Francine Wilson, subject of ‘Burning Bed,’ has died

Associated Press

Florence, Ala. — Francine Wilson, whose Michigan spousal abuse case was the subject of a 1984 television movie called “The Burning Bed,” has died. She was 69.

One of her children, Jim Hughes, said Friday that she died at a hospital March 22 of complications from pneumonia. A memorial service was held Wednesday in Florence, Alabama, for Wilson, who had been living in the nearby Leighton.

Wilson, whose last name was Hughes at the time, killed her husband, James “Mickey” Hughes, in 1977 by setting fire to their Dansville, Michigan, home while he slept.

She was jailed and later acquitted. The story was the subject of a book and a movie starring Farrah Fawcett.

The “burning-bed” defense for domestic abuse was later coined from the case.

Wilson is survived by her five children, two sisters and two brothers.