Dorothea Helen Puente (January 9, 1929 - March 27, 2011) was a convicted American serial killer. In the 1980s, Puente ran a boarding house in Sacramento, California, and cashed the Social Security checks of her elderly and mentally disabled boarders. Those who complained were killed and buried in her yard. She was born on January 9, 1929 as Dorothea Helen Gray in Redlands, California to Trudy Mae Yates and Jesse James Gray. Her parents worked as cotton pickers. Her father died of tuberculosis when she was eight years old, in 1937. Her mother died in a motorcycle accident in 1938. She was sent to an orphanage until relatives from Fresno, California, took her in. In later life, she lied about her childhood, saying that she was one of three children who all were born and raised in Mexico. In 1945, she was married for the first time, at the age of 16, to a soldier named Fred McFaul, who had just returned from the Pacific Theater.
Contributions by Johnny Squeaky, Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ), and Petervlautin.