Susan Monica, The Oregon Farmer Who Murdered Two Of Her Employees And Fed Them To Her Pigs

Published August 22, 2023
Updated August 23, 2023

In 2014, the families of Robert Haney and Stephen Delicino were horrified when investigators searching Susan Monica's farm discovered the two men's partial remains on the property.

Susan Monica

Susan Monica/OxygenSusan Monica claimed that she never reported the death of one of her employees out of fear that her pigs would be put down.

In 2013, Robert Haney answered an ad on Craigslist. A woman named Susan Monica was looking for hired help on her property, which she had turned from 20 acres of undeveloped woodlands into a small farm, complete with a barn, a home, and livestock. She even ran a wrought-iron fence and gate business called White Queen Construction.

Monica seemed legitimate, and Haney had been looking for an excuse to revel in the peace and quiet of a simple life. He began working for Susan Monica and doing various odd jobs around the property — carpentry, manual labor, repairs, and the like.

But Robert Haney’s children grew concerned when they stopped hearing from him. On January 1, 2014, they drove out to the property to look for him, only for Monica to tell them that he had quit four months earlier.

They would later discover that their father had not quit at all — in fact, he was still on the property, buried in the dirt after Monica’s pigs had a feeding frenzy on his body.

And he wasn’t the only one.

Police Discover Body Parts On Susan Monica’s Property

Wimer Oregon Farm

Google MapsA view of Susan Monica’s Wimer, Oregon farm.

Susan Monica was born Steven Buchanan in California on July 8, 1948. Little is known of her life growing up, but records show that she enlisted with the United States Navy during the Vietnam War. After being honorably discharged from service, however, Monica began living as a woman.

Her post-military career saw her working as a successful engineer before buying property in 1991: a 20-acre rural farm in Wimer, Oregon, where she raised pigs, chickens, and ran her company, White Queen Construction.

On her own, Monica oversaw the construction of a barn for her livestock to live in and by 2013 had plans to build a house on the property. That’s when she met Robert Haney.

As Haney’s son Jesse told Oxygen, “My dad and Susan Monica had a deal. My dad would get part cash and be able to stay on the property. My dad agreed to build a house from the bottom up.”

But in December 2013, the Haneys realized they hadn’t heard from their father in well over two months. Naturally, this caused some worry among the family, which prompted their visit to Monica’s farm.

When they arrived, however, Monica told them that Haney “just basically left” and asked his children to get his things out of his trailer. But they knew something was amiss as soon as they saw the trailer.

“His leather jacket was there. His dog was still running around and all his tools were there,” Jesse said. “It made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.”

After the eerie visit, the Haneys filed a missing persons report with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, but they soon learned even more concerning news. It had been months since anyone had seen Robert Haney, and since he paid for everything in cash, it wasn’t easy to tell where he had gone and when. The only person who might have any clue, investigators figured, was the last person to have seen him: Susan Monica.

Monica told investigators that Haney had worked for her for roughly six months before a personal matter pulled him away. She said that Haney had received a phone call from a family member who told him she had been assaulted, after which Monica claimed he began drinking heavily and his behavior became erratic.

After some time, according to Monica, Haney told her that he would be going away but asked if she could look after his dog.

However, there was a significant flaw in Monica’s story: Robert Haney’s Electronic Benefits Transfer card was used in December 2013 at a nearby Walmart — months after he allegedly left Monica’s property.

Finding the situation to be highly suspicious, police conducted a search warrant of Susan Monica’s property, where detective Julie Denney said they found what appeared to be “a human leg that had been severed mid-femur, down to the toes.”

Then, when police questioned Monica, the story took another strange and macabre turn.

The Truth Comes To Light

Susan Monica's Video Call

FacebookSusan Monica wore a variety of wigs in court.

Monica told investigators that during the fall of 2013 she came upon her pigs one day in the middle of a feeding frenzy. When she looked closer to see what they were eating, she said that it was none other than Robert Haney, lying on the ground “with his guts all over the place.”

Believing he was still alive and suffering, Monica claimed to have shot Haney to “put him out of his misery.”

“I do that for my animals and this was the first time I did it for a human being and I knew it was wrong but if it were one of my pigs suffering out there, I would have done the same thing,” she said.

But when police asked Monica what else they might find on her property, she broke down, and it immediately became clear that Haney was not, as she had claimed, the first person she killed. On a map of her property, Susan Monica pointed to a spot in the middle, marked it with an “X,” and told investigators that was where they would find “Steve.”

Steve, or Stephen Delicino, was another former handyman of Monica’s who worked on her property in the summer of 2012, a full year before Robert Haney arrived. Monica had an explanation, of course, for why Delicino’s body was buried on her property.

According to her, while Delicino was working for her, she noticed that two of her guns were missing. She did some poking around and found them among Delicino’s things, but when she confronted him about it, they got into a sort of wrestling match. At some point during the bout, she claimed that one of the guns went off and struck Delicino in the back of his head.

Monica said that at one point during the struggle, she had grabbed another rifle and, standing over Delicino, shot him dead.

Having admitted to at least two unreported killings on her property, detectives asked Susan Monica if there were any other dead bodies on her property that they might encounter.

“She told me that if she told me about the 17 others that she would spend the rest of her life in jail,” said detective Eric Henderson.

Susan Monica’s Changing Stories

Susan Monica's Trial

RedditIn court, Susan Monica displayed a number of odd behaviors, including personally cross-examining an investigator and demonstrating how she shot one of her victims.

Monica’s claims about putting Haney out of his misery or killing Delicino in self-defense carried little weight when it came time to examine the case in court. Firstly, these claims do little to explain why Monica posthumously hacked the bodies to bits with an ax.

Moreover, her stories kept changing. While she initially claimed to have shot Delicino in self-defense, she later claimed he repeatedly shot himself in the head. And none of her stories matched forensic evidence collected at the scene.

Of course, it was difficult to prove conclusively that Monica had not acted as she claimed. It’s entirely possible that she came upon Haney being eaten by her pigs and ended his life out of pity, just as it’s possible she and Delicino did get into an altercation.

That said, prosecutors repeatedly pointed out that Haney’s remains were found scattered across the property in plastic bags, and Delicino suffered three to four gunshot wounds to the head.

However, any chance Monica had of persuading the jury of her innocence likely disappeared when her strange behavior worked its way into the courtroom. On the less bizarre end of the spectrum, Monica appeared in court in various wigs — an odd behavior, the defense noted, but not criminal.

Then, a cellmate testified that the defendant signed a birthday card “from the sweetest murderer in Jackson County” — though Monica claimed it was merely a reference to the crimes for which she was charged.

Monica also personally cross-examined the detective assigned to her case, Eric Henderson, despite having a defense team, and loudly proclaimed to the jury that she would “like to demonstrate how I shot [Delicino] for 10 seconds” before putting her hands in the air and doing just that.

In the end, Susan Monica was found guilty of the murders of Robert Haney and Stephen Delicino and sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after a minimum of 50 years.

“I don’t know how else I can put it. You valued pigs more than you value people,” Judge Tim Barnack told Monica. “It may sound harsh, but you are a cold-blooded killer.”

After reading about Susan Monica’s gruesome murders, learn about the serial killer and fellow farmer Robert Pickton, who murdered 49 people and fed their bodies to his pigs. Or, read about a different type of farm, where leaving body parts around the property is encouraged — a body farm.

Austin Harvey
A staff writer for All That's Interesting, Austin Harvey has also had work published with Discover Magazine, Giddy, and Lucid covering topics on mental health, sexual health, history, and sociology. He holds a Bachelor's degree from Point Park University.
Jaclyn Anglis
Jaclyn is the senior managing editor at All That's Interesting. She holds a Master's degree in journalism from the City University of New York and a Bachelor's degree in English writing and history (double major) from DePauw University. She is interested in American history, true crime, modern history, pop culture, and science.
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Harvey, Austin. "Susan Monica, The Oregon Farmer Who Murdered Two Of Her Employees And Fed Them To Her Pigs.", August 22, 2023, Accessed May 23, 2024.