American serial killer Waneta Hoyt was born on May 13, 1946, in Richford, New York and was given birth name, Waneta Ethel (Nixon) Hoyt. She left Newark Valley High School during her second year in school to be with Tim Hoyt. She married Tim Hoyt on January 11, 1964.
Waneta and Tim"s five biological children:
James Hoyt was born on May 31, 1966, and died at the age of 28 months on September 26, 1968. James was the only child of Waneta that lived that long.
Eric Hoyt was born on October 17, 1964, and died on January 26, 1965.
Julie Hoyt was born on July 19, 1968, and died on September 5, 1968.
Molly Hoyt was born on March 18, 1970, and died on June 5, 1970.
Noah Hoyt was born on May 9, 1971, and died on July 28, 1971.
Everyone believed for over 20 years that all five of Hoyt"s children died from SID/ sudden infant death syndrome.
Waneta and Tim adopted a little boy named Jay a few years after their last child died. Jay grew up being healthy, but Waneta was arrested when Jay was 17-years-old in 1994.
Dr. Alfred Steinschneider conducted pediatric research Hoyt"s biological children, Molly and Noah and Dr. Alfred published an article in the Journal Pediatrics in 1972 about sleep apnea and SIDS having a connection.
Dallas forensic pathologist, Dr. Linda Norton told a prosecutor handling a murder case that was first assumed to be from SIDS in 1985 in a nearby county that there might be a serial killer in the NY area. Dr. Linda reviewed Dr. Alfred Steinschneider report on Hoyt"s children case, but Dr. Linda did not know it was the Hoyt"s because the case was not identified by a name, but she still became suspicious of the case.
The prosecutor became a District Attorney in 1992 and obtained the case so that he can give it to forensic pathologist Michael Baden review it. Michael Baden confirmed that the deaths were not from natural causes and indeed murders. The case was assigned to the District Attorney in the county where Waneta was residing in 1994 because of jurisdictional issues.
Waneta was acquainted with the New York State trooper who approached her at a Post Office in March 1994 and asked her to help him in researching SIDS, and she agreed to help him. The trooper and two other policemen questioned/interrogated her, and she confessed towards the end of the interrogation to murdering her five children by suffocating them.
Waneta was convicted of murdering her five biological children and was arrested. She said that she needed silence because the babies were crying and that is why she killed her children. Waneta Hoyt withdrew her confession sometime later which caused an issue during her trial.
The Defense hired Dr. Charles Patrick Ewing who is an expert that testified that: "It is my conclusion that her statement to the police on that day was not made knowingly, and it was not made voluntarily." Dr. Charles diagnosed Waneta with dependent and avoidant personality disorders and said that Waneta was vulnerable to the police interrogation tactics. The prosecution hired Dr. David Barry who is a psychiatrist that agreed with Dr. Charles that the police used tactics to manipulate Waneta Hoyt to confessing to the murders.
Waneta Hoyt was convicted in April 1995 and was sentenced on September 11, 1995, to 75 years to life imprisonment. She received 15 years in prison for each child she murdered, and her sentence has to be served consecutively.
Waneta Hoyt died at age 52 on August 13, 1998, at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women from pancreatic cancer.