The Death Shift
Nurse Genene Jones and the Texas Baby Murders
The true story of a killer nurse whose crimes were hidden by a hospital for years.
It’s 1980, and Genene Jones is working the 3 to 11 PM shift in the pediatric ICU in San Antonio's county hospital. As the weeks go by, infants under her care begin experiencing unexpected complications—and dying—in alarming numbers, prompting rumors that there is a murderer among the staff. Her eight-hour shift would come to be called “the death shift.” This strange epidemic would continue unabated for more than a year, before Jones is quietly sent off—with a good recommendation—to a rural pediatric clinic. There, eight children under her care mysteriously stopped breathing—and a 15-month-old baby girl died.
In May 1984, Jones was finally arrested, leading to a trial that revealed not only her deeply disturbed mind and a willingness to kill, but a desire to play “God” with the lives of the children under her care. More shocking still was that the hospital had shredded records and remained silent about Jones’ horrific deeds, obscuring the full extent of her spree and prompting grieving parents to ask: Why?
Elkind chronicles Jones’ rampage, her trials, and the chilling aftermath of one of the most horrific crimes in America, and turns his piercing gaze onto those responsible for its cover-up. It is a tale with special relevance today, as prosecutors, distraught parents, and victims’ advocates struggle to keep Jones behind bars.
“A horrifying true-life medical thriller...”—Publishers Weekly
“Gripping...A remarkable journalistic achievement!”—Newsweek
“Murder, madness, and medicine...superb!”—Library Journal
“Shocking...true crime reporting at its most compelling.”—Booklist