More than 30 years after she helped kill at least five elderly women in a West Michigan nursing home, serial killer Catherine Wood walked out of prison on Thursday. Wood, now 57, walked out of the federal prison in Tallahassee, released over the objections of her victims’ relatives. They fear she’ll kill again.
Conditions of Wood’s parole show she won’t be returning to West Michigan to live, at least for now. Instead, WOOD has learned, the Alpine Manor Nursing Home killer will live with her sister in Fort Mill, South Carolina, a city of 17,000 people just outside Charlotte, North Carolina. “I’m glad she’s not coming back here, but on the other side of the coin, I sympathize with the people that are going to be living around her, wherever she goes,” said John Engman, son-in-law of victim Mae Mason.
He helped lead the fight against Wood’s release. “If I was a neighbor, I would want to definitely know that we have a serial killer living next door,” Engman said. In 1987, Wood and Gwendolyn Graham killed at least five patients — and possibly as many as a dozen — at the Alpine Manor Nursing Home, where the women were nurse’s aides.
They did it for fun and to bind their love. The Michigan Parole Board had denied Wood’s release eight times before, finding she was a potential danger and wasn’t remorseful, but that changed in September 2018. Victims’ family members tried to stop it, but a Kent County judge ruled in October 2019 that she should be released.