Dorothy Dixon was a 29-year-old mother with another child on the way. She was also mentally disabled with the mind of a child, which made her Social Security checks rather attractive to Michelle Riley. So Riley invited Dixon into her Alton, Illinois home, only to make her the house slave…
She would soon be the subject of unspeakable cruelty. Over months, the residents of the household — including another woman, three kids ages 17-20, and a 12-year-old — used Dixon to play out their most sadistic fantasies.
She was beaten with a plunger and burned with a hot glue gun. Police say Riley routinely kept boiling water on hand to scald Dixon, pouring water so hot it peeled back her skin. They used her for target practice with a BB pistol. And they burned all her clothes so she was forced to walk around naked.
They also banished her to the basement to sleep on a mattress with a thin rug. And they did it all while she was five months pregnant.
Why they tortured her is beyond imagination. But Riley, described as the ring leader, kept Dixon around so she could cash her Social Security checks. When Dixon finally died, she was found in the basement wearing only a sweater.
An autopsy showed signs of severe torture. One-third of her body was covered in burns and she was severely dehydrated. Her teeth were knocked out and skin had grown over embedded BBs.
The 12-year-old has already been found guilty in juvenile court to second-degree murder. He was sentenced to just 60 days detention and five years of probation.
But last week, Riley, 37, pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to 45 years. Under the plea, her 17-year-old daughter, LeShelle McBride, will be allowed to plead to second-degree murder and face sentencing of 6-20 years.
Still awaiting trial are Judy Woods, 45, Benny Wilson, 18, and Michael Elliott, 20.