October is a month of history and mystery in Phoenix, and some of my favorite annual events are just the ticket to commemorate the weird and sometimes tragic history of Phoenix. The tales of Winnie Ruth Judd and the infamous “Trunk Murders” that took place in Phoenix on October 16, 1931 riveted the entire nation on Phoenix Arizona. This bizarre crime continues to fascinate new generations of crime buffs and historians, bringing new and tantalizing details to this infamous crime with books written about it and even a feature length film. The fearsome festivities begin this Saturday with the Winnie Ruth Judd crime scene tour on October 12th and conclude with the annual screening of the bizarre feature film “Murderess” at The Trunk Space on October 16th.
Phoenix’s “Hip Historian” Marshall Shore kicks things off today with the Winnie Ruth Judd Murder Mystery Tour. The tour departs the Clarendon Hotel at 1:30 pm, taking passengers on a two-hour tour that follows the trail of the infamous Judd crime. Many of the buildings involved in the crime still stand to this day, including the actual murder house and the ornate Grunow Clinic where Judd worked. The bus will travel along the old Brill trolley line, which will give tour-goers an idea of the shape and size of Phoenix back in Winnie’s day. Other stops will include the houses where she lived and where she met Jack Halloran, a well-known Phoenix businessman with whom she had an adulterous affair, the train station where she boarded late at night with the oozing trunks, and the old Maricopa County Courthouse where the trial took place.
Tickets are $30.00 and can be purchased online at https://wrj12.eventbrite.com/ The bus departs at 1:30 pm and returns at 3:30 to the Clarendon Hotel 401 W. Clarendon, Phoenix.
If you like your haunts less spook-specific, Shore begins another tour from the Clarendon at 3:30, taking travelers to historic buildings in Phoenix with reputed paranormal activity. Attractions include the famously haunted Hotel San Carlos, the Orpheum Theatre and a visit to the Pioneer and Military Memorial Park. Tickets are $30.00 and can be purchased at http://hauntedphx12.eventbrite.com/
On Wednesday, October 16th, get ready for more Marshall as he hosts the screening of one of my favorite Phoenix films “Murderess” (2007) directed by L.A. filmmaker Scott Coblio and presented at The Trunk Space, 1506 NW Grand Ave. Phoenix at 7:45 pm. This screening has been an annual tradition at the Trunk Space for the last 4 years, always presented on the anniversary of the Judd crime. “Murderess” is a quirky, crazy and creepy adaptation of the Judd crime, performed entirely by marionettes. This year, the Trunk Space is offering several very fun and affordable film packages: $5 bucks gets you in to the movie, $10 bucks gets you in and an autographed copy of the DVD, and for $15 bucks, you’ll get to see the film, receive an autographed copy, and you’ll get dinner courtesy of Bragg's Factory Diner served in a 'getaway trunk' with bloody barbeque sliders and scot-free coleslaw! (YOU MUST Pre-Order for the dinner). For more information and to pre-order dinner, visit the The Trunk Space “Murderess!” event page.