Dorothy Clark Canfield might look like your grandmother, but in lockup she had an ominous nickname: "No Soul."
Canfield, 85, apparently picked up the moniker after being jailed in Montgomery County in 2012 on charges that she swindled undocumented immigrants out of $100,000 after posing as an immigration attorney. It was while she was in jail for that felony theft charge that she hatched a darker plan, according to authorities.
Two of Canfield's former cellmates testified Thursday in a Montgomery County court that Canfield asked them to help her "knock off" Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney Rob Freyer, who was handling her theft case, according to a report in the Chron.
Kristen Kimmel, one of Canfield's cellmates, testified how Canfield smiled when she heard TV reports about the murders of two Kaufman County prosecutors in 2013. In the first days following the Kaufman County murders, there was wild speculation in the media that the killings were tied to the Aryan Brotherhood, a violent prison gang with a major presence in Kaufman County. So "No Soul" decided to add Montgomery County DA Brett Ligon to the hit-list, hoping to get away with murder by making the hit look like another Aryan Brotherhood killing (Kaufman County officials eventually pinned those murders on a disgraced justice of the peace and his wife, not the Aryan Brotherhood).
Another cellmate testified that Canfield wanted to have her daughter-in-law killed, too, because she'd turned her son against her, according to the Chron.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the mission of the Houston Press. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Houston’s stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Since 1986, Canfield has been charged and sentenced three times on felony theft or forgery charges. But there appears to be nothing in her criminal history that would have pointed to her being capable of such a stunning and violent plot. After an informant told authorities of her plan in prison, Montgomery County officials sent an undercover officer posing as a hit man to visit with her in jail last year. She reportedly offered to pay the "hitman" $7,500 for the murders, and asked him to "make it look pretty."
The Texas Ranger who interviewed Canfield told the Chron, "She acted like she had no emotions. I've never seen anything like it before." Canfield's brazen plot even goosed this charged statement out of Montgomery County DA Ligon when he testified at her sentencing hearing Thursday: "I would take comfort if the court allows her to rot in prison and then in hell after that." Canfield pleaded guilty this week, and now faces up to life in prison.
So, according to prosecutors, "No Soul" wanted to kill the district attorney and chief prosecutor, and try to make it look like the Aryan Brotherhood did it, and kill her daughter-in-law because her son wouldn't help out. All because of the $100,000 she stole from immigrants in order to - get this - pay for spa treatments and skydiving trips.
We're almost scared to ask what else is on the 85-year-old's bucket list.