Rufus Ford

Date of crime: 1987

Motive: Anger

Crimes: Murder of his wife Sybil Ford, at their home in Tampa, Florida.

Method: Shot in the mouth with a 20-gauge single-shot shotgun, 10 inches away from the victim's face.

Sentence: Life imprisonment with no parole for at least 25 years.

Interesting facts: This murder took place as a result of an argument between the couple, Sybil Ford accusing her husband of being unfaithful. The only witnesses to the crime were the couple's two children - Jennifer, who was a baby, and Tamara, who was four years old.

At the time, the investigation was closed at an early stage because Ford's version of events that it was suicide seemed plausible. But a year later, during the course of another investigation, it came to light that originally Tamara had told relatives that her father had shot Sybil, but had then changed her mind when telling the police. On interviewing Tamara again, she informed police that it was in fact her father who had shot Sybil.

The police then did a series of ballistic tests on the gun and when they compared the patterns of residue on Sybil's face with their test examples, they discovered that the muzzle of the gun had not been in contact with her face when it was fired and was probably between one and two feet away. Furthermore, as the trigger was 30 inches away from the muzzle, there was no way that Sybil could have shot herself as her arms were ten inches too short.

Through bloodstain analysis, and the inspection of blood spatters, it was also shown that the death could not have been suicide and was murder.