Who Was Frances Schreuder? How Did She Die?

Investigation Discovery’s ‘A Crime to Remember: Mother’s Little Helper’ chronicles how a manipulative daughter pushed her son to murder her father in July 1978. Frances Schreuder’s need for money and a lavish lifestyle eventually caused her to use her son, Marc Schreuder, to have her father, Franklin Bradshaw, killed. It took authorities a few years, but they did bring Frances to justice. So, if you’re wondering what happened to her since the trial proceedings, here’s what we know!

Who Was Frances Schreuder?

Frances Schreuder was the fourth child of Franklin and Berenice Bradshaw and was born in 1938. After finishing high school, she went to Bryn Mawr in Pennsylvania but soon got into trouble for stealing from classmates and forging checks. After getting kicked out, Frances moved to New York City, New York, where she met her first husband, a pearl merchant named Vittorio Gentile. They married in 1959 and had two sons together, Lorenzo and Marco; the two were named Larry and Marc after the couple’s divorce.

Image Credit: Find a Grave/Mary Gale Rogers

Frances also had a daughter, Lavinia, from another marriage to Frederik Schreuder. At the time of the incident, she was divorced and unemployed. Investigation revealed that Franklin, at one point, sent Frances $3000 every month while she lived in New York City. Over time, they had disagreements regarding the money, and the financial support decreased. In the time leading up to Franklin’s murder, he had asked Frances to consider getting a job and even threatened to cut her out of the will.

The monetary issue seemed to be the reason that pushed Frances over the edge. During the summer of 1977, she sent Larry and Marc to work with Franklin and asked them to put amphetamines in their grandfather’s food. There were also plans to kill him by burning down his place of work or putting a toaster in his bath. However, none of these plans came to fruition. So, Frances asked the boys to steal from their grandfather. Once Franklin learned of that, he stopped giving Frances any money.

At one point, Frances even hired a hitman to kill her father, but that person never went through with it despite taking money from her. Then, in the days leading up to the murder, Frances used the money she received from her mother to pay for Marc’s flights. Frances was hysterical when Marc told her the night before the slaying that he didn’t want to kill his grandfather. She said to Marc, “If you don’t do it, don’t come home again.”

Previously Frances had convinced Marc to go through with it by saying, “Look, Marc, it is not really killing. It is the right thing to do for us.” He ultimately killed Franklin, and as a result, Frances received her share of the inheritance. Over the next few years, the socialite led the life she always wanted until the authorities caught up to her in March 1982. As per the show, Frances was arrested as she was about to jump out of her window into a river.

How Did Frances Schreuder Die?

During Frances’ trial, Marc’s testimony was crucial to garnering a conviction. Frances was found guilty of first-degree murder and received life in prison in 1983. She spent 13 years behind bars before being paroled out in 1996. The same year, Frances lost her mother, Berenice. But according to her will, Frances was to receive lifelong income from half the estate. In the end, she died on March 30, 2004, at a hospice in San Diego, California. Her cause of death was chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. At the time, Frances was 65-years-old.

Read More: Franklin Bradshaw Murder: Where is Marc Schreuder Now?