What can one say about the value of life? Does it even have a price for most people? This is a difficult question, one whose answer should, of course, be intrinsic to all people.
These days though, the value of life is lost in the slew of quantifiable aspects that do exist within our culture. What happens to us when we are unfortunate enough to find someone who we think cares for us only to later learn that it was their greed that drove them and not anything that might resemble a soul…
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To Much Cardio
His body lay along the running path in a Texas suburb. Quiet, still, and already cold when an unnamed jogger happened upon the body during a run. A terrifying sight to say the least, and one no jogger would ever like to find. Was he recently attacked? Is the person who attacked him still around? Am I safe here?
Questions that run through almost every jogger’s mind when they find themselves alone on a trail and something is found or catches their eye. When the body was found, and panic likely ran through the poor jogger he managed to compose himself to call the authorities to the scene.
It was Oxyclean
When police arrived and began to examine the situation they noted a few interesting key details. On the body were very severe wounds that would have bled badly yet his clothes were clean. Nothing about his outfit said he was still alive when it was put on him and was likely killed elsewhere and dumped on the path.
For the Vultures
But who was this unfortunate man laying here in the Texas sun so haphazardly and carelessly left out to rot? Regrettably, the man had no ID on him, and no one who was no the path seemed to know who he was. For the time being, he was nothing more than John Doe. A sad story that has more questions than answers.
Their first and biggest problem was who was this man. Detectives started with the stack of missing people that appear every day in the state, families, loved ones, friends, all report in looking for those closest to them. Perhaps the answer would be somewhere there. The body wasn’t far along the decomposition path so if it was a missing person, they haven’t been missing long.
Officers noted that within the last day, a man by the name of Louis Musso, a mentally disabled 49-year-old man, had been recently reported missing by Suzanne Busso. It was a hope, maybe even a long shot, but it was a good start to check out, and even though it was sad, it closes a case.
When detectives approached the residence of Suzanne they were greeted by her adult son James but sadly not by her, she was out at the time and while the spoke to him briefly they saw past him a few things they would have to ask Suzanne about. When she arrived home a few minutes later investigators began to ask some important questions.
Although they first had wanted to ask is Suzanne could identify the body to see if Louis was a match for their John Doe, something was very strange about her apartment. In the middle of the living room was a makeshift bed covered in bloody sheets, and while Suzanne stated that Louis was staying there, she didn’t discuss the blood
Investigators didn’t press the issue at the time and continued on to identify the body. Police took mother and son to the morgue in the hopes that this would be the person that they were looking for. Peeling the sheet back over the body Suzanne broke down when she identified Louis, while her son remained silent and unmoving.
As it turned out Louis and Suzanne had been romantically involved. After the death of her boyfriend, Suzanne met Louis while she was traveling to New Jersey at a church fair. The two hit it off and decided to continue a long distance relationship when she returned to Texas.
For a year the two continued to exchange messages and talk fairly consistently. Flirting and wooing, and building their budding relationship. One day Suzanne convinced Louis to come and join her down in Texas so they could start a life together. He went out, purchased a new cowboy hat, and started his life in Texas. Three months later, he was dead.
After identification of the body police took statements from mother and son to complete their report, and within minutes James confessed to everything. According to his statement his mother, 4 others, and himself proceeded to beat and torture Louis to death over a 5 day period.
Beaten and Scrubbed
He told the officer that it was his mother who planned the crime and he was too afraid of her to stand up against her and followed her orders. Over the course of 5 days, the 5 of them would beat Louis, and soak his body is a bathtub full of bleach before scrubbing his skin with a wire brush to remove layers of his skin.
It is unknown if he was alive when they scrubbed his skin but as far as the officers were concerned it didn’t necessarily matter at this moment as they had just confessed to the torture and murder of a man. James provided the authorities all the information they wanted possibly feeling safer now that he and his mother were now separated.
Investigating the apartment for more evidence to be used against the guilty parties the truth behind the whole plan came out. Sitting in her apartment were checks from Louis’ social security that he was receiving for his mental disability. Suzanne was cashing his checks and taking his money for her own.
She even had his will rewritten so that when he died all of the money would go to her and everyone else would get nothing. Interestingly his plan included a rather unusual clause, if he had died of natural causes, the payout would have only been $15,000, however, had he died a violent death, that value would rise to 65,000$. An amount Suzanne was determined to get.
Stopping the Cashflow
Friends and family of Louis tried to stop what was happening when they noticed that the will was being changed and the money was transferring to Suzanne but rather than being able to do anything a restraining order was placed on his family and friends so they would never be able to reach him again.
In some of his final days, people began to notice that something might be amiss. Louis was seen outside covered in bruises and being forced to run outside by James and another man. When the group was confronted by an officer they were scolded and rather than taking him to safety he was brought back to Suzanne who said she was his legal guardian. After his death, a note was found in his pants begging to be brought home and for help. It was never mailed to his family.
During the trial, Suzanne attempted to plea for insanity by attending the court and speaking only in the voice of a little girl as a way to cite mental regression and get the jury to sympathize with her. Little did Suzanne know that one of the other plaintiffs confess to everything and work with the authorities. She was sentenced to death and the other conspirators given between 60-80 years each.
After nearly two decades in prison, Suzanne was executed by lethal injection at the Texas prison unit ending the story of her terrible crime and the death of Louis driven by greed. She made no final statement and died without uttering any words to the witness or to the executioner.