Woman Wrongly Convicted in Beatrice Murder Dies
LINCOLN, Nebraska (Nebraska). A woman has died who was one of six people wrongly convicted of the 1985 rape and murder of a woman, Beatrice.
According to her obituary, Kathleen “Kathy” Gonzalez of York died Jan. 10 while visiting Greeley, Colorado. She was 62 years old.
“She faced adversity that never left her alone, but she always refused to let them define her,” her obituary reads.
Gonzalez, along with Joseph White, Thomas Winslow, Ada Joanne Taylor, Deb Shelden, and James Dean, became known as “Beatrice 6” and together spent over 70 years in prison for the rape and murder of 68-year-old Helen Wilson. They became the first people to be exonerated with DNA evidence since their conviction in Nebraska in 2008. Wilson’s death was later linked by DNA to former Beatrice resident and former prisoner Bruce Allen Smith, who died in 1992.
The six wrongfully convicted sued Gage County after their release from prison, alleging that the county conducted a reckless investigation. In 2016, a federal jury awarded them $28.1 million, plus interest and attorneys’ fees, bringing the total to over $30 million.
Gonzalez recently appeared in an HBO Max documentary titled “Mind Over Murder” that highlighted a complex story.
A memorial service for Gonzalez will be held in York on Saturday.
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