When Bobbie Jo Stinnett opened the door for her friend Lisa Montgomery in December 2004, she did not know she was going to be the last person she would ever see. On 13 January 2021, as Lisa was being administered with a lethal injection, one can’t help but wonder if the last person on her mind was Bobbie, whose brutal murder she had caused, effectively placing her on death row for more than ten years.
In the US, many people know Lisa as the first woman to be executed by the state in almost 70 years. The events leading to her execution are also no mystery, especially to the people of Skidmore, Missouri, the town where Bobbie used to live and where Lisa had killed her.
Before December 16, 2004: The Internet Forum Where Bobbie and Lisa Had First Met
Bobbie Jo Stinnett’s life appeared to be as quiet as the town she lived in, which had a population of around 300 people at the time. She was married in her early 20s to a man named Zeb Stinnett, and they were about to have their first child in 2004.
Building a family entailed a need to build their income, so the couple had started a dog-breeding business called Happy Haven Farms where they bred and sold Rat Terriers. Apart from this, they also worked at a manufacturing plant for Kawasaki Motors, about 14 miles from where they lived.
To an outsider, Bobbie and Zeb were well on their way to a comfortable family home.
Soon enough, their house will be teeming with young life. And eventually, Bobbie and Zeb will simultaneously care for their child and their puppies.
Everyone who knew the couple knew their Happy Haven Farms business, including some of Bobbie’s friends in an online community called Ratter Chatter. Ratter Chatter was an online forum for Rat Terrier lovers. It’s also where Bobbie and Lisa first met. So in the spring of 2004, when Bobbie shared the news of her pregnancy to the online community, Lisa was also informed.
Eight months into her pregnancy, Bobbie, who was 23 years old, received a message from one Darlene Fischer, who inquired about the puppies the former was selling. The two had agreed to meet at Bobbie’s residence in Skidmore since Darlene would come from a nearby town called Fairfax. Bobbie had relayed the information to her husband and her mother Becky Harper. Everything seemed set.
But everything Darlene had said was a lie. Darlene will not be coming from anywhere near Skidmore. In fact, she would have to drive almost 300 km from where she really lived — in Kansas. Because Darlene Fischer was not who she claimed to be. She was Lisa Montgomery.
December 16, 2004: The Day Lisa Brutally Killed Bobbie
When Lisa arrived at the Stinnett residence, Bobbie was alone and unaware of the danger she was in. Zeb was out working at the manufacturing plant during this time. At some point during Lisa’s visit, the two even let the puppies outside and played with them. To Bobbie, it was an ordinary day. To Lisa, who carried a white cord and kitchen knife in her jacket, this was an opportunity.
Previously, Lisa had been telling her friends, family, and her husband she was pregnant. But Lisa’s ex-husband Carl Boman revealed that there was no way for her to have been pregnant after 1990, the year when tubal ligation was performed on her.
“It’s something that’s been going on for quite awhile in her life and I think she had to have proof to cover up some of her lies,” Boman said on Good Morning America, according to ABC News.
So, past 2:30 pm, in the once peaceful home of the Stinnetts in Skidmore, Lisa strangled Bobbie. She did so until Bobbie became unconscious. And once Bobbie passed out from the severe lack of oxygen, Lisa proceeded to cut through Bobbie’s abdomen to get the 8-month-old fetus. The pain was so intense it awoke Bobbie, who tried to fend for herself and her child.
But Bobbie was already too physically weak and drained to protect herself from her attacker. So when Lisa strangled Bobbie again, she managed to kill the mother of the fetus she had just extracted, leaving the residence as soon as she was done with the act.
The person who saw the aftermath of Lisa’ cruel killing was none other than Bobbie’s mother Becky. Bobbie was supposed to pick up her mom at 3:30 pm that day, so when her mother had called her and she did not respond, Becky decided to drop by her daughter’s house to see if something was wrong.
The door of Bobbie’s home was surprisingly open. Becky went inside, into the dining area, and there she was greeted by the scene of her daughter’s horrific death. One of the most notable things she said during her call to 911, which is repeated in almost every podcast that covers this case, is the way she described her daughter’s lifeless body. It looked like her stomach exploded, Becky said.
The Arrest of Lisa Montgomery
The day after she committed the murder of Bobbie Jo Stinnett, 36-year-old Lisa Montgomery was arrested. Bobbie and Zeb’s baby, Victoria, was miraculously alive and immediately retrieved.
Before her arrest, Lisa had told her husband Kevin she went into labor at a women’s clinic somewhere in Topeka, Kansas while she was out shopping. When the authorities traced the evidence back to Lisa and began observing her house, they saw two things: one, a vehicle similar to the one that was outside Bobbie and Zeb’s home; and two, a newborn baby.
According to the affidavit, Lisa instantly confessed to the heinous crime once her story became incongruent. She told the authorities she “strangled Stinnett and [removed] the fetus” and even mentioned having lied to her husband about the situation.
In 2007, Lisa was convicted and sentenced to death.
Fourteen years later, she was executed.
Lisa Montgomery’s Execution: The 11th During Trump’s Presidency and In the Last 17 Years
Lisa was the 11th person to be executed under Trump’s administration. At the last minute, the court lifted Lisa’s stay of execution, which hastened the process and led to her death. A stay of execution is an official court order that delays the previous court’s judgment from being implemented.
For 17 years, federal executions were put to a halt until July of last year. The 13th and final state-sanctioned killing was carried out on January 16. Trump, who is an avid supporter of the death penalty, has rushed these executions in July. President-elect Joe Biden is reportedly against the death penalty and is expected to discontinue federal executions during his term.