Nurse Genene Jones was convicted of murdering a child in her care. Now the mum of her victim has a fight on her hands to keep Jones behind bars
Genene Jones was a paediatric nurse who thrived on being needed.
She was experienced too.
Before starting her job at a clinic in Kerriville, Texas, Genene had worked at the Bexar County Hospital for years.
It had gone downhill in the months before she’d left.
A number of children had died from problems that shouldn’t have been fatal.
Rather than pursue further investigation for fear of being sued, hospital bosses had asked all nursing staff, including Genene, to stand down.
But she soon found a new job.
And, in September 1982, a lady called Petti McClellan arrived at the clinic where Genene now worked as a paediatric nurse.
Petti had brought in her son Cameron, 3, who was suffering from the flu, along with her 15-month-old daughter, Chelsea.
As the family sat in the waiting room, Genene spotted Chelsea, a beautiful blue-eyed baby, and offered to update her immunisations while they waited for Cameron to be seen.
But after Genene gave Chelsea the jabs she became limp and breathless.
The child tragically died, in an ambulance en route to another hospital.
It was every mother’s worst nightmare for Petti.
And later, a suspicious doctor involved in the case demanded an autopsy.
Something didn’t add up.
It soon became clear Genene had in fact injected Chelsea a third time while in the ambulance.
She’d used a drug called succinycholine chloride, which causes muscle relaxation and short-term paralysis.
It had stopped Chelsea’s heart.
After she’d been arrested on suspicion of murder, the police demanded several autopsies on the bodies of other children who had died in her care.
All those babies who’d died at the previous hospital… had she been responsible for them too?
In court prosecutors argued she’d injected her patients with powerful drugs because she wanted to be seen reviving them afterwards, in order to receive praise and attention from her peers.
Genene denied it all, but jurors saw through her lies.
In February 1984, Genene Jones was found guilty of killing 15-month-old Chelsea McClellan.
That same year she was convicted of injuring another child who had thankfully survived after she’d injected him.
Some believed she was responsible for the deaths of over 40 infants, but a lack of evidence stopped the possibility of any other convictions.
But for the families of the known victims, justice was served, with the woman dubbed ‘the angel of death’ sentenced to serve 99 years in jail.
Genene Jones would die behind bars.
Or so they thought…
After serving just a third of her sentence, the evil nurse is scheduled for release in early 2018, thanks to a loophole created by an old Texas law to limit prison overcrowding.
If she’s set free, Genene will have served just one year for each of the children she allegedly murdered.
So Chelsea’s mum Petti is making it her mission to find another family whose baby may have died at the hands of Genene.
Despite over three decades passing by, Petti knows a new conviction could keep this wicked woman locked up.
‘I need to find someone else, another family that was a victim of Genene Jones,’ she said. ‘That’s the only way to keep this woman in prison. Who knows what she can do if she gets out. This is my mission now. Losing a child does not consume you, it drives you.’
Winning another conviction on such a cold case is a long shot, but it may be the only way of keeping one of the most notorious killers in Texas history off the streets.