'Dungeon Woman' May Have 50 Victims

4 victims chained in cellar may be just tip of brutality: cops
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Oct 18, 2011 12:15 AM CDT
Linda Ann Weston is one of three people charged with imprisoning four mentally disabled adults in a Philadelphia cellar to steal their Social Security checks.   (AP Photo/Philadelphia Police Department)
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(Newser) – The Philadelphia woman suspected of chaining four mentally challenged adults in a basement dungeon to steal their Social Security checks may have brutalized as many as 50 other victims in similar schemes, according to investigators. Linda Ann Weston had documents, including drivers licenses and signed power-of-attorney forms, linked to dozens of people from Florida, Virginia and Texas in her home, said police. Investigators believe Weston, her boyfriend and another man may have been involved in a "widespread fraud scheme," and police are now attempting to contact people named in the discovered documents, reports ABC News.

"She might have been doing this for years, probably since she got out of prison," a police spokesman told the Philadelphia Inquirer, referring to Weston's conviction in 1981 for starving a man to death in her closet. "You can't get any lower than how they preyed on these people," he added. The FBI is joining the case to help ID other possible victims. Weston and the two men have been charged with criminal conspiracy, aggravated assault, kidnapping, and unlawful restraint. The Philly victims—three men and a woman ranging in age from 29-40—are being treated for malnutrition. (Read more Linda Ann Weston stories.)

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