_____________blogpost by Betsmier______________
When 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
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.
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.
The 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.
Bury 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).