This Woman Left Her Family to Marry Man on Death Row

They married over speaker phone in 1996 and see each other twice a week
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 21, 2015 6:14 AM CDT
Updated Aug 21, 2015 6:37 AM CDT
This Woman Left Her Family to Marry Man on Death Row
Rosalie and Oscar Bolin married in 1996, one year after Bolin was put on death row.   (Rosalie Bolin)

Rosalie Bolin hasn't always had such an unusual story. Back in the '90s she had a normal-looking marriage with wealthy attorney Victor D. Martinez (described by the LAT as "the scion of one of [Tampa's] oldest and most prominent families") and four daughters to show for it. But when the then-mitigation specialist with the public defender's office met Oscar Bolin on death row, everything changed. "Oscar came into my life and I thought, 'This is bigger than anything I've ever done. I want to save his life,'" she told the Associated Press back in 1996, not long before she married the accused serial killer by speaker phone. Now, 18 years into a marriage that thanks to the logistics at hand has never been consummated, the husband and wife see each other twice a week at Florida State Prison in Raiford, Fla., reports ABC News.

Oscar has been on death row for decades after being found guilty of the 1986 murders of three young women, all of whom were found in the Tampa area with multiple stab wounds. (DNA evidence confirmed that one of them died clutching a strand of Bolin's hair, reports the Tampa Bay Times.) Rosalie, who is now a private investigator, swears her husband is not guilty, and continues to file appeals in spite of multiple trials and convictions. "I never, never, ever thought for a second that he was guilty of those three murders,” Rosalie tells "20/20." Oscar did plead guilty to kidnapping and raping a woman at gunpoint 27 years ago, but Rosalie says he "did accept responsibility" in that case. The Bolins are currently busy preparing for two new hearings—one claiming another serial killer confessed to one of the murders and another questioning the merit of a discredited FBI agent's work. (Susan Sarandon is trying to save this inmate, who is due to be executed Sept. 16.)

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