Tag Archives: phoenix

44-D True Crime: Police Determine Teen Missing Since 1954 Was Slain

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Posted by Audiegrl

Discovering Jane Doe

The Boulder Colorado Sheriff's Office on Oct. 28, 2009, released this 1953 photograph of Dorothy Gay Howard

Associated Press/Amanda Lee Myers—A murdered young woman buried as Jane Doe in Colorado 55 years ago. An Arizona family puzzled and saddened as Dorothy Gay Howard’s disappearance stretched into decades.

It took a historian, a detective and a determined family member to make the connection after more than a half century that these two people were one and the same.

Howard’s younger sister, Marlene Howard Ashman, the last surviving member of the immediate family, was relieved last month when authorities announced the identification.

It was just complete and utter shock,” said Ashman, who lives in Mena, Ark., but spoke to The Associated Press from Newport, N.C., where she was visiting her daughter.

All these 55 years, I guess I learned as a child to put it in an abstract form so I could deal with it; it’s easier to accept,” Ashman said.

But the younger sister is grappling with the fact that Howard was murdered and is aching to know who killed her.

Now that I know, it isn’t so much that she died, but the horrible death,” she said.

Boulder County Sheriff’s Detective Steve Ainsworth, the lead investigator in the case, said Howard died of blunt-force trauma. She couldn’t be identified because her body was found a week after she was killed, and animals had gotten to her face and fingers.

Someone's Daughter: In Search of Justice for Jane Doe by Silvia Pettem

Someone's Daughter: In Search of Justice for Jane Doe by Silvia Pettem

At the time, the mystery made headlines across Colorado, and Boulder residents raised enough money to buy her a gravestone, which read “Jane Doe — April 1954 — Age About 20 Years.”

Boulder County sheriff’s officials have credited historian Silvia Pettem with encouraging them to renew efforts to identify Jane Doe. Pettem became interested in the woman and her story after visiting the cemetery in the 1990s and writing the book “Someone’s Daughter, In Search of Justice for Jane Doe.”

Meanwhile, Howard’s grandniece Michelle Marie Fowler decided to contact Ainsworth after reading an article about Jane Doe and suspecting for years that Howard had been killed.

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More @ Associated Press

To keep up to date with the case, please visit Someone’s Daughter author Silvia Pettem’s website. The site contains additional information, including the fact that Dorothy Gay Harden’s killer is believed to be executed serial killer Harvey Glatman aka “The Lonely Hearts Killer“.

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Filed under Crime, Law, True Crime, Uncategorized, Women's Issues

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


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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.

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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.

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Related Articles

The Trunk Murderess

Winnie Ruth Judd: Trunks of Blood

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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.

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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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Obama Addresses Congressional Black Caucus on Health Care

Posted by Audiegrl

President Barack Obama is seen at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. dinner on Saturday Sept. 26, 2009 in Washington D.C. (AP Photo/Earl Gibson III)

President Barack Obama is seen at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. dinner on Saturday Sept. 26, 2009 in Washington D.C. (AP Photo/Earl Gibson III)


Associated Press—President Barack Obama on Saturday resumed his push to overhaul the health care system, telling a Congressional Black Caucus conference that there comes a time when “the cup of endurance runs over.”

“We have been waiting for health reform since the days of Teddy Roosevelt. We’ve been waiting since the days of Harry Truman,” he said in remarks at the caucus foundation’s annual dinner. “We’ve been waiting since Johnson and Nixon and Clinton.”

“We cannot wait any longer,” Obama said.

Obama spent the past week largely focused on global and economic issues in meetings with world leaders in New York and Pittsburgh.

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, wave as they arrive at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's Annual Phoenix Awards dinner, in Washington, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, wave as they arrive at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's Annual Phoenix Awards dinner, in Washington, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)


At the G-20 economic summit that wrapped up Friday in Pennsylvania, Obama told a story about an unnamed foreign leader who privately told the president he didn’t understand the at-times contentious debate over changing the health care system.

“He says, ‘We don’t understand it. You’re trying to make sure everybody has health care and they’re putting a Hitler mustache on you. That doesn’t make sense to me,'” Obama said, quoting the world leader he declined to identify.

The reference to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler was to signs some people have waved outside of often testy town hall meetings around the country this summer where lawmakers discussed Obama’s health care plan.

In the speech, Obama described his plan as one that would not require people with coverage to change anything but would make health insurance affordable for the millions of people who don’t have any. Republicans dispute those claims.

More @Associated Press

Part One

Part Two

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Filed under Democrats, Economy, Politics, Republicans, Uncategorized, United Nations