A wealthy Texas woman is murdered with strychnine.

Patsy Wright

Lab tests showed strychnine killed her


In October of 1987, the friends and family of 43-year-old Patsy Bolton Wright mourned her tragic and unexpected death.  Her daughter, Leslie, was shocked when she heard the news:

“You would never expect that to happen… she was so alive, she was so healthy, there was nothing wrong with her, and when it happened, you’re just in awe because you would never ever have expected that to happen to her.”

Strychnine was found in her medicine

Eight days after Patsy’s memorial service, a routine autopsy was performed.  The lab technician checked for 56,000 different foreign substances in Patsy’s blood samples.  Suddenly the machine showed a violent positive reaction.  Within seconds, the substance was identified … strychnine.  Because of its horrible side effects, strychnine poisoning is considered an unusually cruel way to die.  Death by strychnine is also very rare.  In the death of Patsy Wright, the Arlington, Texas, authorities faced a puzzling question:  How had this dangerous poison entered Patsy’s bloodstream? 

The morning of Patsy’s death, a frantic phone call woke up Steve and Sally Horning.  The caller was Sally’s sister, Patsy Wright.  Patsy told her sister that she took some cold medicine and was feeling nauseous.  She then collapsed while still on the phone.  Fearing for her sister’s safety, Sally and her husband drove to Patsy’s house:

“We got to the house and went to the front door.  And of course, the door was locked and we couldn’t get in… When we got in, she was in the bedroom.  She just looked like she had kind of fainted.  And so I thought, that’s what had happened.  And so we tried to get her up, and that didn’t work.

Sally’s husband Steve began mouth to mouth resuscitation:

“During that, a lot of green fluid came up from her, and I would continually spit that out onto the bed, or there was a towel there as I remember.  Sometime after that, the medics came.”

Patsy’s family tried to save her

But the medics were unable to save her and Patsy died shortly after.  At first no one suspected foul play.  But, in her phone call, Patsy had mentioned taking cold medicine, which was later found to contain huge amounts of strychnine.  Authorities ruled out product tampering or suicide.

Patsy Wright seemed to have everything to live for.  She had two children to whom she was very close.  Patsy and her sister, Sally, were successful businesswomen.  They owned two wax museums worth millions.  Also, Patsy had just bought three quarter horses and planned to train them herself.

Sergeant Jay Gustafson of the Arlington police began to investigate Patsy’s  death as a murder.  He had two clues which made him think that the killer was probably someone Patsy knew very well.  First, the burglar alarm had not been set on the night she died.  Second, only those close to Patsy knew she had a habit of taking nighttime cold  medicine before bed.  The first people Sergeant Gustafson questioned were Patsy’s sister and brother in law.

He was seen watching her from the car

The Sergeant looked for a motive.  Patsy’s wealth came from the two wax museums she owned with Sally.  Not only were the museums tourist attractions, they were also centers of social life in their respective towns.  When Patsy died, the museums were inherited by Sally, and her husband, Steve:

“We as family members were being asked questions that you never even think you’re ever going to be asked.”

Authorities felt that if Steve had poisoned Patsy, he would not have used mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to try to save her, taking potentially deadly liquid into his own mouth.
Steve and Sally Horning, along with other family members, voluntarily took polygraph tests.  All of them passed.

Patsy’s ex-husband, Robert Cox, was also questioned by Sergeant Gustafson:

“He was offered a polygraph test, the same as several others that I had interviewed and taken statements from and he refused to take the polygraph test.”

Patsy had obtained a restraining order against Cox during their separation because she claimed he was harassing her.  But Robert Cox maintained his innocence and there was no evidence to suggest he was guilty.

On the night she died, it appeared that someone had been with Patsy.  Next to her bed were two empty dinner plates on a tray.  Could there have been an unknown visitor that night, intimate enough to know Patsy’s personal habits and to share a late-night dinner with her?

The strychnine that killed Patsy was in a pure powder form, the most concentrated type of the poison available.  Very few outlets sell strychnine and all sales are controlled by the federal government. Authorities hope that someone will remember a suspicious sale around the time of Patsy’s death.

Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season one with Robert Stack and season three with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.




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    It probably was Ted Bundy


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    Poison is usually a choice for a female, and whether that female did it herself or had someone do it for her, this was done by someone with either an known or secret animosity toward Pasty Wright. If it is ever solved, I suspect that it is someone who, in some way either watched or was watching the night she died. Strychnine is a horrible way to be poisoned, and it was intended to both grab attention and also to be a taunt to someone else as well.


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    Hmmmm Interesting

    I agree with most people on here. I doubt it was the daughter, but could definitely see where other people are getting that from. My money is on the Sister and Husband. Their story makes no sense what so ever. Why would you not call the police right away when she randomly stopped talking. The perfect window, no screen open in the bed room but the door is locked and the security system is off? Oh, and it just so happens that the sisters own 50-50 stake in a multimillion dollar business together. I would look super closely at their financial records, see if a list of different things may be going on:
    1. Financial trouble on the sisters end
    2. Patsy Wanted to sell her portion

    Also, the one thing that gets them immediately exonerated is the bs about risking his own life during CPR…who even says he did CPR? there is no way to tell if he was actually taking mouthfuls of that liquid or not…

    Again, the husband didn’t seem sad at all. His story sounds like bull and the whole way they conducted themselves was crazy, on top of the fact that they and the children had by far the most to gain by her death. The only other would have possibly been her ex-husband but he was a relative non factor prior to this and for all we know her testimony may have even helped him out. The sisters statement is the only one that implicates him in any way… I wonder why that might be… saying that he asked her to lie and that “No, She was going to tell the truth”… IDK it all seems pretty fishy to me. I wonder how much the sister and her husband walked away with, couple million? sounds like motive to me.


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      I read somewhere that CPR must be performed on a hard, flat surface. Wasn’t she still in bed when the medics arrived? Also, if he did take in liquid and spit it out, wouldn’t he have shown some symptoms? She was poisoned with almost pure strychnine (rat poison is like 3%) so even if he spit it out you would think traces would have still been ingested.


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        There’s no evidence he even performed CPR. Also, they both benefited incredibly financially from her death. To this day they never mention her death or wanting justice for her murder. I think that speaks volumes.


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      I think it was the daughter. The day after she gets a “call” from an unknown person saying they were glad she was dead? When the daughter said she thought the caller was referring to the poisoning, when did she think it? The call was the day after the murder. The autopsy was 8 days after.


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        Cheryl Howes

        I believe it was the sister with a backup of the brother in law In looking it up, the sister was in the process of talking patsy into signing a new WILL (behind her husband’s back) and was done but not signed in time of her death, to keep the brother in law from getting any inheritance as patsy didn’t trust him by her words. This would have made her sole beneficiary, I believe. Also as stated by people, the drug in the cold medicine is a woman’s choice, it was most likely the sister with help from Bob, the ex and Payner. But unfortunately, we won’t know as another website said Payner was killed in a standoff. I believe that the sister enticed/bribed the ex as his hate for Patsy into breaking in and putting the drug in her medicine as he would have access to her house and she got ahold of the drug, which puts those two together. I also believe she had Payner torch the museum a few years later for the insurance money, which she paid him off with and also to throw off suspicion from her. I believe the plate issue was something that the brother in law added a plate to throw people off and his excuse by him that he got some poison in his mouth by resuscitation, bogus, I don’t believe it! Although the daughter suspicious, I don’t believe it was her.


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    It wasn’t sally or Steve. It was a man whom she worked with at the wax museum. That’s who killed patsy.


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    Deborah Decker

    I believe that overlooked her daughter. Her interview and body language was that of a guilty person. People who lie voice Gore’s up in timber ” no not me”, frequent blinking, plus rummaging though her mother’s home and report of strange phone call while she was there. I believe police dropped the ball right there.


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    steve and sally didn’t even assume patsy was poisoned when she first arrived, so why was steves first instinct to give CPR? he has some involvement so he purposefully did CPR to show the cops that she was poisoned but he spit it out to act like he didn’t know it was poison


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    women are almost always who poisons. Fact.


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    The show stated that her wax museum business was worth 4 million in the early ’80s. 4 mill seems insane to us NOW– and consider that it would be more than ten mill in 2017 accounting for inflation. It’s partly why I don’t want to be mega-wealthy… the predators probably come at you from every angle.


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    I hope they find out who killed her.


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    The Husband of the Sister, and the Husband Worked to work her against her also, and the Sister and Her Husband wanted Patsy more flexible about business and her lover, and a third Person were involved in the deed. The Sister’s Husband even used Patsy’s Lover, with his help, to get to her, to control her, so they offed her. I Get from the Gift of Jehovah Lord God, 1 Cor ch 12.


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    The Murderer was a Worker, for them in the wax bus. cleaning, I see him with a key, using, he knocked her out, the mouth to mouth was a cover up, know what was to come.


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    If it was prepmaned murder , steve would of cleverly performed mouth to mouth and made sure to tell authorities he did this to elimunate him as a suspect. He knew to spir out the green fluid and made sure he told authorities.


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      He knew to spit out the green stuff, so because of that, he’s guilty? Would you wanna swallow something from someone else’s mouth when doing CPR? Absolutely not. He’s not guilty for trying to save her life and using common sense at the same time.


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      i agree with you anonymous, he purposely did that OR even said he did it to rule himself out as a suspect.


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    james Ferguson

    Check the Mansfield feed stores, that is where he most likely purchased the Strychnine (simple rat poison) He may even have had a federal license to purchase it.


  14. Avatar

    James Ferguson

    The person I’ve mention in the above post also dated Lori Ann Williams who worked at Patsy Wrights wax museum, she also died mysteriously before Patsy’s death.


  15. Avatar

    James Ferguson

    If there was an unknown person with Patsy that night I think I know who that person is. This person was seeing Patsy and had ask me to be sure not to mention this to anyone. This person was a horse trainer and was working for a lady in Arlington, and as I remember was also involved in the purchase of of some of the horses she had purchased.
    I have other information on this guy which I would share with the proper people.


  16. Avatar


    Both Leslie and Wayne (Patsy’s children) took and passed polygraphs. Sally Horning (Patsy’s sister) did phone the police for an ambulance (did not have 911 back in1987) when Patsy called them, but they did not know her address #. It was a rent house. So they drove there and called the police again. There is only Steve Horning’s word that he gave Patsy CPR. Same with the plates – only Steve noticed them. Even if two plates were there, so what? Maybe she used two plates. You’d think the cops would have taken photos, analyzed the leftover food, etc. That would have helped. Patsy’s windows had been broken sometime before this happened. That’s why she got the alarm system. But nothing had been stolen. Was someone hired to break in and put the strychnine in her Nyquil? When did the breaking of the windows happen? Did the neighbors notice any cars? A lot is left out. Patsy was supposed to testify, in about 10 days, in Bob Cox’s insurance trial, that an item he said was lost in a fire (insurance company thought he set it), was actually in his office. He had been trying to talk her out of it. She didn’t testify, and he won the case and was awarded 1.3 million.


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    Her daughter had the guilty face and her sadness was very fake looking.


  18. Avatar

    marshal william

    Sent by


  19. Avatar


    Why didnt sally n steve call 911 if they feared she collapsed while she was on the phone wirh them. Why would they thinkbthey would of been able to get there faster n save her over the medics.


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      Brittany Howard

      They didn’t come in one one because Patsy had just moved into a rental and her sister did not know the address and she dialed 911 the operator told her she could not send police if they did not have an address that’s why they drove over there


  20. Avatar


    Was the daughter interrigated. She seemed to b3 decisive when seen on the program unsolved mystetious. Did she take a polygraph


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In the event we determine the occurrence of a data security incident, we will notify you by email, US mail, telephone, or other means as permitted by law.

If you have questions, comments, or complaints concerning our privacy practices or if you wish to change, access, or remove your Personal Data, please contact us as indicated below.  We will attempt, where practical, to respond to your requests and to provide you with additional privacy related information.

Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. is the owner of this Website and retains all ownership rights to the information collected at this Website. Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. reserves the right to change, modify, add, or remove provisions of this Privacy Statement. Any changes to this Privacy Statement will be posted here, and we encourage you to check back from time to time. In addition, Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. will notify registered users of changes as they occur.

We allow third-party companies to serve ads and/or collect certain anonymous information when you visit our web site. These companies may use non-personally identifiable information (e.g., click stream information, browser type, time and date, subject of advertisements clicked or scrolled over) during your visits to this and other Web sites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services likely to be of greater interest to you. These companies typically use a cookie or third party web beacon to collect this information. To learn more about this behavioral advertising practice or to opt-out of this type of advertising, you can visit networkadvertising.org. Your use of the site constitutes your agreement to accept cookies, beacons and third-party advertising. Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. assumes no responsibility for third-party ads.

ARTICLE 1. Personalization
1.1 We may use the contact information you give us to better tailor your Website experience to your interests, and to send you information about Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. and its services as well as promotional material on behalf of some of our partners. We may use other information that you provide to us to show you content in which you may be interested and to display the content according to your preferences. We will also share this information within Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. in order to enhance your experience on this and other Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. Websites.
1.2 In addition, we may share this information with advertisers or other third parties that are not part of the Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. family on an aggregate or other basis that does not disclose your identity or contact information.

ARTICLE 2. Online Surveys/Contests
2.1 From time to time, we may conduct online surveys and contests. These may ask you for contact information (like name or email address) and demographic information (like zip code or age).
2.2 We may use this contact information from our surveys and contests to provide you with information about our company and promotional material on behalf of some of our partners, and to contact you when necessary.

ARTICLE 3. Shopping/Commercial Services
3.1 This Website may offer shopping services, which may be offered by us or by a firm that operates a store under contract with us. If our Website offers shopping or other commercial services, you will use a customer order form to request information, products, and services. The order form will ask you to give us contact information (like name or email address), financial information (like account or credit card numbers), and demographic information (like zip code or age).

3.2 We will use the financial information that you provide to bill you for products and services. By giving our Website your credit card and related personal information, you are authorizing our store to give that information to the merchant and credit card company in order to confirm and fulfill your order.

3.3 We will use contact information from the order form to fulfill your orders. We may also use contact data to get in touch with you when necessary. We will not otherwise use or distribute your financial information without your prior approval.

ARTICLE 4. Public forums
4.1 This Website may make available chat rooms, blogs, forums, message boards, and news groups. Please remember that any information that you disclose in these areas becomes public information and you should exercise caution when deciding to disclose your personal information. Information disclosed by you or by others enters the public domain and may be freely used by any other persons or entities using the site.

ARTICLE 5. Information Sharing With Third Parties
5.1 From time to time we may enter into a special relationship with another company that is not owned by Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. to provide additional features at this Website. These special relationships may include “powered by” partners, business partners, sponsors, and co-branded sites (referred to here as “co-branded pages”). These might include, for example, pages that share our name and that of another entity. You should look for a specific privacy statement on any such co-branded page. Any personal information that you provide when signing up at one of those co-branded pages may be shared with our third party partner. You should also check our partner’s website for information regarding its privacy policies.

5.2 Also, the nature of some features of our Website may require that we share personal information about you with persons or companies outside of Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. For example, this may occur at a feature that enables you, via our Website, to ask questions of persons or entities that are not part of Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. By responding to those features of the site, whether by email or direct entry of information on our Website, you are consenting to our transferring that information to such persons or entities.

5.3 With respect to specific registration modules, like contests, we may disclose personal information collected, and we may post a conspicuous statement on the registration module to the effect that we will be disclosing the information collected with third parties.

5.4 Finally, we may share any of the information collected from you with these other non- Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc companies in an aggregate basis. The aggregated information is not linked to any information that can identify you.

ARTICLE 6. IP Address and Log Files
6.1 We may use your IP address to administer our Website, to help diagnose problems with our server, to analyze trends, to track users’ webpage movements, to help identify you and your shopping cart, and to gather broad demographic information for aggregate use.

ARTICLE 7. Cookies
7.1 This Website may use a standard technology called a “cookie” to collect information about how you use the Website. Cookies reside on your computer and help our Website to recognize your computer’s browser as a previous visitor. This information allows us to customize delivery of information. For example, our Website may use cookies to save and remember registration information or preferences that you may have set while browsing the Website, to keep track of your shopping cart, to ensure you don’t see the same ad content repeatedly, to deliver content specific to your interests, and to save your password so you do not have to re-enter it each time you visit our site. We use cookies only to gather information as indicated in this policy.

7.2 In addition, on occasion our site may also set a “session cookie” which helps us administer the Website. The session cookie expires when you close your browser and does not retain any information about you after it expires.

7.3 Finally, we may also use an ad network provider to help present advertisements on this and other Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. websites. This ad network provider, like other advertising service vendors, uses cookies, web beacons, or similar technologies on the hard drive of your computer to serve you advertisements tailored to interests you have shown by browsing on this and other sites you have visited, and to determine whether you have seen a particular advertisement before and to avoid sending you duplicate advertisements. In doing so, the provider collects non-personal data such as your browser type, your operating system, web pages visited, time of visits, content viewed, ads viewed, and other clickstream data. The use of cookies, web beacons, or similar technologies by these ad network providers is subject to their own privacy policies, not ours, and Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. assumes no responsibility for the collection or use of such information.

ARTICLE 8. Banner Advertising
8.1 We have contracted with an ad-service to place banner advertising on our Website. All of the data provided and generated by the ad-server software remains in our possession. This feature of our Website may, on occasion, set “cookies” on your computer. Any information collected or stored by the ad-service or the cookies is treated in the same manner as other information described in this statement.

ARTICLE 9. Children’s Personal Information
9.1 Consistent with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act:

9.1.1 This site does NOT collect, use, or disclose personal information (including online contact information) of children under the age of thirteen (13).

9.1.2 In the event that a child under the age of 13 attempts to register on our site, we will NOT accept the registration and will delete information received from the child.

9.1.3 In the event that a child posts personal information in a public forum such as a chat room, we will attempt to delete that information once we become aware of it.

ARTICLE 10. Security of Your Personal Information
10.1 Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. employs reasonable security measures consistent with standard industry practice, for information collected through this Website. We believe that we have adequate security measures in place in our physical facilities to protect against the loss, misuse, or alteration of the information we collect on our Website. We also use internal protections to limit access to users’ personal information to only those employees who need the information to perform a specific job.

ARTICLE 11. Sale or Merger
11.1 If this Website is sold to, or merges with, another company not owned by Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc., you should expect that some or all of the information collected from this Website may be transferred to the buyer/surviving company. If so, CMP will seek to obligate the acquiring company to use any personal information transferred by this Website in a manner consistent with this statement, but cannot guarantee that it will be able to impose that requirement or that the acquiring company will comply.

ARTICLE 12. Legal Process
12.1 You should be aware that Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. may be required to disclose your personal information to the government or third parties under certain circumstances, such as in court or regulatory proceedings.

ARTICLE 13.  Contacting the Website

13.1        If you have any questions about this Privacy Statement, the practices of this Website, or your dealings with this Website, please contact us at: unsolved@unsolved.com.

ARTICLE 14.  general information

14.1        Choice of Law:  This Agreement and the Additional Terms shall be governed by, construed and enforced in accordance with the laws of the State of California , as it is applied to agreements entered into and to be performed entirely within such state, without regard to conflict of law principles.

14.2        Choice of Forum:  You agree that any cause of action you or Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. brings to enforce this Agreement and/or the Additional Terms, or in connection with any matters related to this Website and/or the Privacy Statement, shall be submitted to arbitration in the County of Los Angeles, State of California, United States of America in accordance with the commercial rules and regulations of the American Arbitration Association then in effect (as amended herein), provided that said arbitration shall be heard before a single arbitrator, who shall be a retired judge, selected pursuant to such rules and regulations, and shall be conducted on an expedited basis and in confidence. The arbitrator’s decision shall be controlled by the terms and conditions of this agreement and any other agreements I may enter into with you, and shall be final and binding, and shall provide for each party to bear its own costs of arbitration and attorneys’ fees.  Each party expressly waives any right to a jury.  Judgment upon the award of the arbitrator may be entered or enforced in any court of competent jurisdiction. 

14.4        If any provision of this Agreement, or the application thereof to any person or circumstances, is held invalid or for any reason unenforceable then such provision shall be deemed superseded by a valid, enforceable provision that matches, as closely as possible, the original provision, and the other provisions of this Agreement shall remain in full force and effect.  The failure of either party to insist upon strict performance of any provision of this Agreement shall not be construed as a waiver of any provision or right.  Unless expressly provided otherwise, this Agreement is the entire agreement between you and Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. with respect to the use of this Website and shall not be modified except in writing, signed by an authorized representative of Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc.

ARTICLE 15.  European Union and Other Foreign Nations

15.1        This Website is governed by and operated in accordance with the laws of United States of America and is intended for enjoyment of residents of the United States.  Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. makes no representation that this Website is governed by or operated in accordance with the laws of other nations.  By using this Website and submitting any personal information, visitors from outside of the United States acknowledge this Website is subject to U.S. law, consent to the transfer of personal data to the U.S., and waive any claims that may arise under their own national laws.