Spooky Halloween Story From My Childhood

_____________blogpost by Betsmier______________

trickortreatWhen I was a little girl we of course went trick or treating on our street. We lived at 1217 N. Second St in Phoenix. We lived in the big family home that my Grandmother lived in.

Before I was born there was the true story of Winnie Ruth Judd. As a little girl I was told how she killed her two roommates and then tried to ship the bodies to LA. There was a house a couple of blocks down the street from where we lived and we believed that that is where she killed them. Every Halloween we would go to that house trick or treating. It was always dark which of course made our imagination run wild. We would ring the doorbell and then we would run like crazy. Never bothering to see who was there. Winnie was committed to the State Mental Hospital for her sentence and she escaped several times. We always thought she went back to that house. We found out much later that that was not the house. In fact my mother’s cousin’s husband was the Winnie’s landlord and he took the suitcases that she stuffed the bodies in to the train station for her. There were five of us that would go trick or treating together. My best friend, her sister and brother, my middle sister and myself. My younger sister was too young to go then.

Anyway, that’s the scariest story from my childhood.

True Crime Story: The Trunk Murderess


Murderess Willie Ruth Judd

Willie Ruth Judd was an American medical secretary living in Phoenix, Arizona, dubbed the “Trunk murderess” in 1931, convicted in a trial marked by sensationalized newspaper coverage and suspicious circumstances. Judd was charged and convicted of the murder of Agnes LeRoi, one of her two friends (the other being Hedvig Samuelson) she allegedly murdered in mid-October 1931 in Phoenix, Arizona. The fateful fight that led to the shooting of the two women reportedly was fueled by a conflict of interest—all three women were interested in the same man.

Judd was displayed in headlines across the country and the world as the “Tiger Woman”; “The Blonde Butcher”; “The Arizona Tigress”; “Wolf Woman”; and “The Velvet Tigress” due to her alleged ferociousness. The case quickly became known as “The Trunk Murders,” as the one intact body and the dismembered body were shipped in trunks by train from Phoenix to Los Angeles.


Winnie Ruth in 1969 after being returned to confinement after her fifth escape

Contrary to popular belief, Judd was tried and convicted only of the murder of Mrs. LeRoi, whose body was not dismembered. The jury that tried Judd condemned her 8 February 1932. An appeal was unsuccessful. Judd was sentenced to be hanged 17 February , 1933 and sent to Arizona State Prison. The death sentence was repealed and she was sent to Arizona State Mental Hospital 24 April, 1933.

From 1933 to 1962 Judd escaped from the Arizona State Hospital seven times, often for several years at a time. She was released 21 December 1971 and moved to Stockton, California. She died 23 October 1998 the age of ninety-three.



Related Articles

The Trunk Murderess

Winnie Ruth Judd: Trunks of Blood


Related Books

bookoneThe Trunk Murderess: Winnie Ruth Judd by Jana Bommersbach
Glamour, blood and a cold-case, what more could even a tabloid desire? But there was more to it than that and Bommersbach weaves the tale well – with care and detail, including the endings which make Judd into a female Houdini who drove the Arizona prison system nuts.

burymedeepthumbBury Me Deep: A Novel by Megan Abbott
Edgar-winner Abbott explores gender inequality and its sometimes tragic results in her well-crafted fourth crime novel, inspired by the true story of Winnie Ruth Judd (aka the Trunk Murderess).


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Filed under Culture, True Crime, Uncategorized

8 responses to “Spooky Halloween Story From My Childhood

  1. Wow, interesting crime story.

  2. betsmeier

    Every time we passed the mental hospital we would tell our parents not to stop for fear she had escaped again and was hitchhiking. LOL Kids really have huge imaginations. 🙂

    • audiegrl

      When a spooky story is linked to a True Crime, that is the one people are really afraid of. You got a great one here Bets! She did escape a few times, so you were right on the money 😉

  3. SouthernGirl2

    As a kid I heard a spooky story about a tall woman dressed in white would sometimes walk right into the middle of the road you were driving on. There were no lights along the road…had me scared silly.

  4. What a great true crime story!

    As a kid I was always super-sensitive around Ouija boards. Had one in our basement, & I refused to go near it (must be my Cherokee heritage, but I could feel the bad mojo comin off that thing even as a kid).

    Needless to say, that kid grew up to be a wild teenager, who would try anything at least once, & the Ouija was something that friends always wanted to fool around with. I will tell you honestly that the board is harmless if you play it once or twice & leave it alone. However, if you use it in a “tainted” place, or play it continuously & try to quit, I swear to G-d, something weird will happen. Yes, it’s marketed by Parker Bros. as a board game, but I have gotten sucked into it’s whackness too many times w/different people to not give it credence to being more than just a game.

    I “talked” to my dead father the first time I ever played, simply by creating a makeshift board & placing one of his belongings on it. I didn’t even touch the board, simply asked questions that no one could know the answers to, and was provided w/answers that came from something that knew my father’s nature. When my friends & I finally found a real board, and played it for days, I sh*t you not, when we expressed aloud that we were going to stop playing, the freaking thing spelled out S – A – T – A – N. Later that night, I swore I saw the board emanating a red color. We threw it out the very next day.

    I refuse to have one in my home or anywhere near me. Like I said, maybe it’s the Native American in me that is more sensitive to the other worldly. But I swear, the Ouija is one of the most ghastly things I’ve encountered in my entire life. Buyer beware!

  5. betsmeier

    That’s unreal bluedog89. Believe it or not my Mother had a Ouija board and we all used to use it. But then Mom threw it out because she didn’t really think it was good for us.

    My grandmother and her cousin were psychic and we watched them levitate the card table once. Scared me to death. 🙂 True story.

    • I believe it, Bets! Some things are meant to be left alone.

      I went to a Halloween party in HS where a medium held a seance. The homeowners said that an old lady had passed away in the house & walked the halls from time to time. The medium was supposed to make contact with whatever spirit was lingering round the house. During the seance we sat in the dark, holding hands, while the medium did her thing. I remember closing my eyes and totally getting into the “action.” Then I felt a cool gust of air pass by me. I was so frightened that I immediately opened my eyes & broke contact with the people next to me. I don’t know what I experienced, if anything, but it gave me the heebie jeebies!

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