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Winnie Ruth Judd: The Trunk Murders The Classic Edition

367 pages8 hours


The original 1973 edition of this book was published by Grosset & Dunlap, and enjoyed an 18-month run in Doubleday’s Bargain Book Club. It was nominated for Crime Book of the Year, and over the years has been optioned six times as a possible film.

Of major note, that 1973 edition was the first book published about the infamous Winnie Ruth Judd “Trunk Murders” case. That book spawned other books, stage dramas, and even a puppet movie. Yet it still is considered by many true crime fans as the most authoritative book written about the lightly-built woman who gained worldwide notoriety as the “Tiger Woman” for the alleged ferocity of the so-called “Trunk Murders.”

Her sensational murder trial and even more sensational sanity trial focused the eyes of the world on Phoenix and small-town Florence, Arizona. Her seven escapes from the Arizona State Hospital for the Insane in Phoenix repeatedly brought focus back to Mrs. Judd. She had several timely stays of execution that kept her from being hanged, and the many bizarre twists and turns in her trials and hearings remain classic in the annals of murder trials in U.S. history.

In one very unique hearing the State put her on the stand as a witness against the man alleged to have had intimate relations with Mrs. Judd and both of the women she claimed she had killed in self-defense. Contrary to popular opinion even to this day, she was charged with only one murder, and that was not of the victim whose body was dismembered.

In putting Winnie Ruth Judd on that witness stand she had opportunity to tell her self-defense story. The judge bought it, and ruled that as there had been no crime of murder there could not have been an accomplice to murder. As such, charges were dropped against the man. That was a most unexpected ironic twist. Even more ironic was that Winnie was immediately set to face execution on another date.

It is like the reviewer for the Denver Post said:

“Sound like fiction? It’s all true. That’s what makes this book so fascinating.”—Denver Post

Here are samples of what others said about that 1973 Grosset & Dunlap edition:

“Most grisly crime of the century.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“Story of Tiger Woman fascinating.”—Indianapolis News

“...the authors have turned her bizarre legal case into an
engrossing story.”—Atlanta Journal Constitution

“A real-life chiller.”—Palo Alto Times

“Book on Trunk Murders captures attention
of public.”—Portland Oregonian

“Their book is a job well done in newspaper
reporter style.”—Oklahoma City Oklahoman

“Winnie Ruth Judd Story May Be Summer’s Best”—headline in The Phoenix Gazette


And here is how famed Phoenix, Arizona attorney
John Flynn summed up the case in a book review in
The Arizona Republic

“By contemporary judicial standards, it is doubtful that Winnie Ruth Judd would ever have been convicted of murder, if, indeed, she would have been convicted at all."

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