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Genene Jones: Birth of a Serial Baby Killer (First Part of a Trilogy)

Genene Anne Jones was born on 13th of July, on a hot summer day in 1950 in Texas. Not long before, she was adopted by a wealthy family. This couple, Dick and Gladys Jones, was standing in high cotton. Dick was a professional gambler and an entrepreneur. He ran a gambling nightclub. The couple, who lived in San Antonio, was much richer than the surrounding area: They lived in a house a bit far from the city with swimming pools, huge gardens and tennis courts. They adopted 2 more children before Genene, and they later adopted Travis who was two years younger than Genene.

Aerial view of San Antonio, Texas in late 1980's

Also, due to their jobs, Dick and Gladys had to travel frequently. The four step-siblings, who were usually at home with maids, were pairs. While she wasn’t talking much with his brother who was 7 years older than her, they kept fighting with her older sister, Lisa, who was 4 years older. The duo, who never loved each other, hoped that it would be the last time to see each other when Lisa left home as she got married. Despite, there was a special bond between Travis and Genene. She was almost the mother of Travis. She was pleased with this role, too. She took care of him and supported him especially in his education as he had a learning disability.

Then, when her father's club started to go bad, his father transferred the club and took over the management of the city's billboards. Genene, who didn't like her mother either, would often go with her father on horseback to handle the billboards’ job. Genene, who had immensely enjoyed every minute she spent with her father, somehow felt left out in the cold and unapproved.

When Genene was 15, she started high school. According to her classmates, she was always running somewhere. She was known for her domineering manors. She was constantly finding new part-time jobs around school, even though she never needed money. She enjoyed being the leader in the environment. She always knew the best, even though she had no idea about the subject. She didn’t hesitate to scold her colleagues who didn’t do their job properly. It wasn't uncommon for Genene to go out on the streets in her father's car when she was bored and challenge the men of the town for a racing competition -and not many had seen her losing.

Besides, being the center of attention was a constant pursuit, a passion for Genene. One of her classmates said, “She used to lie all the time. Her lies were a daily conversation for her. ”. She claimed to be related to famous singers of the day, she said she spoke to them regularly on the phone. But, she was said to be the most manipulative. She kept saying that her step-parents loved her less than the other siblings. To her, she was the least loved one in the house, and she was never paid any attention.

When Genene was 16, an unimaginable disaster struck home. An antique handmade bomb found in the house as a decoration, had exploded in Travis' hands while the little boy was tampering with it. The tragic death of Travis, whom Genene saw more as her child than her brother, was devastating for her at the first glance. She screamed and cried for hours. Her classmates, who saw her faint at her brother's funeral, were telling the next day that she was enjoying the attention she received at school in a contrived manner.

After her brother died, her step-father died due to cancer. She started preparing for marriage 6 months after she told everyone how her world had turned dark. James “Jimmy” Harvey DeLany Jr. was a high school dropout young man. Genene, who couldn’t get married before finishing high school, finished high school as 197th among 200 people. But unlike her academic grades, everyone knew how smart Genene was. She was the brightest among her siblings.

After graduating with her stepmother's approval and support, Genene married Jimmy. The bridesmaid was none other than her older sister Lisa as her mother requested. Returning from their honeymoon, the couple moved into a guest house within the same property. Jimmy used to work at the gas station occasionally and then to earn a beer. Meanwhile, Genene attended parties, continuing her "hobby" from high school, racing cars. Jimmy didn't like these, the couple often argued over it. In the seventh month of her marriage, Jimmy enlisted in the navy and left home. Genene cheated on Jimmy while Jimmy was getting his basic training. Their marriage was never as the same as before.

The Jones family, whose financial situation deteriorated while Jimmy was in the military, had to sell the mansion. Genene, whose older brother had already left home, found an apartment for herself. Her mother had also gone to her own flat. Her mother paid Genene's rent and supported her financially. Jimmy resumed living with Genene after his early discharge from the military. He found himself a regular job as a car mechanic. Genene started working in a beauty center when she was pregnant to her first baby at the age of twenty two. She filed for divorce 6 months after the baby was born, but immediately changed her mind and reconciled with Jimmy. Two years later, Genene divorced Jimmy at the age of 24.

Two years after the divorce, Genene got pregnant again to her second child. No one knew who the father of the child was. In the meantime, an incredible fear of cancer began in Genene due to the death of her brother from cancer -as he was the second one close to her who died from cancer-; she was afraid of getting cancer at the slightest ailment, she went to a hospital. This is thought to be what triggered Genene to leave the beauty store she used to work in and head into the medical field. Starting a nursing school, Genene was the star student of the class. With no grade below 90, Genene was known to everyone in her class. After completing her very short nursing education, Genene gave birth to her second child soon after.

Genene, whose undergraduate thesis’ score was 200 points above the passing score, immediately got a job in the cardiology department of San Antonio Hospital. In her fifth month, she received her first warning due to the comments and decisions she made on matters that did not concern her, also had no authority and no knowledge of-. Three months later, she was fired in her eigth month for being rude to a patient. Due to the nurse shortage of the time, she easily found a job in one of the nearby hospitals. Meanwhile, she had a surgery that would prevent her from getting pregnant again. During the conservative conditions of the era, that was the reason she got fired from her second workplace.

She found a job in the pediatric intensive care unit of the newly opened Bexar County Medical Center Hospital, one of the largest hospitals of its time. The nurses working in this department had to be the best, it was demanding to work very hard. The first patient who came to her was 6 years old. The patient died soon after. Genene had crying fits after the child's death and had sat for hours next to the unit where the child used to lie in. This caught the attention of the whole department, surprising them. Still, she soon became the favorite of the hospital. She had a much higher level of knowledge than an average nurse. She did not hesitate to consult medical books. But what made her stand out was that she had no trouble finding the vein. Probably the last thing you would want for a baby-killing nurse to have.

Genene, who became the head nurse's favorite, had problems that everyone was aware of. She was very emotional, she cried for hours after each death. She’d never shut up until somebody gave her solace, gave her attention. In addition, she was constantly making emergency calls. This frustrated the doctors, who tried to sleep for a few minutes between long shifts. She always complained about something different, she was always sick: One day she had a stomachache, one day she was nauseous, one day she was dizzy… Also, she was constantly making new diagnoses for patients that weren't there. Genene's “attention mania” soon became a well-known fact.

Despite all, Genene had a "foresight" that could not be understood by anyone. She could detect the seizures babies had a few minutes before they actually had a seizure. The doctors, who came running to the baby, were surprised to see that the baby was sleeping, but really, the baby would have a serious attack not long after. Genene explained it completely as “experience and getting to know her patient”.

-to be continued on "Genene Jones: Rise of the Nurse (Second Part of a Trilogy)"-

Sources of images:

Aerial view of San Antonio, Texas in late 1980's:

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