All’s Fair in Love and Chemical Warfare, or the Wife Who Turned Toxic

When Carol Anne found out that her husband was cheating on her, she was understandably upset. But when she learned that her husband’s paramour was Myrlinda, one of Carol Anne’s close girlfriends, she was even more upset. Then it turned out Myrlinda was pregnant.

At that point, Carol Anne lost it.

She began making a series of harassing phone calls to her former friend, and sent her nasty letters.  Eventually, Myrlinda reported the harassment, and Carol Anne was brought up on minor charges.

But Carol Anne didn’t stop there. Crazed by betrayal and desperate for revenge, Carol Anne stole dangerous chemicals from her employer, a chemical manufacturer. She covered Myrlinda’s mailbox, car door handles, and doorknobs with the poisonous substances.

Myrlinda burned her fingers on the toxic chemicals, but it was Carol Anne who was caught red handed. She was arrested, and charged with violating a federal law that bans the use of chemical weapons.

Carol Anne argued that the charges should be dismissed, because the law prohibiting the use of chemical weapons was passed as part of an international treaty. The chemical weapons the law prohibits are only those used in international warfare, not those used in personal romantic rivalries. Or so Carol Anne argued.

But the court wasn’t buying it. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals, which is the federal appellate court that includes New Jersey, firmly rejected Carol Anne’s argument. The court noted that the law contains an exception for chemicals used for peaceful purposes, such as  industrial, agricultural, research, medical or pharmaceutical activity. But notably absent from this list of exceptions are chemicals used to attack romantic enemies. And needless to say, Carol Anne’s actions were anything but peaceful.

So it looks like Carol Anne will have to pay for her lovelorn crimes. Talk about a toxic relationship.

  • By Marc S. Berman
  • Criminal