may wood

Gwendolyn Graham and Cathy Wood

Gwendolyn Graham (born 1963) and Catherine May Wood (born 1962) (aka Cathy Wood) are American serial killers who killed five elderly women in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in the 1980s. They committed their crimes in the Alpine Manor nursing home in Grand Rapids, where they both worked as nurse's aides.

Graham and Wood became lovers apparently some time in 1986. In January 1987, one of the nursing home's patients died, seemingly of natural causes and autopsies were not performed. Over the next few months, five more Alpine Manor patients died. Many of the victims, whose ages ranged between 65 to 97, were incapacitated and suffered from Alzheimer's disease.

Both women apparently bragged about having smothered six people, but they were not initially believed. Wood's ex-husband reported her stories to the police, and some of the bodies of the people they claimed to have smothered were exhumed. There was enough evidence to warrant the arrest of Wood and Graham. In December 1989, Graham was arrested in her hometown of Tyler, Texas, however she maintained their claims were made as a joke to scare their co-workers.

During the trial, Wood plea-bargained her way to a reduced sentence, claiming that it was Graham who planned and carried out the killings while she served as a lookout or distracted supervisors. On November 3, 1989, Graham was sentenced to life in prison without parole, and Wood was sentenced to twenty to forty years imprisonment.

The case was the basis of the 1992 true crime novel Forever and Five Days by Lowell Cauffiel.

Gwen Graham and Cathy Wood featured in two episodes of the TV series The Serial Killers in which they were interviewed about their relationship and crimes.


  • Cauffiel, Lowell. Forever And Five Days: The Chilling True Story of Love, Betrayal and Serial Murder in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Pinacle, 1997. ISBN 0-7860-0469-X
  • "Woman Sentenced In Patients' Deaths" (Nov 3, 1989). Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

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