Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Winnie Ruth Judd: 'The Trunk Murderess' In Perspective


To this day, one can only assume what happened inside the little duplex on North Second Street, in Phoenix, Arizona, at approximately 10:25 p.m., October 16, 1931. History accepts this much: Two young women were shot to death with a .25 calibre handgun fired by their former roommate, pretty, svelte 26-year-old Winnie Ruth Judd perhaps in self defense. As well, someone (Mrs. Judd claimed it wasn't she) devised a plan to hack the bodies into pieces so that they would fit neatly into shipping trunks for tidy disposal. Taking blame for both the killings and the mutilations, Winnie Ruth Judd earned the sordid moniker "The Trunk Murderess".

But...over the years and because of sleuthing supplied by many people, including investigative reporter Jana Bommersbach  the story of that night and its subsequent events has taken on a mien that reeks of political chicanery. With their research, a behind-the-scenes cabal has materialized that appears to have been wholly devoid of conscience in using "The Trunk Murderess," the woman and that infamy, as its way to escape its thoroughly deserved punishment.

The following article is stitched together from several sources, in particular Miss Bommersbach's revelations. The facts are compiled in as chronological an order as possible in order to tell the foundation of a compelling story -- while keeping a tension line and a particular point of view flowing in the same direction.

Like so many gruesome tales of this genre, this version cannot be considered the final, inclusive story. It is, rather, an interpretation founded on the works of the most recent findings.


I would like to thank Ms. Lyn Cisneros for her time in sharing with Dark Horse her one-on-one experiences with Winnie Ruth Judd. Her recollections, which appear here in print for the very first time (final chapter), offer an insightful and very human view of the subject character.


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