Murder of James Thomas Phillips by Purdie Clark highlighted on Snapped

Purdie Clark mugshot
Purdie Clark was convicted of murdering James Thomas Phillips. Pic credit: Texas Department of Corrections

Snapped is highlighting the murder of James Thomas Phillips, also known as “Bud,” by Purdie Clark, who lived with him in San Angelo, Texas.

On February 16, 2009, emergency first responders arrived at Phillips’ home in the 2300 block of North Irving Street and found him outside. 

He was not responsive, nor was he breathing.

Paramedics rushed the 60-year-old to Shannon Medical Center, where he died later that day. 

His cause of death was suspicious until Fort Worth medical examiners determined he died from poisoning, as it was found in his blood and urine.

They later uncovered that the chocolate Blue Bell ice cream that Phillips had eaten contained poison. 

Crime scene technicians discovered the ice cream container in the victim’s trash, and it tested positive for strychnine, a toxic substance that is used to kill pesticides.

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Purdie Clark was charged with poisoning James Thomas Phillips

Due to the unusual circumstances of Phillips’ death, the San Angelo Police Department and the Texas Rangers issued a warrant for Clark’s arrest.

In March 2009, officers spotted Clark driving her vehicle. They attempted to pull her over, but she refused and continued driving. 

A chase began, but it ended several minutes later when the police got her to stop her vehicle. 

Clark was arrested and booked into the Tom Green County Jail on murder charges.

She is also suspected of killing her previous husband, 41-year-old Kimberly Alan Clark, and her sexual partner and live-in nanny, 24-year-old Robert Dwayne Murphy.

In September 2006, Kimberly was found dead on the side of the roadway near State Highway 205 in Collin County, Texas.

Due to the rate of decomposition, investigators believe that the body may have been at that location for three to five days. 

His cause of death was two gunshot wounds to the head.

No one has been charged with his murder. 

On October 16, 2006, Murphy, who was also a suspect in Kimberly’s murder, was found dead in a motel room in San Angelo, Texas. 

He died from unnatural causes. 

Purdie Clark took a plea deal

On June 1, 2011, Clark pleaded guilty to first-degree murder at the 119th Judicial District Court of Tom Green County after taking a plea deal. 

In exchange for pleading guilty, she was promised a 40-year sentence, which she received that same day. 

She was also ordered to pay $15,350 in restitution to the victims’ families and to the Office of the Attorney General. 

Clark did not provide the court with a motive for the killing. 

Snapped airs on Sundays at 6/5c on Oxygen.

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11 months ago

Stick a needle in this murderous b*tch’s arrm.

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