In 1978, Frances Bernice Schreuder was a New York socialite. She sat on the board of directors of the New York City Ballet, lived in a luxury apartment on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and was known to buy $40,000 earrings at Tiffany’s.
Her father, Franklin Bradshaw, preferred to live frugally in Utah. Although the Salt Lake City oil and auto-parts magnate was worth at least $10 million, he drove a rusty pickup truck and bought his clothes at thrift stores. When he tired of his daughter’s extravagant spending habits and threatened to cut her out of his will, Frances decided to kill him.
At the high-profile trial, her 17-year-old son Marc Schreuder testified that Frances ordered he and his brother Larry to steal $200,000 in cash, checks and stock certificates from their 76-year-old grandfather. Marc also said his mother gave him drugs to poison Bradshaw’s oatmeal, but he refused to carry out the plan.
Frances then hired a hit man for $5,000, who also backed out of the deal and disappeared. So she threatened to kick Marc out of the house if he didn’t murder Bradshaw. The teen acquiesced, and on July 23, 1978, he shot and killed his grandfather with a .357 Magnum handgun.
The case was chronicled in two true crime books, two TV miniseries and a documentary on Court TV. In 1982, Marc Schreuder was convicted of second-degree murder. He was paroled 12 years later and reconciled with his mother.
Although she denied any involvement in the crime, Frances Schreuder was convicted of first-degree murder in 1983. She was a model inmate at the Utah State Prison and earned two degrees while incarcerated. She was paroled in 1996. Prior to the murder, Schreuder attended Bryn Mawr College, but was suspended in 1958 for stealing and forging checks.
Schreuder died on March 30 from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. She was 65.