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Wisconsin Woman Arrested after Allegedly Poisoning Friend with Eyedrops & Stealing Nearly $300k

Joe Akins
Jun 09, 2021
06:50 P.M.
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A 37-year-old Milwaukee, Wisconsin woman, Jessy R. Kurczewski, has been arrested and charged for poisoning her family friend who was in her care.

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While friendships are great and lead to positive, long-lasting bonds that cannot be substituted, they often end very badly when attributes like betrayal come in.

In Franklin, Milwaukee, a friendship crashed and burned severely when a woman allegedly stole thousands of dollars from a family friend who was put in her care. 

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Not only did the woman, who was identified as Jessy R. Kurczewski, steal from her family friend, but she also poisoned her with eyedrops and attempted to cover the act up as a suicide.

On October 3, 2018, Kurczewski frantically called the police and said she had found her friend in her home unconscious and unresponsive. When the police arrived, they found an unconscious woman in a recliner.

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The unconscious woman was found with an alarming amount of medication crushed to a powder on her chest and on a plate next to her body. There were also several prescription bottles by her side.

After confirming that the woman was dead, the police then had reason to believe that her death could have been caused by a drug overdose. 

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According to Kurczewski, her already deceased family friend had been acting significantly out of character in the week leading up to her death. She was charged with looking after the deceased, who had no family and contact with anyone else. 

Sadly, cases of such shocking crimes involving victims poisoned by close friends or family are not as uncommon as one might hope.

Apart from taking care of the woman, Kurczewski was reportedly also her power of attorney. With the victim dead, her entire estate was now left to Kurczewski, who claimed that her charge had been behaving oddly and showing suicidal tendencies. 

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While Kurczewski suspected a suicide, other people who knew the victim did not agree. They said she was not the kind of person to overdose either intentionally or otherwise. 

A cousin of the victim soon reached out to the police, expressing her concerns and suspicions. She also thought it was strange that her deceased cousin left her entire estate to Kurczewski. 

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When the autopsy results came, the case, which was first suspected to be suicide, was quickly turned over. It turned out the victim had a fatal dose of Tetrahydrozoline in her system. 

Seeing as Tetrahydrozoline is the main ingredient in eyedrops, the high percentage was impossible from just using it via the eyes. The investigators concluded that the victim had been poisoned, and her death was ruled a homicide.

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On July 9, 2019, Kurczewski was arrested, and her house was searched. Upon getting arrested, she revealed the late victim was "known" for eye drops and often purchased them in "great volume." However, she said she had never seen the victim ingest it orally.

With further questioning, the suspect said she thought the victim staged her own suicide with the crushed pills. She claimed she had stopped the victim from killing herself multiple times, including when she saw her put Visine in her vodka.

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As investigators dug further, Kurczewski eventually admitted that she gave the victim the bottle of Visine per her conscious request. She insisted that she did not think it would kill her and obliged, thinking she could help the victim out of whatever pain she was feeling. 

Hidden in Kurczewski's past was a history of multiple frauds as well as a gambling addiction. And on June 4, a $1,000,000 arrest warrant was issued for her. The 37-year-old has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide and theft of moveable property.

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Sadly, cases of such shocking crimes involving victims poisoned by close friends or family are not as uncommon as one might hope. In Indonesia, a woman named Jessica Wongso poisoned her friend Wayan Salihin's coffee with cyanide over unwelcome relationship advice.

In Indiana, a similar case was brought to the limelight when a woman, Katrina Fouts, 54, and her friend, Terry Hopkins, 65, were accused of dumping Fouts' husband, David's body in a ditch after poisoning him with deadly mushrooms.

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David had been missing for about five days when a woman walking her dog discovered his rotting body in the ditch. An autopsy revealed undigested chunks of mushroom in his stomach.

Further investigation revealed the mushrooms were white dome cap mushrooms known as Lyophyllum connatum. This specific species causes life-threatening symptoms such as heart failure and respiratory distress.

Fouts claimed she had no idea where her husband was until his body was found. However, her phone records revealed she did not text or call him after he disappeared.

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Her phone search history also revealed she had searched for another poisonous mushroom similar to the one found in David's stomach. 

Hopkins was linked to the death after his DNA was found on David's shirt. He also allegedly bought the suspicious items involved, including duct tape.

Fouts and Hopkins were arrested on September 18 and faced charges of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and failure to report a corpse. Cases like Fouts' and Kurczewski's contribute to terrify the world.

  

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