Shirley Curry, 79, serving a life sentence for five murders in Washington County, died Monday morning at the McPherson Unit in Newport of natural causes, the Correction Department said.

Curry was convicted in the July 1974 slayings of her ex-husband, three children and former sister-in-law after custody of the children was awarded to her ex-husband. A sixth person, her former brother-in-law, was wounded. 

Many details on the case here.

She entered prison in 1979, her arrival there  delayed by an initial finding after the slayings that she wasn’t mentally competent to stand trial. She left a tape recording and a letter she carried when arrested about her plans.

Laura Kellams of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette wrote a 25th anniversary account that can be found on this link (caution, you’ll find the story only after going through information that is decidedly not from a journalist).