Friday, June 7, 2013

Murder LA 000025

by James Cohen

Monday, October 19th, 1931

Warsaw Union
Oct 21, 1931
Mrs. Winnie Judd, 26, arrived about noon to claim her luggage at Southern Pacific Station*, near the current site of Union Station. She had set out the night before from Phoenix, Arizona for a sudden visit to her husband, a Los Angeles physician -- a visit the much older Mr. Judd did not know about.

Station employees noticed a strange odor coming from a large trunk and asked her to open it -- they thought she might be transporting meat, which wasn't allowed. Mrs. Judd claimed that she didn't have the key and then got in her brother's car and left. Her brother would later tell police he dropped her off at a crowded downtown intersection and gave her $5.

After several hours the trunk was forced open, revealing two corpses: roommates Agnes Leroi and Hedvig "Sammy" Samuelson, friends of Mrs. Judd. Samuelson had been dissected, her torso in a second, smaller trunk that bore a tag reading "Don't deliver until you see me personally."

She surrendered to police a few days later, on Friday, October 23rd, at "an undertaking establishment" she was hiding in.

Spokane Daily Chronicle
Oct 21, 1931
Judd was only charged with Leroi's murder and at trial the prosecution claimed that Judd killed Leroy because they had become enemies over a man all three women were after. Judd, refused to testify in court. She was found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging but was declared insane days before her scheduled execution and sent to an asylum in 1933.

She managed to escape six times from the hospital -- her last bid for freedom in 1952. According to a PBS short, she had acquired a key to the front door of the facility, unbeknownst to the staff.

*Near as I can tell, this was also known as Central Station, which was replaced by Union Station a few years later.

The Southeast Missourian
Feb 10, 1932



Jurors didn't believe the DNA evidence. Last Tuesday, June 4th, Kelly Soo Park was acquitted of murder, despite her genetic material's presence on the victim's strangled neck, cell phone, and the stove that was set to flood the place with gas. Apparently the defense's claim that the DNA might've come from a different encounter months earlier and in a different location was convincing after all.