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The Trunk Murderess

by Jana Bommersbach

If history is right, a 26 year-old beauty named Winnie Ruth Judd murdered her two best girlfriends one hot Phoenix night in 1931. Then she hacked up their bodies, stuffed the pieces into a trunk, and took them by train to Los Angeles as her baggage. If history is right, she was sentenced to die but "cheated the gallows" by acting insane. She spent nearly 40 years in Arizona's insane asylum-flummoxing officials by escaping six times. If history is right, she only got her freedom at age 66-after serving more time than any other convicted murderer in the history of the nation--because Arizona was finally tired of punishing her. But if history is wrong, Winnie Ruth Judd's life was squandered in a horrible miscarriage of justice. Award-winning journalist Jana Bommersbach reinvestigates the twisted, bizarre murder case that has captivated the nation for decades. She not only uncovers evidence long hidden, but gets Winnie Ruth Judd to break her life-long silence and finally speak. In telling the story of this American crime legend, Bommersbach also tells the story of Phoenix, Arizona-a backwater town that would become a major American city-and the story of a unique moment in American history filled with social taboos.But most of all, she tells the story of a woman with the courage to survive.

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