The Staudte Family Murders – A.K.A. “The ______ Murders” (Part 1)

The Staudte Family

Diane Staudte

  • Born April 5, 1962 to parents Carl and Estelle Richter in Springfield, MO
  • Associate degree in Nursing from St. John’s College in KS in ‘85 (1)
  • Married Mark Staudte December 28, 1985
  • Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Southwestern College in KS in ‘86
  • Has been listed as a noteworthy medical-surgical, cardiac nurse by Marquis Who’s Who
  • Was an organist for her church


Mark Alan Staudte

  • Born April 7, 1951 to Henry and Dorothy Staudte in St. Louis, MO
  • Graduated from St. Johns college in KS
    • Where he met Diane
  • Loved to play music
    • Lead singer and guitarist of local blues band Messing With Destiny
  • Didn’t have 9-5 but would bartend and do odd jobs to make money


The Staudte Family

Diane and Mark had 4 children

  • Shaun (26)
    • On the autism spectrum and lived at home
  • Sarah (24)
    • Graduated college and had great grades, still lived at home and refused/couldn’t get a job despite lots of student loan debt (1)
  • Rachel (22)
    • Played the flute
    • The favorite – she was always the one posted on social media and praised
  • Brianna (9 or 12) (2)
    • Was in 4th grade and had learning disabilities
  • Diane was the primary breadwinner
  • Mark didn’t bring in much money from the band, but would sometimes work odd jobs
  • The whole family was musically inclined
    • Enjoyed religious themed contemporary music



Easter Sunday, April 8, 2012

The ‘Bad Luck’ Begins

Diane came home from church and found Mark dead in his bed. She immediately called police and it was determined that he had died of natural causes.


Natural Causes?

  • The medical examiner didn’t find anything that indicated foul play or a struggle
  • There was a ring of dried blood around his mouth
  • Diane said he had been feeling weak for the last few days
    • Eating less
    • Sleeping more than usual
    • Seizures
      • He had no history of seizures, but Diane said he’d had multiple that day
  • She didn’t call 911 for the seizures because he told her he didn’t want to deal with a doctor
  • His bandmates also said he had seemed off that weekend
    • Also said he looked yellow (1)
  • He didn’t live a very healthy lifestyle, so the medical examiner declared his death as natural causes


Mark’s Memorial Service and What’s Next for the Family

  • Diane arranged a memorial service for him
  • He was cremated
  • His band played one of his favorite songs
  • They said it was strange that she was acting more like a party host than a grieving widow
    • Chalked it up to everyone grieving differently
  • Diane received his $20,000 life insurance policy money
  • She moved the family to a nicer part of town and into a larger house
  • They started to work on healing from the loss and moving forward


“There was nothing in me that believed that it was of a natural cause. I didn’t believe that he died of a stroke. A heart attack. Or in his sleep. I just didn’t. There’s nothing scientific. There’s nothing professional about my observation. But my first words were ‘no way.’ He did not just die.” –Jeff Sippy, who was then the pastor at Redeemer Lutheran Church, the family’s church, said he immediately felt like something was wrong.


September 2, 2012

Shaun is next

  • Diane came home to find Shaun dead on the floor 
  • He had been suffering from flu-like symptoms for three weeks
    • Diarrhea, nausea, body-aches, headaches
    • Like Mark, he hadn’t wanted to see a doctor


Also Natural Causes?

  • A routine autopsy was performed
  • He had a ring of dried blood around his mouth
  • No signs of foul play or a struggle
  • It was determined he died of pre-existing medical conditions – including a history of a seizure disorder


June 2013

Tragedy strikes again

Diane showed up to the ER with Sarah who was seriously ill.

Tests showed her kidneys and other organs were failing and her brain was hemorrhaging.


Will She Meet the Same Fate?

  • Doctors worked hard to figure out what was going on and they were able to stabilize her
  • Her condition still wasn’t good, but at least she was stable
  • She was in the hospital for weeks recovering
  • She made it out, but not without severe, lasting neurological damage
  • She had to relearn a lot of things even how to walk and talk
  • Strangely, Diane hardly visited her daughter throughout her stay in the hospital
  • Hospital staff also found it strange how she didn’t seem very upset over her condition
    • she would joke and laugh with them and even stated that she wasn’t going to let her daughter’s condition get in the way of her vacation plans


….Suspicions are Rising…. 

Ok I know we’re all dying to know where this is going and might have some inclinations as to what is going on but I’m going to make you wait until next week because there’s still a lot to unpack and this was the spot that it made the most sense storywise to pause at so don’t hate me and we’ll be back soon



Sources:  All Accessed August, 2023

Diane and Rachel Staudte: The Antifreeze Murderers

Mother convicted of poisoning her family maintains her innocence

How Diane and Rachel Staudte Killed Their Family with Antifreeze

The Staudte Family Murders

In Memory of Mark Alan Staudte

Diane Elaine Stuadte

Mom, Daughter Describe Killing Family Members With Anti-Freeze in Never-Before-Seen Interrogation Tapes 

Diethylene glycol poisoning and liver function following accidental diethylene glycol injection,.%2C%201990%5B7%5D).