In ‘Seduced To Slay: Thrill Kill,’ we get a detailed account of the September and October 2000 murders committed by the Bonnie-and-Clyde couple — Joshua Maxwell and Tessie McFarland. When the police came across a body inside a burned-out car in Indiana and another victim of a similar kind of murder in Texas, they suspected that the crimes were connected and the suspects might try to cross more state lines and take more victims. Apart from delving deep into their crimes, the episode also covers the chase of the couple and how the police apprehended them.
Who Were Joshua Maxwell and Tessie McFarland’s Victims?
With a history of felony theft in January 1991 under his belt, Joshua Maxwell had already taken a wrong turn in life. He was even arrested for car theft and gun possession in 1995, while the police were positive that he was involved with a gang as well. As for Tessie McFarland, she lost her father when she was only two, and her mother got married to Mike McFarland. This union added three step-siblings to her family, one of whom had a history with Joshua. Moreover, she had a crack cocaine addiction history and was a stripper.
Moreover, Tessie did not complete high school and when her mother split up with Mike, Tessie’s life changed for the worse. According to her, during that time, she began spending time with older people and she wanted to emulate the people they hung out with. Joshua and Tessie first met when the former knocked on her door looking for her step-sister. Soon, the two became closer with time, even more so because he proved to be a good parental figure for her son.
Soon, Joshua and Tessie came up with the plan to lure people with the promise of sexual relations and then catch them by surprise and loot them. The first time that they put this plan to use was in September 2000. The couple arranged a meet-up with Robby Bott by connecting with him through a phone dating service. The 45-year-old man was a FedEx mechanic who lived in Mooresville, where he was taken hostage by Joshua and Tessie. After taking his cash and credit cards at his home, they planned to let him go. However, when an altercation broke out between the couple and the hostage, who threatened to kill Tessie, Maxwell shot him to death.
The couple didn’t stop at this as they went on to burn his car with his body inside, and took out all the money from his accounts. As the plan went smoothly for them, they traveled right to Texas in search of their next victim. There, they met Rudy Lopes, who reportedly took them out for food and bought them negligees. However, he turned out to be a cop, which Joshua was unaware of at first. As the right opportunity came, Joshua and Tessie pulled a gun on him in a hotel room and tied him with a telephone cord. Again, as per Joshua’s claims, they wanted to let him go but the situation turned into an altercation, where Lopes tried to headbutt Joshua.
For his retaliation, Joshua shot him dead, just like his previous victim. After dumping Rudy’s blindfolded body behind a San Antonio shopping mall, the couple stole his Chevrolet pickup. Just a week later, they ended up regretting stealing that vehicle as they were spotted running a red light in San Francisco with it and refused to be pulled over for doing so. This led to a chase, which turned into a gunfight between the couple and the police. During the gun battle, Tessie’s neck was grazed by a bullet.
The couple got arrested that day for the murders of Robby Bott and Rudy Lopes, soon after which Tessie claimed she was innocent. Tessie simply claimed that she was forced to participate in the crimes by Joshua. She elaborated about it further in ‘Killer Couples,’ saying, “He slept with guns under the pillows. He handcuffed me to every single thing I ever touched. You do what you have to do to survive.” However, the police had their doubts regarding her innocence, but when they came across a camcorder with several videos of the couple enjoying on the run and getting high, it was confirmed that she was just as guilty.
Where Are Joshua Maxwell and Tessie McFarland Now?
Soon after the arrest, the trial of Joshua Maxwell and Tessie McFarland for the murder cases of Robby Bott and Rudy Lopes commenced. Joshua was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death for killing Rudy but in the case of Robby’s death, he was found guilty of murder, confinement, arson, felony, and theft. On the other hand, despite being charged with two counts of murder, Tessie did not stand on trial as she took a plea deal of life in prison for the charges against her, with the possibility of parole. Meanwhile, following her imprisonment, her son has been living with her father ever since.
About a decade after the slayings, on March 11, 2010, Joshua was executed in Texas. The convict broke down moments before the state put him to death by lethal injection, and said, “The person that did that 10 years ago isn’t the same person you see today. I hurt a lot of people with decisions I made. I can’t be more sorry than I am right now.” He even said that his death penalty would only result in more victims as “this is not gonna change anything,” according to him. As far as Tessie McFarland is concerned, she is currently held up in Dr. Lane Murray Unit at 1916 N, TX-36 BUS in Gatesville, with her being eligible for parole in November 2040.