Killer gambling-addicted grandma trumped
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Losing Streak Lois is preparing for the rest of her life to contemplate her unlucky gambling approach.
The story of Lois Reiss, 56, is a pure American tragedy. Based on the “American dream”, the fruits are being harvested in a pure Yankee doodle style.
Obsessed by money and caught by delusion the Minnesota grandma played cat and mouse with the police for nearly six weeks.
“She smiles and looks like anyone’s mother or grandmother,” said Lee County Florida Sheriff Carlo Marceno to NBC. “And yet she’s calculated, she’s targeted and an absolute cold-blooded killer.”
And a desperate gambling addict to boot — an illness detectives believe drove her to kill her husband and a perfect stranger.
David Riess was found shot to death on March 23. One of his business partners called cops and said he hadn’t been to work in two weeks.
Before hitting the road, cops say Reiss cashed more than $10,000 in forged cheques from her morgue-bound hubby and his business.
There were sightings in Northwood, Iowa, Florida and finally, Texas.
In Iowa, she spent most of the day playing blackjack at the Diamond Jo Casino. She lost many thousands.
Reiss still had lots of cash. Her problem — and it would ultimately torpedo the accused killer — was gambling.
She was obsessed with it. Games of chance were the pistons of her every waking moment.
And then Losing Streak Lois washed ashore in Florida.
That was 59-year-old Pamela Hutchinson’s piss poor luck. She delayed her trip home for a day, and that was to be a fatal mistake.
“Reiss’ mode of operation is to befriend women who resemble her and steal their identity,” Marceno said.
Hutchinson was Reiss’ next high-stakes gambit.
She looked like the accused killer grandma, had a similar build and she had dough.
At the Smokin’ Oyster bar in Fort Myers Beach on April 5, the two women’s lives became intertwined forever.
CCTV released last week showed a grinning Riess sitting at the bar chatting with Hutchinson. Four days later the unsuspecting woman was found shot to death.
Cops suspected her MO was horrifically chilling: she killed Hutchinson to steal her identity, car and cash.
“Ms. Hutchinson’s purse was found to be in disarray and all cash, credit cards and identification appeared to be removed,” Marceno told reporters.
“Further investigation revealed that Ms. Hutchinson was targeted by the suspect due to the similarities in their appearance.”
And then the mean Minnesotan went on the run in Hutchinson’s white Acura.
“Pamela was a friend to everybody,” her cousin Daniele Watts Jeffreys told CNN. “She’s never met a stranger. She’s just an open welcoming woman.”
From the start, detectives and the US Marshals Service believed Reiss was going to try to hightail it for Mexico.
She crossed through the Florida Panhandle, then into Alabama, Louisiana and finally, Texas, where she was spotted in the beach town of Corpus Christi on the Gulf of Mexico.
“Time is of the essence. She is a gambling addict and when she runs out of money, we have no doubt she will kill again,” one detective said.
But there weren’t any chips left on the table by the end of last week.
Losing Streak Lois was cashed out in South Padre Island on Thursday.
Acting on a tip, the US Marshals busted the gambling granny at a greasy spoon.
Cops say she didn’t act surprised and didn’t put up a fight.
“To be honest with you, I didn’t know she had a gambling problem,” former friend Rod Koster told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
“She was only nice, sweet. You never would have guessed that this was going to happen in a million years.”
Florida now gets first crack at Reiss. So far, the charges are second-degree murder but that could get jacked up to murder one.
Source: European Gaming Industry News