‘20/20: Home Sweet Murder‘ on ABC News dives into a case that made global headlines when it happened. Beginning in April 2012, the Staudte family experienced a series of misfortunes, including two deaths.
When one of the family members was admitted to the hospital in June 2013, suspicions were raised about everything that had happened up to that point.
The matriarch, Diane Staudte, was shortly discovered to have murdered her husband and son. Rachel Staudte, the second daughter, admitted to being engaged in the murders, which was a shocking revelation.
So, if you’re curious about what happened to her after that, we’ve got you covered.
Rachel Staudte, Who is She?
Rachel Staudte is the third child born to Mark and Diane Staudte of Springfield, Missouri, who have two other girls and a boy.
She fared well in school, played the flute, and was an ardent artist who displayed her drawings online as the family’s golden child.
Rachel was also Diane’s favourite child, as seen by their social media interactions. Mark died abruptly in April 2012, and it was assumed that he died of natural causes.
The money from the life insurance was then used to upgrade the family’s living quarters.
Unfortunately, Mark and Diane’s only son, Shaun, died a few months later, and their eldest daughter, Sarah, was hospitalised with brain impairment and serious organ failure.
At this point, officials received a tip that led them to look into whether Diane was involved in the incidents. She acknowledged to poisoning her husband and two children with antifreeze for a variety of reasons when questioned, but claimed no one else was to blame.
Rachel, on the other hand, turned out to be a willing participant in these atrocities.
Rachel’s diary was discovered when the authorities searched the house. “It’s heartbreaking when I discovered how my father will pass away in the following two months,” one of the entries said.
Shaun, my brother, will leave soon after…. It will be difficult to adjust to the changes, but everything will work out in the end.” This was over a year before Mark’s death, in mid-June 2011.
When confronted with evidence, Rachel claimed Diane only talked about injuring herself when questioned, but when confronted with the proof, she acknowledged to her role in the crimes.
Rachel claimed she assisted her mother in her hunt for a way to murder Mark; they considered suffocation and a mixture of medications before settling on antifreeze.
Diane, she claims, got it online expressly because it didn’t contain a bittering agent that would prevent others from unintentionally consuming it.
So Diane used antifreeze to poison Mark’s Gatorade, Shaun’s drink, and Sarah’s soda, killing the first two and hospitalising the third.
Diane Staudte speaks from prison for the first time about the strange and fatal poisoning events surrounding her family.
— 20/20 (@ABC2020) February 25, 2022
Rachel also revealed that the main reason they rushed Sarah to the hospital was to prevent her from dying at home. “Houses are unpleasant once someone has died in them,” she said.
I have a lot of night terrors. I moved into Shaun’s room when he died, and it was horrible, horrible, horrible in there. I kept getting a sense of something in there.
“I just didn’t want to go through that again.” Rachel also stated that she did not want Shaun and Sarah to die, but agreed to the plan regardless.
“Shaun, we disagreed about a lot because I still think we could have put him in an assisted living, but she (Diane) wanted him out,” Rachel revealed.
Sarah, on the other hand, was completely unnecessary. We could have found a different location for her. She was adamant that Sarah was nothing more than a burden who needed to be cared for.”
Rachel went on to say that her younger sister, who was just 12 at the time, would have been the next to be poisoned.
What Happened to Rachel Staudte?
In May 2015, Rachel Staudte decided to testify against her mother, Diane Staudte, in exchange for a plea bargain.
She admitted to two counts of second-degree murder and one act of assault in the first degree. In March 2016, at the age of 25, she was condemned to two life terms and an additional 20 years in prison.
“I was terrified, but being scared is no excuse,” Rachel said in court, adding that she wished she had spoken up to her mother.
Rachel, on the other hand, filed a petition in August 2016 to have her prison sentence overturned or modified.
She stated that her fear of men drove her attorneys and police investigators to intimidate her, resulting in miscommunication.
Rachel is still held at the Women’s Eastern Reception, Diagnostic, and Correctional Center in Vandalia, Missouri. Before becoming eligible for parole, she must serve 42 and a half years in prison.