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Ride along with Winnie Ruth Judd: The Trunk Murderess

Several Winnie Ruth Judd aka the “Trunk Murderess” enthusiasts boarded a bus hosted by the hip historian, Marshall Shore, on Sunday, May 18, 2014 for an afternoon of exploring some of the sites and buildings where her bizarre tale unfolded in the early 1930’s.

Trunks were found at the Los Angele train station oozing with blood
Courtesy of AOL images
Winnie Ruth Judd traveled from Phoenix to Los Angeles via the train
Photo courtesy of Flickr

Winnie Ruth Judd moved to Phoenix, Arizona with her physician husband in 1930 looking to establish a new home and employment. When Winnie’s husband traveled on to Los Angeles, the attractive woman stayed behind with a group of co-workers and friends. The friends were almost inseparable and soon all three were vying for the attention of Jack Halloran, a prosperous lumber yard owner. As you can imagine, this caused a lot of tension among the co-workers and friends.

One evening in 1931 things got out of hand. During or after an argument, two young women were shot to death. Winnie claimed it was self-defense in a struggle. One of the bodies was easily packed into a trunk, while the other was dismembered to ease its packing into a second trunk. The trunks were loaded and carried down to the train station and shipped on to Los Angeles with Winnie riding on the same set of rails. Whether she acted alone or had an accomplice it may never be known.

Baggage handlers at Union Station became suspicious of the foul odor and noticed liquid oozing from the trunks which appeared to be blood. Naturally, the authorities were notified. Winnie was escorted back to Phoenix where she was tried for the murders. She was found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging. Someone in Winnie’s corner saved her from execution and she was pronounced insane.

During her stint at the State Hospital in Phoenix Winnie escaped a number of times—once for the duration of over six years. Some say she had her own key to the asylum door. Judd was finally released in December 1971—forty-one years after the crime. She lived a low profiled life and died in 1998 at the age of 93.

Shore's bus tour follows Winnie Ruth Judd from her Brill Street apartment neighborhood, her place of employment, homes of possible co-conspirators, and the scene of the horrific crime. It travels past the Phoenix train depot, and the courthouse where she was tried, and offers a view of the Arizona State Hospital.

All the way, Marshall Shore narrates the speculations of the crime. Books have been written about the Trunk Murderous, documentaries filmed, and now you can ride along and develop your own conclusions! Watch for the Next Winnie Ruth Judd tour offered by Marshall Shore on October 18, 2014. Contact him at

New book release! Winnie Ruth Judd: The Trunk Murders The Classic Edition

"It is fittingly ironic that Prescott, Arizona-based UCS PRESS, an imprint of MarJim Books, is debuting the book at The Trunk Space, 1506 Grand Avenue in Phoenix. Co-author J. Dwight (Jim) Dobkins will do a presentation, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., May 22

The Trunk Space also will hold the Winnie Ruth Judd press conference at 1:00 p.m. on May 22. At the press conference and at his evening presentation and book signing, Dobkins will discuss a series of revelations about Mrs. Judd and his long-time family association with Mrs. Judd.

Further irony of the publisher's marketing maneuver is that the only bookstore in the United States authorized to sell the print edition is The Poisoned Pen Bookstore in Scottsdale, Arizona. Only non-bookstore authorized venders are The Trunk Space, and Marshall Shore who promotes himself as Arizona's Hip Historian and gives Winnie Ruth Judd tours. Only other way to get the $14.95 book is direct from UCS PPRESS via e-mail to The e-book edition is available for $4.99 from Amazon Kindle, Smashwords, and other leading e-book sellers."

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