Angela McAnulty runs her household with an iron hand, but reserves her worst for her eldest daughter, Jeanette, whom she brutally tortures, starves, and beats. After Angela is investigated by social services, she pulls Jeanette out of school and the abuse escalates, culminating in Jeanette's death, for which both she and her husband, who failed to report the abuse, are prosecuted. Angela is sentenced to death, being the first since Oregon brought back the death penalty. In Catawissa, Missouri, Bertha Gifford is a nurse with a reputation as an angel of mercy, but also has a morbid fascination with death, leading her to murder 17 of her patients with arsenic poisoning - including several of her husband's family. Nicole Hollinshead is controlling and cruel to her boyfriend, Steven Wood. After Steven seeks a safe haven at the home of Nicole's friend, Debra Carne, Nicole, convinced Debra is trying to steal her man, enlists Steven and two other friends, Kerry Bauer and Emma Last, in a plot to lure Debra away to be beaten, doused with gasoline, and burned alive.