I just reviewed two sites that are incredible. Who knew that Arizona would have such great research guides? Need some birth and death information? Arizona has a searchable database that is fantastic.
Let's start with Arizona Genealogy Birth and Death Certificates found at genealogy.az.gov
Currently on this site, you can search births to 1939 (at least 75 years ago) and deaths to 1964 (at least 50 years ago
Images are in pdf format for both birth and death certificates. Fantastic? You betcha!
The Arizona Memory Project found at azmemory.lib.az.us
I found this site to be really neat for that information that you never learned in school. There are collections covering a variety of topics and subjects....Architecture, Education, Maps, Military, Native Americans, Photographs, ....just to name a few.
I love to read about people who have a whole different taste of life....usually for the absurd or purely wacky (not to be critical or anything like that). So, I did some browsing in the Crime and Law section. There was a topic called Murder and Mayhem. Just what I like to read. Look what I found...
Murder & Mayhem - The Strange Saga of Winnie Ruth Judd
This is the story of Winnie Ruth of Indiana. At the age of 19, she married Dr. Judd, a man 22 years her senior. While living in Los Angeles, her husband became a drug addict. She was diagnosed with TB and decided to move to Arizona for the drier air.
Winnie got a clerical job at a clinic, and soon made friends with two other women. They became roomies. She began dating a new man in her life....and yes, she was still married....and, oh, by the way....he was married too. She moved out of the girls place and got a place of her own. However the three women still met up each week to socialize.
Well, one day, Winnie went to visit the ladies. An argument ensued, someone pulled out a gun, and all three were shot. Winnie was injured in the hand, but, unfortunately, the two other young women were fatally wounded.
The body of one of the young gals was stuffed into a suitcase. The other was too large to fit into a case, so her body was dismembered, and she was stuffed into multiple suitcases.
Winnie left Arizona with the suitcases, headed back to Los Angeles.The trunks began to smell and leak body fluids while on the train ride through California. The train inspectors asked Winnie to open a trunk. She told them that only her husband had the key, and with that, she ran off.
Train inspectors forced the suitcases open and the bodies were found.
Winnie's trial began in 1932 in Phoenix. The "Trunk Murderess" claimed self defense. That idea didn't work. She was found guilty and sentenced to death. However, not long after, she was found to be insane, as was sent to the state mental hospital for 38 years. She escaped seven times from the hospital, and managed to get as far as northern California where she found employment as a nanny.
Police finally caught up with her, and she was extradited back to Arizona. In 1969, she demanded to be reexamined to determine her sanity. Her parole was denied, but in 1971 the governor signed her pardon. She returned to California, now going by the name of Marian Lane.
Marian died in California in her sleep, at the age of 93, in 1998.
Now, where else can you find a story like this? Newspapers!!! My favorite research resource....until I reviewed this Arizona Memory Project site...which is running a close second place.
I hope that you take the time to browse these Arizona sites to help you with your family research, or just to read about the lives of people who do strange things.
Speaking of that, don't forget to visit my other blog...Friday's Fallen Acorns and Other Nuts found at www.fridaysfallenacorns.blogspot.com