Dorothea Puente (9 January, 1929 — 27 March, 2011) was an American murderer. She was sent to prison for killing three people at her home in Sacramento, California. Puente ran a boarding house where old people, people with a disability or mental illness were able to live. A social worker thought something was wrong after a mentally disabled person disappeared from her home. When the police searched the house they found seven bodies buried in the yard. Another two bodies were found in a box in the Sacramento River. She killed people with drugs and stole their money. She had taken more than $87,000 from people she had murdered.
Puente had a hard life; her father was an alcoholic and her mother a prostitute. She was placed in an orphanage as a young child where she was sexually abused. She married at 16 years of age and had two children who were both later adopted. At 19 her husband died and she was sent to prison for fraud. She was sent to prison for using drugs to steal from old people. Puente said all the victims died from natural causes. She did not tell anyone they had died because she had only been let out of prison on the condition that she did not look after old people.