“I’ve asked God many times to forgive me”
Known as The Tiger Woman, Winnie Ruth Judd (born 29 January 1905) was convicted of the Phoenix Trunk Murders in 1931. She worked with her husband, Dr William Judd, in his medical centre in Phoenix, Arizona, where she became friends with Agnes Le Roi, 27, and Hedvig Samuelson who shared a flat. On 16 October 1931 there was a shooting at the flat and the next day Miss Le Roi did not turn up for work and Judd was late for work.
Later that day Judd telephoned a removals firm to arrange for a large trunk to be shipped. On 18 October she boarded a train bound for Los Angeles, accompanied by two trunks. As porters carried the trunks off the train at Union Central Station in Los Angeles, it was noticed that one was leaking a dark liquid.
Judd was asked to explain but instead fled. When the trunks were opened they were found to contain the dismembered bodies of Agnes Le Roi and Hedvig Samuelson. Police found a letter from Judd to her husband. The letter detailed all sorts of sex orgies that had taken place in the Le Roi-Samuelson home, orgies that featured every kind of sexual coupling. On 23 October, after an appeal by her husband, Judd gave herself up to police.
Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Friday 16 October 1931
Judd claimed that she had been visiting her friends when Miss Samuelson had pulled a gun. As she tried to disarm her, Judd shot both women. In fact, she had murdered them both in a fit of jealousy and then shot herself in the hand to substantiate her alibi about her story. She was taken back to Arizona where she stood trial.
She was convicted and sentenced to death but that was commuted to life imprisonment on 24 April 1933 after psychiatrists said that she was mad. She stayed in the public eye because she escaped from prison seven times. Her last escape came in 1962 and she stayed on the run for seven years during which time she worked as a housekeeper in Concord, Massachusetts. Finally released in 22 December 1971, she died on 23 October 1998, aged 95.
YOU SHOULD KNOW:
She said, “I’ve asked God many times to forgive me.”