Checks deepen mystery in slayings of 5 children

  • Posted: Monday, January 7, 2013 1:24 a.m.

GREENSBORO (AP) — The mystery of why a Greensboro woman killed two of her sons and three other children in her care before taking her own life has deepened after the discovery of two checks worth $10,600 written to her surviving 21-year-old daughter just before she went on her shooting spree.

The checks were made public in court records recently released as Mary Ann Holder’s $13,310 estate was settled in Guilford County Superior Court, the News & Record of Greensboro reports.


In November 2011, Holder shot and killed her 17-year-old and 14-year-old sons; her 17-year-old nephew and 8-year-old niece she took into her home after her sister died; and the 15-year-old girlfriend of one of her sons, authorities said.

On the day before the killings, Holder also wrote a $10,000 check to the wife of her former boyfriend that investigators think was an apparent settlement aimed at staving off a lawsuit prepared by her boyfriend’s wife, accusing Holder of stealing the affections of her husband.

Holder didn’t have the money to cover all of the checks and no one can figure out why she wrote the ones to her daughter, dated two days before the killings.

“There’s too many unanswered questions to know what really happened that day. ... I lay at night sometimes and try to figure this thing out, and there is no figuring it out,” said Robert “Rocky” Smith, Holder’s former husband.

Holder’s 21-year-old daughter was left to handle her estate because she was the closest surviving relative, and Smith said the checks and other matters have left a huge mess for her to clean up.

“When all is said and done, my daughter will end up with, like, 17 cents,” Smith said.

Holder and Smith’s daughter declined to talk to the newspaper.

The checks to the daughter were found beside what investigators called two suicide notes. Authorities still refuse to say what was in the notes beyond Holder taking responsibility for the shootings and expressing regret for what she was about to do.

Holder often tried to make people think she had more money than she actually did and lied several times about having a large amount of life insurance, her ex-husband said.

“She bragged to me that she had all kinds of life insurance, but we haven’t found any,” Smith said.

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