Who Was May Carey? How Did She Die?

In 1927, the heinous murder of Robert Hitchens went unsolved for many years, with the authorities believing it was a botched robbery. But ultimately, an unexpected witness led them to Robert’s sister, May Carey. Investigation Discovery’s ‘Deadly Women: Love of Money’ focuses on May’s story as the second of three cases featured in the episode. So, let’s find out more about what happened then, shall we?

The Downward Spiral of May Carey: From Widow to Murderer?

May Carey lived in Omar, Delaware, with her husband, James Asher, and their three sons, Howard, James, and Lawrence. The family had a great life at the time, with her husband’s job as a sailor bringing in good money. However, he died of pneumonia in 1918, leading to tremendous pressure on May to provide. At the time, May’s brother, Robert, and their mother lived across the street from them.

Robert was a successful auto mechanic and a farmer and lived a charmed life. Then, as per the show, the family house was left to Robert after their mother’s death. At the time, May struggled to keep food on the table for her and her children. So, she was jealous of her brother and resented him. May fought with her brother over the property and claimed that Robert hit and threatened to kill her.

Then, on November 9, 1927, Howard found his uncle, Robert, dead in his home. He had not been seen for a few days, leading to some concern for his well-being. The 55-year-old had died of blunt force trauma and a gunshot wound. It seemed like a robbery gone wrong. However, the authorities couldn’t figure out who committed the crime. It went unsolved for the next few years while May received the insurance money and the family house.

Things took a turn in December 1934 when Lawrence was arrested after a burglary where he shot at the owner. When the police questioned him about Robert’s murder, he had some shocking things to say. Lawrence told the authorities that his mother and two brothers were involved with it. He claimed May promised the two siblings a new car if they helped her kill Robert.

Lawrence, who was 14 at the time of the murder, stated that on November 7, 1927, May asked him to check if his uncle was at his usual hang-out spot. Lawrence told his mother he was there, leading her and his two brothers to go to Robert’s house. They laid in wait while Robert returned home, and Howard first attacked with a club before May bludgeoned her brother with a sledgehammer. Then, as per the show, Howard shot Robert to ensure he was dead. The mother then poured whiskey all over him.

May Carey Was Hanged to Death

May Carey and her sons were arrested soon after that, but the mother claimed full responsibility for the crime, saying she forced her sons to participate in the murder. However, after a trial in April 1935, May and Howard were convicted of first-degree murder, receiving a death sentence, while James was convicted of second-degree murder. He was handed down a life sentence. On the morning of June 7, 1935, 55-year-old May was hanged to death. She said before being hanged, “My way is clear. I have nothing else to say.” Howard was hanged soon after that.

Read More: Where is Michelle Willard Now?