Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The True Story of Ray and Faye Copeland

Rare Breed

Ray and Faye Copeland in 1980
Ray and Faye Copeland in 1980

Ray and Faye Copeland arent the only husband and wife killers, but they might be the most bizarre. Not only did they commit multiple murders together, but they were both eligible for Social Security at the time of their crimes.  

Little information is readily available and few studies have been conducted on perpetrators over the age of 60.  According to the 2000 Russian Journal of Psychiatry, by L. K. Khokhlov, E. A Grigoryeva., and M. M. Rozum, most elderly murderers demonstrate a close relationship between pre-senile, senile disorders and social-psychological factors and more than half demonstrate clear evidence of psychopathology.  Another study conducted that same year by the Medical Correctional Authority showed that most of those sent to prison for the first time when 60 or older had committed crimes of passion.  

Ray and Faye were convicted of killing five men, and none of them were crimes of passion. Thats not to say they were in their right minds at the time.   Perhaps in looking at the complete picture we can get a better understanding of what drove them to kill.

Paul Cowart, victim
Paul Cowart, victim

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