AL Woman Held Hostage for 3 Days, Beaten to Death in Mobile Home Over Food Stamps

Three women were arrested and charged with capital murder for holding their friend hostage and beating her to death over her food stamps.
women beaters food stamps
Karen Kirby, left, and Tamara Giarrusso, center, and Susan Otts, right, are charged with capital murder in the death of Miranda Lynch. (

The women beat Miranda Lynch to death over her boyfirend’s food stamps.
ABC 33/40 – Birmingham News, Weather, Sports reported:


A woman found bludgeoned to death on the bathroom floor of a mobile home was held against her will for days, repeatedly beaten by three female friends who wanted access to her boyfriend’s food stamps, authorities said.

Jefferson County sheriff’s officials on Monday announced formal murder charges in the Aug. 7 slaying of 34-year-old Miranda Michelle Lynch. Karen Lee Kirby, they said, admitted to hitting Lynch during an argument…

…Deputies were first called to the home in the 5800 block of Diane’s Drive near Bessemer about 11:30 a.m. Friday. Authorities said they received a call from a man who said he could hear women screaming from inside the mobile home. When lawmen arrived on the scene, they found Lynch dead on the bathroom floor.

Christian said Monday that Kirby admitted to hitting the victim in the head several times with various objects during the fight. It wasn’t immediately clear what started the argument, but authorities said they now know.

Detectives learned that Lynch and her boyfriend had been staying at the home with Kirby. The boyfriend, whose name deputies haven’t released, borrowed Kirby’s car to go pick up his Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, a government-issued debit card that replaced food stamps. While on his way to pick up the card, however, he was critically injured in a traffic crash with an 18-wheeler.

The crash happened Wednesday, Aug. 5, on Interstate 20/59 near the Interstate 459 interchange. Bessemer police said witnesses told them the victim was driving southbound when, for unknown reasons, he turned his car around and started heading northbound in the southbound lane. He collided head-on with the tractor-trailer, and was seriously injured. As of Tuesday, he remained at UAB in critical condition.

Thinking he might die, authorities say Kirby, Otts and Giarrusso devised a plot to steal the boyfriend’s benefits by making a duplicate EBT card. To do that, however, they needed his social security card and other identifying information, Christian said.

The women asked Lynch to give them that information, but she refused. She was held against her will at the mobile home for two days while the three women continually threatened her and beat her. Eventually she died from those beatings.

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