Diane Girts, Robert Girts: Ohio Funeral Home Undertaker’s Wife Found Dead In Bathtub Murdered By Cyanide Poisoning — ‘The Perfect Murder’ Tonight On ID

Diane Girts was an American wife who was killed by her husband, Robert Girts, a funeral home director and undertaker over two decades ago in Parma, Ohio. Tonight, on Investigation Discovery’s The Perfect Murder, viewers will get to hear inside details about the troubling case. Robert Girts was convicted twice in the death of his wife but is now free. The episode based on Diane Girts’ case is called “Silent Killer.” ID will present it through re-enactments and interviews with police and family members of the victim.F

Diane Girts’ Bathtub Death

Forty-two-year-old Diane Girts, also known as Diane Eileen Jones, was found dead in the bathtub of her Parma, Ohio, home, in 1992. The body was discovered by a funeral home employee who had gone to the home to check on her since she had not shown up to work, according to court records at Findlaw.com.

“A funeral home employee noticed decedent’s car in the driveway, so he checked the house.   The employee found the screen door open and called into the house. When decedent failed to respond, he entered the house and discovered her body slumped over in the bathtub. The police found no evidence of foul play nor any obvious sign of suicide. There was a razor floating on the bath water, a hot curling iron resting on a nearby dressing table, and the couples’ dog roaming in the yard.”

At first, it appeared that Diane’s death was from natural causes. But a corner later classified her death as a homicide, and the cause of death was cyanide poisoning.

The Investigation: A Closer Look At Robert Girts

Cuyahoga County investigators theorized that 39-year-old Robert Girts killed his wife to be with his mistress of almost two decades. The woman, who had no idea that Robert was married, later told him that they could not be together if he was still with his wife. Detectives also found the insurance money to be a factor in his plan to kill Diane. Investigators also heard from a person who admitted to supplying Robert with cyanide. Girts later confirmed that he needed the poison to control the groundhogs on his property, but he denied using it to get rid of Diane. Co-workers later told investigators that they had not seen any evidence of groundhogs on the property.

A Tale of Four Wives

As police checked out his background, they learned that Diane Girts was Robert Girts’ third wife. His first wife, 25-year-old Mary Theresa “Terrie” Morris, was dead, and he had beaten his second wife, according to Cleveland.com. For a time, he was under suspicion for the death of Terri Morris until an autopsy report later concluded that the woman had most likely died of a health issue pertaining to her heart. Still, it is an explanation that some don’t believe.

An Ohio jury found him guilty and sentenced him to life in prison in 1993. However, keeping funeral home embalmer Robert Girts in prison had been a challenge.

Here is a brief overview of his convictions.

  • 1993 — Robert was found guilty and convicted in the death of his third wife.
  • 1994 — He was granted a new trial.
  • 1995 — A jury found Robert Girts guilty for a second time but was released some years later.
  • 2008 — Robert married his fourth wife, Ruth, according to Jim Fisher True Crime.
  • 2013 — Ruth Girts was in hiding, believing that Robert was trying to kill her. Girts was sent back to jail for violating probation, according to Cleveland.com.
  • 2014 — Robert Girts admitted to putting the cyanide poisoning in the salt shaker that killed Diane Girts to avoid a third trial.
  • 2015 — Robert Girts was released from prison.

One of the eeriest parts of the case is that Diane and Robert Girts’ home was physically connected to the funeral home in Parma, Ohio.

Be sure to check out The Perfect Murder tonight at 9/8 p.m. Central on Investigation Discovery. Previously, The Perfect Murder covered the case of Marc Van Beers and Dana Satterfield.

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