Friday night, October 16th of 1931 in Phoenix, Arizona
CAUTION, GORY CRIME SCENE PHOTOS AHEAD!
27 year old Winnie Ruth Judd, a medical secretary, was very unhappily married to a much older man named Dr. William Judd. The doctor was a morphine addict who’d had a hard time holding a job. When Dr. Judd moved to Los Angeles for business reasons, Winnie decided to remain in Phoenix; she moved in with a friend and coworker, Agnes Anne LeRoy and her roommate, Hedvig “Sammy” Samuelson.
It wasn’t long before Winnie fell in love with a good-looking but married wealthy businessman named Jack Halloran. The problem? John had earned the reputation of a cad; Winnie’s roommates had also been seeing him. Due to this, Winnie moved out a week prior to the night in which all hell broke loose.
On the 16th, Anne had invited Winnie to come over, and have a few drinks. Initially Winnie turned her friend down, but Anne was persistent; maybe they’d play some cards or something.
Now sometime during the night, the three friends got into a heated discussion about Jack and another woman he may or may not have been seeing, and it’s said that Sammy pulled a .25. It was, without a doubt, Winnie’s firearm, but since she’d only moved out the week before, there’s no telling whether the weapon had been left at the residence or if Winnie planned the murders and brought it with her that night – no one knows for sure. The story goes that the three women physically fought, and Winnie was covered with bruises. Eventually she gained control of the gun, and she blew her buddies away; during the scuffle Winnie had somehow managed to shot herself in the hand.
Okay, so a jealous woman got in a fight and killed her rivals; what’s the big deal, it happens all the time, right? Well, not like this! It’s what comes next that’s shocking. Jack showed up, and Winnie confessed what had happened. The murderer later claimed that she’d planned to call the police, but jack had talked her out of it. She said that putting the bodies in trunks and traveling across the country was his plan, who knows if that’s the truth or not.
So Winnie dismembered both of her best friends, stuffed their bodies into traveling trunks, and she boarded a train headed to LA. Now, as you may imagine, it didn’t take long for the chopped up corpses to begin to rot; the trunks began to smell, and a disgusting, sticky substance began to seep through.
One of the men working on the train noticed something was up with the luggage and, thinking someone was snuggling a dead deer, he called the police. When Winnie realize that the police had been notified, she left the scene but turned herself in later.
At trial the prosecution argued that the murders had been premeditated; Winnie’s story was a lie, she’d shot her friends dead while asleep in their beds. Whatever the case, Winnie was found guilty and sentenced to be hanged – but you know, they really didn’t like to execute women back then so Winnie was sent to an institution instead. On December of ’32, Jack Halloran was indicted as an accomplice to murder, but in 1933 a judge freed him.
Throughout the years, Winnie escaped from that institution she had been sentenced to a half dozen times. On her last escape, in October of ’63, Winnie traveled to San Francisco where she obtained employment as a maid. She was free for 6 years before being returned to the institution.
Finally, in 1971, the woman who had murdered her 2 best friends over a man was released on parole; she died a free woman at the ripe old age of 93.
*I could’ve sworn I’d already posted this case on this website, but I’ve searched and searched and can’t find any posts about it since 2018. If this happens to be a repeat, forgive me; I’m trying not to repeat anything on this site 🤍 I hope you’re all faring well, and that you and your loved ones are healthy.