She was born Audrey Marie Frazier on June 4, 1933 in the Blue Mountains of Alabama and married the unfortunate Frank Hilley in 1951, when she was 18.
They had two children, Mike and Carol.
Frank had a good job and Audrey was a secretary. But Audrey spent more than Frank earned which led to friction in the marriage. But Audrey had a way of making more money [unbeknownst to her husband].
She engaged in sex with her bosses in exchange for money.
Meantime, Frank began suffering from a mysterious illness, as did their son Mike. But Mike’s symptoms – which his doctors attributed to stomach flu – stopped as soon as he moved away from home to attend the seminary.
In 1975, after returning home early due to his illness, Frank walked in to find Audrey in bed with her boss.
However, Frank accepted his role as cuckold and turned to his son Mike, then an ordained minister living in Atlanta, for advice. In May 1975, a short time after a visit from Mike, Frank visited his doctor complaining of nausea and tenderness in his abdomen.
He was diagnosed with a viral stomach ache. He was admitted to a hospital, where tests indicated a malfunction of the liver and doctors diagnosed infectious hepatitis. He died early in the morning of May 25, after about 20 years of marriage to his lovely cheating and murderous bride.
Frank’s autopsy, performed with Audrey Hilley’s permission, revealed swelling of the kidneys and lungs, bilateral pneumonia, and inflammation of the stomach. Because the symptoms closely resembled those of hepatitis, that was listed as Frank’s cause of death and no further tests were conducted.
Audrey redeemed his life insurance of $31,140. [about $150,000 in today’s dollars].
She soon blew through that money and about three years later, Audrey took out a $25,000 life insurance policy on her daughter, Carol; with an additional $25,000 accidental death rider. Within a few months, Carol began experiencing trouble with nausea and was admitted to the emergency room several times.
Audrey gave Carol a milky white injection that she claimed would alleviate the nausea. However, the symptoms worsened, with Carol enduring numbness in her extremities.
After medical tests found no disease, Carol’s physician, fearing the symptoms were psychosomatic, had her undergo psychiatric testing at Birmingham’s Carraway Methodist Hospital.
There, Carol secretly received two more milky injections from her mother, who warned her not to tell others about the shots.
A month after Carol was admitted to the hospital, her physician said she was suffering from malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies, adding that he suspected heavy metal poisoning was to blame for the symptoms.
Panicking, Audrey had Carol discharged from the hospital that very afternoon. The following day, Carol was admitted to the University of Alabama Hospital.
As luck would have it, Audrey, who continued her big spending ways, was arrested for passing bad checks — they were written to the very insurance company that insured Carol’s life, causing that policy to lapse and hence almost eliminating the need to kill her daughter.
University physicians concentrated their investigation on the possibility of heavy metal poisoning, noting that Carol’s hands and feet were numb, she had nerve palsy causing foot drop, and she had lost most of her deep tendon reflexes.
Physicians also noticed “Aldrich-Mees’ lines” on Carol’s nails. Forensic tests on samples of her hair were conducted by the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences on October 3, 1979, revealing arsenic levels over 100 times the normal level close to the scalp to zero times the normal level at the end of the hair shaft.
This indicated that Carol had been given increasingly larger doses of arsenic over a period of four to eight months.
That same day, Frank’s body was exhumed and, upon examination, showed between 10 times and 100 times the normal level of arsenic. It was concluded that both Frank and Carol suffered from chronic arsenic poisoning, with Frank’s poisoning being fatal.
Audrey was already incarcerated on her bad check charges when she was charged [October 9, 1979] for the attempted murder of her daughter. The Anniston police found a vial with a milky white substance in her purse. Tests revealed the presence of arsenic.
Two weeks later, Frank’s sister found a jar of rat poison at the house which contained 1.4%-1.5% arsenic.
On November 9, Audrey was released on bail. She promptly disappeared leaving a note behind indicating that she “might have been kidnapped,”
On January 11, 1980, Audrey was indicted in absentia for her husband’s murder.
Subsequently, investigators found that both her mother and her mother-in-law, Carrie Hilley, had significant, but not fatal, traces of arsenic in their systems when they died.
The remains of Sonya Marcelle Gibson, an eleven-year old friend of Carol Hilley’s who died of indeterminate causes in 1974, was exhumed and examined, but was found to contain only a “normal” amount of arsenic.
Gibson was one of many neighborhood children who had fallen ill after drinking milky beverages they had been given during visits to the Hilley household.
Two police officers who had been dispatched to look into a disturbance that Hilley had called 911 about also reported coming down with nausea and stomach cramps after drinking coffee with cream that Hilley offered them.
Although police and the FBI launched a massive manhunt, Hilley remained a fugitive for three years.
She traveled to Florida, where she met John Greenleaf Homan III. She was using the name Robbi Hannon.
They lived together for a year before she married Homan on May 29, 1981 and took his last name.
The couple moved to New Hampshire. She frequently talked about her imaginary twin sister, “Teri”, who supposedly lived in Texas. Late in summer 1982, she left New Hampshire, telling her husband she needed to attend to family business and to see some doctors about an illness. During this time, she traveled to Texas and Florida, using the alias or her made up sister, Teri Martin.
During the trip, using the alias Teri Martin, she called John Homan and informed him that his wife, Robbi Homan, had died in Texas but there was no need for him to come to Texas because the body had been donated to medical science.
On November 12, after changing her hair color and losing weight, she returned to New Hampshire and met John Homan, posing as Teri Martin, his “deceased” wife’s sister.
An obituary for Robbi Homan appeared in a New Hampshire newspaper which aroused suspicion when police were unable to verify any information it contained. A New Hampshire state police detective surmised that the woman living as Teri Martin was, in fact, Robbi Homan and staged her own death. That hunch paid off and shortly after police brought “Teri Martin” in for questioning. She confessed to being Audrey Marie Hilley.
She was returned to Alabama to face trial.
She was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for her husband’s murder and 20 years for attempting to kill her daughter.
Audrey Marie Hilley Homan began serving her sentence in 1983 and was a model prisoner. Incredibly, her good behavior earned her several one-day passes from the prison. She always returned on time.
In February 1987, however, Hilley escaped after she was given a three-day pass to visit her husband, John Homan, who had moved to Anniston to be near his murderous and deceptive wife.
They spent a day at an Anniston motel and when Homan left for a few hours, she disappeared, leaving behind a note for Homan asking his forgiveness.
Four days after Audrey vanished from the motel, Anniston police, responding to a call about a suspicious person, went to a home and found her. She apparently had been crawling around in the woods, drenched by four days of frequent rain and numb from temperatures dropping to the low 30s.
She was taken to a local hospital and underwent emergency treatment for hypothermia. At the hospital, she suffered a heart attack and died.