Angelina Rodriguez (born 1968) is an American woman from Montebello, California who was sentenced to death for the September 2000 murder of her fourth husband, Jose Francisco "Frank" Rodriguez. She was also accused of killing her infant daughter in 1993 by suffocating her with a pacifier. Angelina is currently incarcerated at the Central California Women's Facility in Chowchilla, California, where she is on death row awaiting execution.
Angelina Rodriguez met her husband Frank, a special education teacher, while they were employed at a camp in San Luis Obispo, California. The couple married in April 2000. It was Angelina's fourth marriage. Prosecutors argue that within months of the marriage, Angelina took out a $250,000 (2018 value of $366,000) life insurance policy on Frank and began plotting to kill him. She was suspected of poisoning Frank's tea with oleander leaves, loosening the gas cap on their clothes dryer, and finally adding antifreeze to her husband's Gatorade. Frank Rodriguez died on September 9, 2000. His death was initially ruled undetermined, but the lack of a cause of death meant that Angelina could not get a death certificate or Frank's life insurance. She pushed for more testing, and those results showed that he had been intentionally poisoned. Angelina was arrested for murder in Paso Robles, California in February 2001.
Three years after Frank's death, Angelina's murder trial began in the fall of 2003. During the years since her arrest, prosecutors discovered that her 13-month-old daughter Alicia died suspiciously in 1993. Angelina claimed that her daughter choked on a pacifier that became dislodged, but investigators believe that Angelina removed the pacifier's nipple and used it to suffocate Alicia. Angelina then sued the pacifier manufacturer and was awarded a settlement of $700,000. She also received a $50,000 life insurance policy after Alicia's death was ruled accidental. Though she was never charged in her daughter's death, this evidence was presented at her trial to show that Angelina's motive for murder was financial.
In October 2003, Angelina Rodriguez was convicted of first-degree murder with the special circumstances, murder for financial gain and attempting to dissuade a witness. She was not convicted for the charge of soliciting murder. The following month, the jury rendered a verdict of death.
Angelina was formally sentenced to death by lethal injection on January 12, 2004. In her sentencing, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge William R. Pounders stated that she killed her husband in an "exceptionally cruel and callous" way and that her guilt had been proved to "an absolute certainty... In the past 20 years, I have never seen a colder heart." Despite her conviction and death sentence, Angelina argued her innocence, and maintained that her husband's death was a suicide by antifreeze poisoning.
Angelina Rodriguez was awarded a new sentencing hearing in 2010, but was re-sentenced to death in November 2010. Her most recent appeal was denied by the California Supreme Court in February 2014. Angelina remains on death row at the Central California Women's Facility in Chowchilla, California. However, she is planning to appeal her case to the United States Supreme Court.
The murder of Frank Rodriguez has been profiled on several television shows, including North Mission Road on truTV, Deadly Women and Happily Never After on Investigation Discovery, Snapped on the Oxygen Network and It Takes A Killer on Escape TV. Most recently, a new documentary premiered on NBC Dateline, aired: June 12th 2015, titled "The Devil in Disguise".
In February 2016 the book "A Taste For Murder" written by Burl Barer and Frank C. Girardot Jr was published. The 234 page book covers the details of the crimes committed by Rodriguez.