Poison Specialist Accused Of Killing His Wife With Poison

A Minnesota poison expert has been charged with second-degree murder after he allegedly poisoned his wife with liquid colchicine.

October 25, 2023
Betty Jo Bowman, pictured here, died on Aug. 20, 2023. In October 2023, her husband was charged with her murder.

Connor Fitzgerald Bowman, a 30-year-old poison specialist from Minnesota, has been arrested and charged with second-degree intentional murder in the poisoning death of his wife, 32-year-old Betty Jo Bowman.

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Connor Fitzgerald Bowman, a 30-year-old poison specialist from Minnesota, has been arrested and charged with second-degree intentional murder in the poisoning death of his wife, 32-year-old Betty Jo Bowman.

Connor is accused of administering liquid colchicine, a substance to treat gout that can be fatal in large doses, to Betty, according to the criminal complaint. She did not have gout and did not have a prescription for colchicine.

Connor worked as poison specialist at the University of Kansas, and he allegedly used his university-issued devices to make some alarming searches. A criminal complaint revealed that he searched the internet to convert Betty's weight to milligrams and then multiplied her weight by 0.8 mg, which is the lethal dose for colchicine. PEOPLE reported that other online searches he conducted included purchase queries for colchicine five days before she died. He also looked up how to delete data from Amazon and whether online searches can be used in court.

Betty died on Aug. 20, 2023, after fighting for her life for four days at the hospital. According to the StarTribune, she faced heart issues and had fluid buildup in her lungs. Part of her colon had to be removed. She ultimately died from organ failure.

At the time of Betty’s death, her marriage was in trouble. KSTP-TV shared that the two were discussing a divorce, and they had separate bank accounts. Connor told a friend he was expecting a $500,000 life insurance payout when his wife died.

While his wife was suffering from the poisoning in the hospital, Bowman suggested that she might have a rare disease called hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), a rare illness that attacks the body's immune system, the complaint read, but tests on that were inconclusive.

Connor tried to get the Medical Examiner's Office to stop the autopsy and cremate Betty immediately. They refused, and an autopsy was conducted. CBS News reported that Connor also reached out to investigators to ask about Betty’s toxicology analysis.

Betty’s death was ruled a homicide on Oct. 20, and Connor was arrested the same day.

According to the Post-Bulletin, Connor is being held on $2 million conditional bail at the Olmsted County Adult Detention Center, and he is next expected in court on Nov. 1. If Connor is ultimately convicted, he could face up to 40 years in prison.

Betty Jo Bowman was remembered in her obituary as an adventurous woman who was noted for her kindness and intelligence, and her deep love for her corgi was celebrated. She was admired for living her life to the fullest and encouraging others to be their truest selves.

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