Winnie Ruth Judd was a Phoenix medical secretary accused of murdering two of her friends in 1931, allegedly over the affections of a prominent Phoenix businessman. The murders were discovered when Judd transported the victims’ bodies, one of which had been dismembered, from Phoenix to Los Angeles by train in trunks and other luggage, causing the press to name the case the “Trunk Murders.”

Many know the story of Winnie Ruth Judd, the infamous “Trunk Murderess” of Arizona; but few know the stories of Eva Dugan, Dr. Rose Boido or Eva Wilbur Cruz, also known as “La Pistolera,” or the implications of these notorious women’s stories in the larger context of women in the Arizona prison system.

Christine Reid, writer and researcher for the Pinal County Historical Museum, will present “Women of the Arizona State Prison,” Wednesday (Aug. 8) at 3:30 p.m. in the ASA Great Room. Reid, who calls herself “almost a native, but not quite,” became interested in Arizona’s cultural heritage when she moved to Arizona more than 30 years ago. She came to know the prison warden’s assistant, a founding member of the Pinal County Historical Museum, and stories of the women housed in the prison intrigued her.

Who were these women, really?  How did they end up in prison? What impact, if at all, did the women have on the prison system in general?  What about the children these imprisoned women left behind?

Reid discovered that while there have been sensational cases consistently through time, what women have been arrested for has changed, as has our awareness of the impact of prison on women. What strikes her most, however, is not what has changed, but what has remained the same: motherhood. Children have always been and continue to be impacted by the incarceration of their mothers.

Christine Reid

Reid allows her audience to draw their own conclusions; she simply presents the facts, the statistics—and yes, the colorful stories of the most notorious women—through photographs, prison records, and newspaper articles. Her presentation begins with the transition from the Territorial Prison in Yuma to Florence and culminates in the three women currently on death row.

Written by Pamela Hennessy, Academy Village Volunteer

More Info on attending an event
Academy Village is an active-adult community located off Old Spanish Trail six miles southeast of Saguaro National Park East. Its residents support the Arizona Senior Academy, a non-profit charitable organization whose mission includes offering free concerts and lectures to the public.

These events are held in the Great Room of The ASA Building adjacent to the Academy Village Community Center. Due to the popularity of cultural events, non-residents who wish to ensure priority seating are advised to make reservations by email at info@arizonasenioracademy.org or by phone at (520) 647-0980. To learn more about the Academy, go to www.asa-tucson.org.

Parking for visitors is in the lot behind the Community Center. All parking spaces in front of the Academy building are reserved.

Women in the Arizona Prison System: August 2018
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