Wrights. While Jeff’s employer wondered what to do about a vital employee, the neighbor encouraged Susan to file a report about the abuse with police.

After she’d told the story to several more people, Susan realized time was running out. The questions were getting more difficult to answer and before long some of these people, especially Jeff’s parents, were likely to show up. She had to do something more to get things back under control.

On Wednesday, January 15, 2003, Susan walked into Precinct 4 of the Harris County Constable’s office. There she filed a report based on the same story she told everyone else and had pictures taken of the cuts and bruises on her hand. She told police she was fearful of what would happen when her husband returned and discovered she’d reported the incident to police, so she was granted a restraining order for her and the children.

By Saturday, Susan was about break under the pressure. Everyone kept calling and their questions were becoming harder to answer. She wasn’t sure how much longer she could take this. She wished everyone would leave her alone.

In the end, it was the family’s little chow-mix dog that sent Susan over the edge. When she looked outside to the spot where Jeff’s body was buried, Susan discovered the dog had begun digging at the thin layer of potting soil she’d spread across the grave and now Jeff’s arm reached out from ground and the back of his head was exposed.

But that wasn’t the worst part, not at all.

The dog, in an effort to pull its find from its hiding place, had chewed Jeff’s hand off and now it lay like a toy on the patio.

That was the final straw. Susan couldn’t go on another day.

Bundling Kailey and Bradley into the car, Susan drove to her mother’s home a few miles away. After Susan rambled on to her mother about restraining orders, cleaning up the house, and fear that Jeff would kill her if he returned, Susan Wyche was more confused than ever. Finally, she looked at her daughter and said, “Susan, did you kill Jeff?” With a slight nod of the head, Susan Wright slumped forward and put her head on the table.

Everyone was finally going to get a straight answer about the whereabouts of Jeff Wright.

Confessions and Courtroom Theatrics

At her mother’s advice, Susan sent her children to stay with her sister Cindy while her mother scrambled to retain the services of a criminal defense attorney.

Police were notified of where they could find Jeff’s body. Although Susan believed she’d thoroughly erased any signs of the murder from the house, the police found plenty of blood, not visible to the naked eye, in the bedroom.

Susan Wright turned herself on January 24, 2003, and her trial began in February 24, 2004.

Susan Wright prison photoSusan took the stand in her own defense and claimed that she had killed Jeff in self-defense after he attacked her with a knife while screaming, “Die, bitch!” As an explanation of how she had come to stab him almost 200 times, Susan said that once she started she couldn’t stop because she was terrified he would kill her.

Prosecutor Kelly Siegler, on the other hand, argued that Susan’s tears were fake and that she had killed her husband in hopes of collecting on a $200,000 life insurance policy. And to drive her point home just how deliberately Susan murdered Jeff, the Wrights’ actual bed was brought into the courtroom and Siegler, along with a volunteer, re-enacted the murder for the jury; pretending to stab “the victim” all 193 times.

This courtroom scene was very dramatic and not easily forgotten by anyone who has ever witnessed it. Especially so for jurors, no doubt, who, after only five and one half hours, find Susan guilty of murder.

Susan was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for murdering her husband. But in 2005, when Misty McMichael, wife of former NFL Super Bowl Champion Steve McMichael, came forward and told of the violence and abuse she endured during her four years as Jeff Wright’s fiance, the Fourteenth Court of Appeals of Texas, in an unprecedented move, granted Susan a new sentencing hearing.

On November 10, 2010, five years was taken off Susan’s sentence, making her eligible for parole on February 28, 2014. As of this writing, Susan is incarcerated at the Hobby Unit in Marlin, Texas.

Bradley and Kailey have been adopted by Jeff’s brother, Ronald Wright, Jr. Susan, at her re- sentencing hearing, said she hopes to be released from prison and get her children back. Apparently Susan hasn’t thought of two very important points: (1) Chances are slim to none that the adoption would be reversed and (2) do her children want their mother back?

My Personal Thoughts

There have been several comments made online by men who have written to Susan Wright and they all say the same thing: the woman is a self-absorbed princess with an overinflated sense of entitlement who gets very angry when she doesn’t get her way.

That’s no surprise to me. Why would anyone expect any less out of a woman who seduced her husband to kill him?

I think Jeff probably was abusive. Drugs and alcohol have a way of turning even the meekest of people into the meanest and I’m not under the impression that Jeff was even slightly meek when sober. So if Susan had killed him during one of those rages she described, I’d say, “Well, one more scuzzbucket went to meet his maker.” But when you lure him to the bedroom, tie him to the bedpost, stab him 193 TIMES, and then try to cover up all traces of the crime, I’m not buying it was self-defense.

If you want me and others to believe that you killed him in self-defense, you better call police as soon as he’s dead. And you might want to be sporting more than just a couple of tiny scratches on your hand if you want me to believe you were fighting for your life. Oh yeah, it’s also a good idea if your husband isn’t tied up or sleeping at the time of death too.

At last but not least, please don’t tell me you stayed with your abuser because divorce was against your religion. Really? Read your Holy Bible; murder is in the top ten, divorce is not.

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12 Responses to "Murderous Seduction: Susan Wright and the Murder of her Husband Jeffrey Wright"

  1. Mylisa says:

    Most accounts actually say that the truth was he was alive for all 193-97 stabs, beginning with his eyes. I think it’s important to note that he was tortured by this woman, not just killed to ‘protect herself’.

    • Mary says:

      I cannot believe he survived 193-197 stabs. Quote just one source. I saw autopsy photos of his body – Common sense screams he died long before last blow struck.

  2. joseph says:

    you fucking people crack me up everyone has an opinion yet no one does any kind of background or research. Where do you get your facts ..YOU DONT CUZ YOU DONT HAVE ANY. Just a little checking and you’ll find that in 75% of the fatal or extreme violence against women in a domestic setting occurs AFTER SEPERATION! That’s reason enough for me to understand why a woman wouldn’t leave…also what isn’t posted here, written in books or in that stupid movie is that she did leave twice and twice Jeff tracked her down and made trouble enough for those helping her that she was obliged to go back. Plus she had no means no job and two kids. Not much choice as far as I can see it.
    As far s as the motive …for money . That’s laughable. No one stabs another and buries them , leaves blood all over the walls and house.( she didn’t cover it up) her attempts to cover up were obviously those of someone temporarily insane and not in her right mind. there was obviously no premeditation. Even a school kid would plan a cover up better it was pure impulse And my research shows that the insurance was for less than $60K not 200k
    Finally I assume that those who are so judgmental here are the same that have never been abused or been in an abusive environment Well good for you For the rest of us who know about violence let me say this…its psychological terrorism..one almost waits or wants the inevitable violence to occur just to get it over with, so they can go back to a normal routine.
    You get beaten, they feel sorry , apologize, promise it wont happen again, they beg, they cry…and for a period all is well (until the next time, of course) And you wait and wait and you feel the build up of the inevitable terror to come…no wonder people snap…
    I can’t even begin to explain what violence does to your self esteem. ( personal experience )Even later on in life, it stays with you forever.

    No I don’t like what she did but I understand it. And no one can say for sure whether she seduced him or complied with his advances. The seduction scenario is pure conjecture.I think its the latter. I think he wanted sex and was forcing her to give it to him and she had to comply until it got rough or she became disgusted by his slobbering filthy demands. Which seems more likely considering the state he was in..fucked up drunk, on coke and (other) opiates …as one report I read mentioned, quoted from a toxicology screen .
    Every coke addict I’ve known or spoken to speaks nothing else except how he feels driven to kinky or aggressive sex. This being the case I am sure she experienced rape more then once from her own husband. So as far as I am concerned she should have cut off his penis and left him alive.

    No one has the right to lay a hand on another w/o permission- after being abused over a period of time physically mentally emotionally …it will take its toll and repercussions will arise….in this case the abuser got his due….you reap what you sow …

    No matter what you feel she got 20 years and is doing time. She is doing what our society has deemed her punishment. I just hope that none of you have to go through what she did
    No one will ever know what really happened not even Susan. I doubt she remembers fully herself……

    stop judging and start thinking ….there are too many women and children being abused and it never get exposed look to blame the abuser not the victims

    • Mary says:

      I agree. Movies are usually big on drama, so facts are often twisted. No one should assume the murder happened as portrayed in the movie. That’s why the disclaimer “Based on true events”.

  3. clare says:

    “…According to the evidence adduced during the 2010 punishment trial, it was shown that the prosecution’s theory that Jeff was tied to the bed was not supported by the medical examiner who excavated the body. The medical examiner testified that Jeff had a significant amount of cocaine in his body the night he died – so much so that Jeff’s body had not metabolized all the cocaine. The cocaine evidence supported the defense’s assertion that Jeff was intoxicated the night of his death, when he came home from a boxing class and punched his son. Jeff also had several knife wounds on his hands, forearms, back, and the backs of his legs, indicating defensive wounds inconsistent with being tied to a bed.”

    Science says he couldn’t have been in the defenseless position, tied to the bed as part of some “kinky sex” set-up; so this idea that she suddenly morphed from abuse victim to seductive vixen with murder on her mind is just an overblown exaggerated by the prosecution in order to hammer home their version of events. To stab someone that many times takes an intense amount of rage, and years of emotional and physical abuse would certainly cause that to manifest in an otherwise “normal” person. Abusers are excellent at what they do: they know how to slowly isolate victims from friends and family, make them dependent on the abuser (controlling the finances, hiding car keys, monitoring phones and internet use if allowing it all, etc.), break them down steadily and subtly with verbal and psychological abuse, and so forth until the victim has nowhere to go, no means of escape, no ability to leave. Usually the physical violence doesn’t occur until much later in the relationship when the victim is already in emotional and psychological hell; abusers hurt and then manipulate their victims to come back. If they have children, they use them as pawns. I am not saying murder is the answer, but abuse victims often feel trapped and unable to escape; and considering the most dangerous time for them is when they try to leave, it’s not surprising many are scared to do so – there is a good chance they will end up dead.

    What she did was wrong and she should serve time. However, the abuse she suffered and how it effected her psychologically should be taken into considered. Her husband was a violent drug user who was flying on cocaine, a stimulant that increases aggression, and became rough with their son. Perhaps that was the straw that broke the camel’s back for her…

  4. Peg says:

    Well..the 28th was yesterday..did she get paroled???

    • joseph says:

      bcuz her attnys got sandbagged by the prosecution and was over the head …the pros should have never been allowed the bed scene since in TX law you cant show evidence like that unless there was 1st hand eyewitnesses…but she got away with it

  5. Michelle says:

    I still am not sure what I believe, but having suffered years of abuse, I could understand it. There is one glaring question though. Why was he portrayed as innocent and sleeping when he hadn’t even metabolized some of the cocaine in his system? People on coke do NOT fall asleep?

  6. Emily says:

    I can’t find any info about her parole hearing last month. Did she get paroled? Or still in jail?

  7. joseph says:

    still in jail
    spoke to her a few days ago and still nothing from the PB or her attny
    may be tough for her to get paroled TX does not play around.

    But I have a feeling she will get it soon. I hope

  8. Kim Cantrell says:

    They already did: Blue-Eyed Butcher. It frequently reruns on Lifetime or Lifetime Movie Network or it can be rented from most Redbox locations.

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