Local News

Second Murder Charge Filed in Elderly Assaults

Posted December 10, 2007

— A second murder charge was filed Monday against a former housekeeper accused of beating three elderly women at an upscale Chatham County retirement community last week.

Barbara Turrentine Clark, 41, of Toomer Loop Road in Pittsboro, is charged with two counts of murder and one count each of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill after the Dec. 5 attacks at Galloway Ridge at Fearrington, off U.S. Highway 15/501 north of Pittsboro.

Authorities said Clark attacked Margaret Murta, 92, her roommate Mary Corcoran, 82, and their neighbor, Rebecca Fisher, 77, with pepper spray and a cane-like object.

Murta died Wednesday at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill. Corcoran died Saturday at the hospital as a result of her injuries.

Fisher remains in stable condition at the hospital.

Investigators said Clark used to work for Murta and Corcoran and became angry during a dispute over money with them. Fisher was visiting the ladies when she was attacked, authorities said.

Clark was once under a court order in Durham to stay away from elderly people. In 2001, Clark was convicted of misdemeanor larceny and obtaining property by false pretense in connection with the theft of checks from a 90-year-old man. At the time, she was working as a certified nursing assistant at The Forest of Duke, an upscale Durham retirement community.

In September, Chatham County deputies charged Clark with taking, forging and cashing checks.

Clark's relative said she had serious financial difficulties, despite owning her own housekeeping business, Barbara Clark Enterprises, with clients in Chatham, Durham and Orange counties.

Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall said he has not decided if he will seek the death penalty in the case.


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  • Crystal Klear Dec 11, 2007

    "Beaten beyond recognition." Why isn't this considered a "hate crime?" I'll say it again, "Beaten beyond recognition" because Ms.Clark had stolen checks from these women? I don't know what else to say.

  • NCMOMof3 Dec 10, 2007

    why? what threat could these women possibly have been? What possible reason could these sick individuals have for even thinking about, let alone committing, these atrocious acts against our elderly? There is no punishment severe enough to fit the crime.

  • Butterbean Dec 10, 2007

    I posted a comment this morning and would have been the first to comment, but my comment didn't make it. Here goes again....

    Wonder how long before the "race card" is played?

  • normalthinking Dec 10, 2007

    an eye for an eye a tooth for a tooth

  • raysson Dec 10, 2007

    This was a senseless act committed in all places that you would not expect this to happen at...inside a rest home for the elderly. Why did this had to happen? Two elderly women beaten to death over what? These two women at this rest home were pillars of the community in which they served and respected and for this to happen is just horrifying. Just horrifying and sick. And this can happen to anyone who has relatives inside of a rest home and the woman responsible for the slaying of those elderly women will pay dearly for this!!! North Carolina has a LAW that prevents incidents concerning the elderly...ELDER ABUSE!!!
    Punishable is severely harsh for any crime committed towards the old!!! Could be anyone's grandparents and you'll never know it!!

  • ifcdirector Dec 10, 2007

    I am sure that the anti-death penalty protesters who regularly appear in front of Central Prison are even as I write this congregating in protest of this murder and in support of the families of these victims and that they are reaching out to the victims with their own shows of personal support.......yeah.........right. They will be there the night that justice gets served though that's for certain.

  • Z Man Dec 10, 2007

    I cannot help to visualize those older ladies and this bruiser and imagine how the events unfolded. I think of the seniors and then think of my deceased mother and grandmother. I feel a deep sense of regret that someone was not there to protect them from this animal.

  • jackadoo Dec 10, 2007

    Spooner...I am with you dude, checkbook in hand (my own, unlike her earlier crimes).

  • yamoms Dec 10, 2007

    When I first heard about this I thought "crackhead" but now I think this is just a truly evil crazy woman.

  • skinnycow Dec 10, 2007

    Folks that prey on the elderly make me sick!