2013 saw Robert Haney responding to a Craigslist advertisement. On her property, which she had converted from 20 acres of undeveloped woodlands into a small farm with a barn, a house, and livestock, a woman by the name of Susan Monica was looking for hired help. She even owned and operated White Queen Construction, a company that made wrought-iron gates and fences.
Haney had been looking for an excuse to savor the quiet of a simple life, and Monica seemed legitimate. He started working for Susan Monica, performing odd jobs like carpentry, manual labor, repairs, and other things around the property.
But when they stopped hearing from Robert Haney, his kids became worried. They drove out to the property to look for him on January 1, 2014, but Monica informed them that he had left the company four months earlier.
In fact, their father was still on the property, buried in the dirt after Monica’s pigs had a feeding frenzy on his body, as they would later learn.
He wasn’t the only one, either.
Steven Buchanan gave birth to Susan Monica on July 8, 1948 in California. Little is known about her early years, but records indicate that she joined the US Navy during the Vietnam War. But after receiving an honorable discharge from the military, Monica started acting more like a woman.
After leaving the military, she worked as a successful engineer before purchasing a 20-acre rural farm in Wimer, Oregon, where she ran her business, White Queen Construction, and reared pigs and chickens.
On her own, Monica oversaw the building of a barn for her animals to live in, and by 2013, she had plans to develop the property with a home. She first met Robert Haney at that time.
According to Jesse Haney, the son of Haney, “My dad and Susan Monica had a deal. My father would receive some cash and be permitted to remain on the property. Dad agreed to start from scratch when building the house.
However, the Haney family realized they had not heard from their father for well over a month in December 2013. The family naturally became concerned about this, which is why they went to Monica’s farm.
But when they got there, Monica informed them that Haney had “just basically left” and had asked his kids to remove his belongings from his trailer. But as soon as they saw the trailer, they realized something was wrong.
There was his leather jacket. All of his tools were present, and his dog was still running around,” Jesse said. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up because of it.
The Haneys reported a missing person to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office after the unsettling visit, but they soon received even more alarming information. Since Robert Haney paid for everything in cash, it was difficult to determine where he had gone and when since he hadn’t been seen in months. Investigators reasoned that Susan Monica, the last person to have seen him, was the only person who might have any information.
According to Monica, Haney worked for her for about six months before a personal issue forced him to leave. Haney, according to Monica, allegedly started drinking heavily and displayed erratic behavior after hearing from a family member that she had been assaulted.
After some time, Haney allegedly informed Monica that he would be leaving but asked her to watch his dog.
Robert Haney’s Electronic Benefits Transfer card was used in December 2013 at a nearby Walmart, which was months after he allegedly left Monica’s property. This revealed a critical flaw in Monica’s account.
Police executed a search warrant on Susan Monica’s property after determining the situation to be highly suspicious. There, according to detective Julie Denney, they discovered what appeared to be “a human leg that had been severed mid-femur, down to the toes.”
The narrative then took another strange and macabre turn when Monica was questioned by the police.
The Truth Comes To Light
According to Monica, she came across her pigs one day in the fall of 2013 while they were engaged in a feeding frenzy. She claimed that when she got closer to see what they were eating, she saw none other than Robert Haney sprawled out on the floor, “with his guts all over the place.”
Monica claimed she shot Haney to “put him out of his misery” because she thought he was still alive and in pain.
“I do that for my animals and this was the first time I did it for a human being and I knew it was wrong but if it were one of my pigs suffering out there, I would have done the same thing,” she claimed.
Haney was not, as Monica had claimed, the first person she k*illed. However, when police asked Monica what else they might find on her property, she sobbed. Susan Monica gave investigators a map of her property and indicated a spot in the center, marking it with a “X,” as the location of “Steve.”
Another former handyman of Monica’s named Steve, or Stephen Delicino, worked on her property in the summer of 2012, a full year before Robert Haney showed up. Of course, Monica had a justification for why Delicino’s remains were interred on her land.
According to her, she discovered two of her guns were missing while Delicino was working for her. When she dug around and discovered them among Delicino’s belongings, she confronted him about it, but they got into a fight. She claimed that at some point during the fight, one of the guns discharged and hit Delicino in the back of his head.
Monica claimed that during the struggle, she had at one point taken hold of a different rifle and, while standing over Delicino, shot him to death.
Detectives questioned Susan Monica if there were any other dead bodies on her property that they might encounter after she confessed to at least two unreported k*illings on it.
Detective Eric Henderson said, “She threatened to spend the rest of her life in prison if she told me about the other 17 people.
Susan Monica’s Changing Stories
When it came time for the case to be examined in court, Monica’s arguments that she ki*lled Delicino in self-defense or to end Haney’s suffering had little merit. First off, these assertions don’t really explain why Monica used an ax to dismember the bodies after they had died.
She also kept altering her stories. She later claimed that Delicino repeatedly shot himself in the head, contradicting her initial claim that she shot him in self-defense. Furthermore, none of her claims were supported by the forensic data gathered at the scene.
Naturally, it was challenging to provide solid evidence that Monica had not behaved as she claimed. It is entirely possible that she saw Haney being devoured by her pigs and killed him out of compassion, just as it is possible that she and Delicino actually did fight.
Despite this, the prosecution emphasized numerous times that Delicino had three to four gunshot wounds to the head and that Haney’s remains were discovered dispersed throughout the property in plastic bags.
However, Monica’s strange behavior in the courtroom probably ended any chance she had of convincing the jury of her innocence. On the less bizarre end of the spectrum, Monica showed up in court wearing various wigs; the defense called this an odd behavior but not unlawful.
Then, a cellmate testified that the defendant signed a birthday card “from the sweetest mur*derer in Jackson County” despite Monica’s claims that it was simply a reference to the crimes for which she was accused.
Despite having a defense team, Monica also personally cross-examined the detective who was in charge of her case, Eric Henderson, and yelled to the jury that she would “like to demonstrate how I shot [Delicino] for 10 seconds” before putting her hands in the air and carrying out the declaration.
Susan Monica was ultimately found responsible for the deaths of Stephen Delicino and Robert Haney and was given a life sentence with the possibility of parole after at least 50 years.
“I don’t know how else I can put it. You valued pigs more than you value people,” Judge Tim Barnack told Monica. “It may sound harsh, but you are a cold-blooded ki*ller.”