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TIMELINE: The case against suspected serial killer Genene Jones

The case of convicted murderer nurse Genene Jones spans from the 1970s to 2018. This is a timeline of events in the case based on reporting from KENS 5 and author Peter Elkind's The Death Shift.
Genene Jones in KENS-TV file video

Genene Jones is suspected in multiple child murders in Bexar County, and she was convicted of the murder of a 14-month-old Kerrville girl. The following is a timeline of events in the case based on reporting by KENS 5 and Peter Elkind, author of The Death Shift: The True Story of Nurse Genene Jones and the Texas Baby Murders.

On mobile? Click here for timeline view, or read the list below.


1977: Mandatory Release Law passed

Texas' mandatory release law goes into effect. The mandatory supervision program began in Texas after it was passed by the state legislature in 1977. Also known as "mandatory release," the law requires that a prisoner be released when calendar time served and good-conduct time equals the length of their sentence. This law allows for Genene Jones's release from her 99-year prison sentence.

September 1977: Genene Jones begins working as a nurse in San Antonio

Jones started working at Methodist Hospital in San Antonio. According to The Death Shift, a comprehensive true crime book by Peter Elkind about the case, she was "ushered out" over a conflict involving a patient.

May 1978: Jones hired at Community Hospital

Genene Jones began working at a smaller, private hospital in the South Texas Medical Center. She was reportedly forced to resign after undergoing a voluntary medical procedure without accumulating enough sick leave. (Source: Elkind/ The Death Shift)

October 1978: Begins work as a licensed vocational nurse (LVN) at Bexar County Hospital

Bexar County Hospital was later known as Medical Center Hospital, and it is now University Hospital in the Medical Center. The investigation into suspicious deaths of children under Jones' care is centered around the pediatric intensive care unit at Bexar County Hospital.

October 1980: Suspicious death occurs under Jones' care

The Death Shift describes baby Chris Hogeda's death in the PICU as marking the beginning of a rash of suspicious deaths among Jones' patients on her 3-11 p.m. shift. (Source: Elkind/ The Death Shift)

December 1981: Rolando Santos suffers bleeding, nearly dies under Jones' care

Jones was accused of administering a lethal amount of the blood-thinner Heparin into Santos' system. (Source: Elkind/ The Death Shift) Many legal experts and those familiar with the case believe Jones could be responsible for upwards of 40 deaths in the PICU.

February 1982: Internal hospital review of Jones' conduct begins

A visiting doctor from Canada reviews reports of suspicious deaths in the PICU after staff members voice concerns about Genene Jones to supervisors. (Source: Elkind/ The Death Shift)

March 1982: Hospital replaces LVNs with registered nurses in the PICU, removing Jones from the unit

Rather than firing Jones directly or singling her out, the hospital decided to "upgrade" the PICU to RNs only, effectively removing Jones from her position in the unit where the suspicious deaths of patients occurred. She resigned after being informed there were no positions available on the pediatric floor. (Source: Elkind/ The Death Shift)

Aug. 23, 1982: Genene Jones begins working as a nurse in Dr. Kathleen Holland's Kerrville clinic

Dr. Kathleen Holland opens a private practice in Kerrville. She previously had met and worked with Jones while completing a residency at Bexar County Hospital. Holland hired Jones as an office nurse in her medical practice. (Source: Elkind/ The Death Shift)

Aug. 24, 1982: Chelsea McClellan makes first visit to Holland's clinic

15-month-old Chelsea suffered a seizure while in Jones' care in Dr. Holland's office. She was treated at Sid Peterson Hospital in Kerrville and recovered a few days later.

Sept. 17, 1982: Chelsea McClellan dies after she stopped breathing under Jones' care

Chelsea's mother, Petti McClellan, said Chelsea stopped breathing and arrested after Jones gave Chelsea an injection in each thigh during a second visit to Holland's office. Jones claimed they were immunization shots. However, test results later showed Chelsea was injected with succinylcholine, a powerful muscle relaxant also known as anectine.

Sept. 24, 1982: Law enforcement notified for the first time

For the first time, amid suspicions surrounding Genene Jones, the Texas Rangers were notified. A representative for the Texas Board of Vocational Nurse Examiners spoke with Texas Ranger Joe Davis. (Source: Elkind/ The Death Shift)

Sept 27, 1982: Holland turns over evidence

Holland found evidence that Jones had used succinylcholine and replaced the vial with another clear fluid. Jones was also asked not to return to the clinic following this discovery. (Source: Elkind/ The Death Shift)

Jan. 12, 1983: Bexar County District Attorney's Office notified

Bexar County Medical Examiner Dr. Vincent DiMaio informs District Attorney Sam Millsap after hearing about suspicions around Genene Jones. (Source: Elkind/ The Death Shift)

Jan. 13, 1983: "Judicious silence" recommended

After reviewing reports on Genene Jones' effect on patients in the PICU, the Pediatric ICU Committee in San Antonio "recommends judicious silence on the issue," even after learning of Chelsea McClellan's death. The committee did not take its findings to law enforcement. (Source: Elkind/ The Death Shift)

Feb. 16, 1983: Story breaks on KENS-TV

Eyewitness News and reporter Ted Dracos first aired a story about suspicious deaths of babies in Kerr and Bexar counties. Genene Jones was not immediately named as a suspect, but her name later surfaced in the public eye.

May 7, 1983: Chelsea McClellan's body exhumed

Investigators exhumed Chelsea McClellan's body from a Kerrville cemetery to take samples and find evidence of succinylcholine in her system. They did find the evidence they needed to convict Jones.

Feb. 16, 1984: Jones found guilty of murder, sentenced to 99 years in prison

Jurors in Williamson County, the change of venue for her trial, found Jones guilty of the murder of Chelsea McClellan. Holland was never implicated and instead testified against Jones at trial.

Oct. 24, 1984: Jones found guilty of "injury to a child" in Rolando Santos' case

Jones waived her right to a jury trial in Bexar County, and a judge sentenced her to 60 years in prison to serve concurrently. She was convicted of deliberately harming Rolando Santos.

1987: Mandatory release law amended

Texas' mandatory release law was amended to exclude violent offenders from being released under the program.

1996: Mandatory release abolished

Mandatory release in Texas was abolished by the Legislature. However, this change did not apply retroactively. Jones remains eligible for release under the old law.

May 25, 2017: Jones indicted, charged with murder

A Bexar County grand jury indicted Genene Jones in the 1981 death of 11-month-old Joshua Sawyer. She was charged with murder.

June 21, 2017: Jones indicted in third murder

Jones was indicted and charged with murder in connection with 2-year-old Rosemary Vega's death.

June 29, 2017: Grand jury votes to indict Jones in two more murders

A Bexar County grand Jury indicted Genene Jones in the deaths of 8-month-old Richard Nelson and 4-month-old Patrick Zavala.

RELATED: 'Killer Nurse' Genene Jones pleads not guilty to five new murder charges

October 31, 2017: Jones indicted in fifth murder

Jones was indicted in the murder of 4-month-old Paul Villarreal.

December 4, 2017: Genene Jones extradited to Bexar County

Now charged with five new murders stemming from her time as a nurse in the pediatric intensive care unit of Bexar County Hospital, Jones arrived in San Antonio to face these allegations.

December 7, 2017: Arraignment in Bexar County court

Jones pleaded not guilty to all five new murder charges against her. Her attorney entered each plea. She appeared in court in a wheelchair and wearing a surgical mask.

March 1, 2018: Mandatory release date

Jones was originally set for mandatory release from her prison sentence in Gatesville, Texas, on this date. Instead, she will remain in custody while facing new murder charges in Bexar County court.

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