About Us Contact Us Privacy Policy Terms of Use Accuracy & Fairness Corrections & Clarifications Ethics Code Your Ad Choices
© MEAWW All rights reserved

NC woman who killed stepson, 4, by shoving plastic down his throat also had her husband murdered 20 years later

Sylvia, now 83, is currently housed at Raleigh’s North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women
Sylvia White (Oxygen)
Sylvia White (Oxygen)

KINSTON, NORTH CAROLINA: A  North Carolina mother was found to be responsible for the deaths of her husband and her four-year-old stepson. 

Billy C White, a North Carolina insurance agent, was reported missing in 1992 by his wife, Sylvia Ipock White. Oxygen's new documentary, 'Snapped', looks at the Kinston murders and how Sylvia was caught for the crimes. 

Former Kinston Police assistant chief Wilburn 'Speedy' Ingram recalled Sylvia reporting Billy missing and shared, "She’s crying, very hysterical and telling me that Billy went to meet a man somewhere out in the county to sell a large insurance policy and that he had not come home," Oxygen reports.

The two had married in 1971 and had a large family, including children from past marriages. They were together for around 20 years before Billy vanished.

Billy White murder

The Kinston Police launched a massive search for Billy, which also included an aerial search. They found Billy's car on a deserted woodland road. "We could see Billy White laying on the ground, on his back with a white shirt with a big red spot," Ingram revealed. 

"You could tell even from the air that something bad had gone wrong." It was found that Billy had died from two shotgun blasts, one to his chest and the other to his side. His pockets had been turned out and his wedding ring was missing. 

White had told investigators that Billy had stepped out to meet a man named Timmy Connors who wanted to purchase an insurance policy. When authorities tried to find the man, they were met with a dead end.

While investigating Billy's death, they came to find that Sylvia had been having an affair with a man named James for over a year. The two had checked into a hotel on the day Billy was killed. "When [James] was confronted, he immediately started to sing like The Temptations. He just started to spill everything about Sylvia White," Eric Smith, a former special agent, shared.

Given that Sylvia had an alibi and had no evidence against her, the case came to a standstill until a month later, when an anonymous caller revealed a huge tip. "He said, ‘I remember going to a party, and this long-haired guy asked me if I knew anyone that might kill somebody for him," Smith revealed. 

The informant revealed it had been two months since the party but he had run into the same man again. As they spoke, the man had admitted to killing Billy. The informant did not know the man's name but helped the police identify him via a physical description.

He was found to be James Lynwood Taylor. After an eight-hour investigation, he confessed to the murder. He revealed that Sylvia had offered him $20,000 and a van to kill Billy as she wanted to claim his life insurance policy, which was approximately $200,000. Taylor then recruited his uncle, Ernest West Basden as a hitman. 

Taylor had lured Billy and had posed as Timmy Connors when Basden emerged and shot him. Sylvia was arrested and charged with murder though she maintained her innocence. 

Billy Jr murder

The murder of Billy White led to the re-examination of Sylvia's stepson Billy Jr's death. The 4-year-old had died 20 years before Billy's death. As reported by News&Record, Taylor had also told the authorities that while trying to recruit him to kill her husband, Sylvia had said, "It's not that hard to do. I had a stepchild. I put a bag over it until it stopped breathing."

In 1973, Sylvia had taken Billy Jr to the hospital and said he had swallowed plastic. His skin had turned white and he was pronounced dead on arrival. As per court documents, the doctors had taken out a large piece of plastic from his throat, and nurses who checked on him testified that the plastic had no chew marks, bites, or anything to indicate the child had eaten it.

Investigators spoke with the doctors and nurses who had treated Billy Jr when he had been brought in. "He looked at us and he said, ‘I knew you’d be coming here.’ Those were his first words," Smith shared of the doctor.

The child's death was ruled as a homicide and Sylvia was charged with first-degree murder. Sylvia, now 83, is currently housed at Raleigh’s North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women.