• Rod Kackley

The Electrocuted Lover: A Shocking True Crime Story



Was it a case of murder or simply a sex fetish gone terribly wrong?


Toby Taylor, 37, told police in January 2008 he discovered his wife, Kirsten, 27, unconscious and suffering from severe burns on her nipples inside their York County, Pa. mobile home.


She was pronounced dead at a local hospital


The cause of death, Toby said, was tragic, but understandable.


“She stepped out of the shower, soaking wet, grabbed her hair driver and got shocked,” Toby said.


Chief David Sterner of the Lower Windsor Police Department said his officers almost bought into that explanation.


There was a hair dryer in the house. But it was not in the bathroom. Toby told the officer he had put it under the sink. Sure enough, there was a hair dryer under the sink, but the cabinet was closed and had child safety locks on it.


This is where Toby’s story of the hair dryer in the shower really fell apart. The first police officer on the scene, Sgt. Timothy Caldwell, said he found Kirsten on the ground, fully clothed, with Toby next to her on the phone trying to perform CPR.


Did she take a shower fully clothed?


Of course not, Toby said he dressed Kirsten, even though she was unconscious, burned, and her heart had stopped. Toby explained he wanted to have her fully clothed in case he had to drive Kirsten to the hospital.


Sgt. Caldwell called the assistant district attorney. Even a rookie cop could see there was something wrong with this story.


Detective Jim McBride interviewed Toby at York Hospital after Kirsten was pronounced dead.


It didn’t take long before the law enforcement tag team resulted in Toby changing his story.


According to the police affidavit turned in as evidence, Toby admitted the first story was a lie, and that he and Kirsten were into “weird sexual behaviors.


He said Kirsten got off by attaching metal clips, which was attached to an electrical cord, to her nipples and other parts of her body. When she was all hooked up and plugged into an outlet strip, Toby would flip the switch.


Toby usually gave her short, short zaps of electricity— five, 10 seconds, maybe 15 seconds at the most.


This night, Toby said Kirsten shocked herself at first, then called him over to shock her some more times.


Toby said he flipped the switch to send his wife to orgasmic delight three, maybe four, times. He lost count.


The last zap that he gave her lasted 15 seconds. Toby claimed they had done that many times before.


But this time, Kirsten fell flat on her face.


Toby thought she was joking around, trying to scare him.


He rolled Kirsten over and realized that even though she was still breathing, his wife was in trouble.


Doctors said that last jolt was strong enough to disrupt the beating of Kirsten’s heart and send her into cardiac arrest.


Toby said she didn’t stop breathing until after he had her dressed to go to the hospital.


At the very least, York County Coroner Barry Bloss said Kirsten’s death was the result of “bizarre sex.”


"Even if you did it before, you have to know you could kill someone,” he said.


Bloss ruled Kirsten’s death a homicide and the manner of death electrocution.


Oh, there was one more piece of evidence that led police to decide this was more than a sex fetish gone wrong.


Toby Taylor had placed electrical tape over Kirsten’s mouth.


He was charged the next day with involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment.


Later, a charge of first-degree murder was filed against him. That was eventually plea-bargained down to third-degree murder.


During his four-day trial, Toby’s friends, Angela Sutcliffe and Charles Wertz, said Toby had told them he would make his wife’s death look like “kinky sex” during a conversation about how to get rid of a loved one without being sent to prison.


Angela Sutcliffe said she knew right away what had happened as soon as she read the story of Kirsten’s death in a local newspaper. And so did, Charles.


"I said, 'Don't tell me. It's wild, kinky sex,'" Charles testified. "That's exactly what he said he would do.”


Another witness said this wasn’t the first time Toby had used electricity on a woman. Rochelle Raymundo sobbed while she told the jury about a time Toby had put bare electrical wires against her bare breasts and shocked her in 1989 as “punishment for talking to other boys.”


He pled guilty to an assault charge for doing that to Rochelle, and did some prison time.


But why would he do this to Kirsten? Toby had the means, the opportunity, and the history. But what about the motive?


Stephanie Maurer, Kirsten’s mother, testified that Toby told her in 2004 that he knew his wife was having an affair. And, one of Toby’s co-workers testified that in 2007 Taylor was still pissed about he affair, and asked for ideas of how “to torture Kirsten.”


Toby was convicted of the murder, manslaughter, and endangerment charges in 2014 after a four-day trial.


The sentence: 20 to 40 years in prison.


"I think we had a legitimate argument for first-degree murder," York County Attorney Stan Rebert said. "But I'm satisfied with the verdict. To accept the defendant's story, they (the jury) had to accept he was telling the truth. And he lied throughout.”

(c) Rod Kackley 2017

Lyons Circle Publishing Inc.

All Rights Reserved



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