The Plainridge Poisoner: A Strange Tale of a Casino

Our new Inside Casino segment will focus on oddities in the gaming industry. We broaden our search beyond the bounds of legitimate online gambling sites and turn up fascinating and, at times, simply weird tidbits from the real world. This week, we go into the case of the Plainridge Poisoner, or Alexandria Martel, a casino cleaner from Plainridge, Massachusetts who was accused of poisoning two of her coworkers.

This is a tale of office intrigue, the likes of which we have all experienced. One casino worker who was unhappy with her coworkers took extreme action. With all the bombast of a Hollywood drama, this narrative could only originate from middle America, but it involves jealousy, snitching, revenge, and attempted poisoning.


Who is the poisoner in Plainridge?

Alexandria Martel, age 23, is from Attleboro, Massachusetts, an ancient colonial town that was formerly home to some of the world’s largest diamond makers. These days, the area lacks much of its former character. The town of 45,000 is located between the bigger cities of Providence, Rhode Island, and Boston. Not the type of environment that often gives rise to figures involved in global intrigue.


Summary of the Development of the Plainridge Park Casino

The casino was only 7 miles north of her house, so it was convenient for her to get work there. In 1999, harness racing was established as the primary focus at what was then known as Plainridge Park. Jockeys don’t really sit on the horse’s back; instead, they sit in a carriage-like device that is tied to the horse.


In Massachusetts, unlike the rest of the United States, betting on horse and dog races has been permitted since 1934. Plainridge Park is one of two operational locations. Nonetheless, further casino legislation was enacted in the state in 2011, making the construction of three casinos and one slots parlor possible. Although live dealer casino tables would be impossible to accommodate, Plainridge Park would begin building on such a slots facility. The slots area of the casino first opened to the public in June of 2015.


The “Racino” at Plainridge Park has a reputation as a little Las Vegas in the middle of Massachusetts suburbia. The lack of live table gaming takes away from the venue’s authenticity, but it makes up for it with its lively atmosphere, frequent live entertainment performances, and two restaurants: Fluties, for casual fare, and pants, for… you need pants to get into the restaurant. Reviews on TripAdvisor indicate widespread approval among area residents. The casino is spotless, the soda is complimentary, and the accommodations are smoke-free.


Credit for that last bit of success goes to Alexandria and her team. However, the team’s professional achievement did not bring them closer together.


Martel claims that she had a negative attitude toward her coworkers. They apparently plotted against her and reported her to management, saying that she was negligent in her duties as a cleaner of the restrooms.


The final straw came when, after finishing a night shift, she was excluded from the group’s breakfast plans. Maybe there was a misunderstanding or it was just impossible to do in practice. However, Martel disputes this. The cops were told that she became enraged.


To quote one reviewer: “The drink had a horrible flavor.”

The casino is well equipped with surveillance cameras to ensure everyone’s honesty. Martel can be seen in the soon-to-be-released CCTV film holding a cup. Then, she raises her arm as if to pour something into a coworker’s glass. She then reportedly did the same thing in someone else’s cup at work.


The male, 39, and the lady, 35, discovered something was drastically wrong with their sodas when they returned to work. The former spat up his drink in the bathroom sink because of the “chemical” aftertaste. The latter stated that she “dumped her drink out” because it tasted so awful. They went to the police and on Tuesday morning (May 22), officers arrived to the casino to take Martel into custody for the incident.


The two workers were lucky enough to escape with only a foul taste in their mouths. But had they been the targets of a wicked conspiracy to kill them?


Is Martel Right or Wrong?

A short time later, the police questioned Martel, and he said that wasn’t the case. They had “a small amount of yellow cleaner” poured into their glasses, she said. But she really just wished they’d “get nauseous” so she could avoid them for the rest of the day at work.


Martel was charged with assault and battery with a deadly weapon and attempted poisoning, but she pled not guilty during her arraignment. She posted bond and is now free. What is the most important stipulation of her bail?


The casino is off-limits to her.

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