In Memory

Virginia Ellis Judd - Class Of 1923

Virginia Ellis Judd

Virginia Judd

August 3, 1905 - December 2, 1953


Spinster on Rampage Kills Mother, Brother and Poodle

The toll exacted by a pistol-wielding South Pasadena spinster last night was increased to two when Albert Judd, 43, died of wounds he suffered early yesterday morning when he was assertedly shot by his frenzied sister.

Killed instantly in the family outburst was Mrs Leila Judd, 60, mother of Judd and Virginia Judd, 46, who reportedly then killed the family poodle and stabbed herself critically. The shootings occurred in the family home at 2120 Monterey Road.  Judd, wounded just below the neck, had been given a less-than-even chance to live at Huntington Hospital where he was rushed after staggering to a telephone to summon police.

Police theorized that Miss Judd shot her mother, then snapped another shot at Judd as he rushed upstairs to assist his mother, then killed the dog and, her ammunition exhausted, seized upon a steak knife to attempt suicide.

Police Chief Clifton J Brown of South Pasadena said his officers reconstructed the early morning events in the costly residence on the boundary line of San Marino as follows:

Miss Judd, whose health has been failing since a major operation in 1947, retired Monday night with her mother and her brother. Early yesterday she arose and went to her mother's room which adjoined hers on the second floor of the rambling, secluded home.

She fired two shots into her mother's breast at point-blank range. Just before the shots, Mrs Judd called out for help to her son downstairs. The son told police he started up the staircase as the shots sounded in the upstairs bedroom. Suddenly his sister appeared and fired one shot which struck him in the neck. Miss Judd then ran down the stairway, according to police reconstruction of the crime, and paused in the dining room to kill the poodle dog with two more well-placed shots. She threw the empty gun to the floor and dashed into the breakfast room, where she snatched a keen sharp-pointed steak knife from a drawer. This, police said, she used with telling effect, in an effort to kill herself with stab wounds in the upper chest.

In answer to Judd's frantic telephone call, Sgt John Gail Bobbitt, Sgt Edward Nunnery, Officer James Croft and Reserve Sgt Ned Loos rushed to the home. They saw Judd's form through a bedroom window and broke down two doors to gain entrance. Next they saw the unconscious form of Miss Judd with the dog's riddled carcass nearby. They dispatched the wounded brother and sister in an ambulance and then started a search for suicide notes in upstairs bedrooms. It was not until then they found the body of Mrs Judd clad in pajamas and stretched on the floor of her bedroom.

Los Angeles Times, December 2, 1953


Joint Services Set in Family Slaying Tragedy

The three Judds - Leila, 60, the mother; Albert, 43, the son, and Virginia, 46, the daughter - will be buried tomorrow at Forest Lawn Memorial Park. Services before the burial will be private, according to the Forest Lawn Mortuary, for the two victims of slaying and the suicide who followed her mother and brother in death.

The family was wiped out as a result of what police have termed a sudden frenzy early Tuesday morning in the expensive Judd home at 2120 Monterey Road, South Pasadena.

Police who broke down two doors to enter the home shortly after midnight - in answer to a gasp for help uttered to a telephone operator - found Mrs Judd already dead of bullet wounds, Albert Judd, locked in his room, dying of another bullet wound, and Virginia Judd, sprawled in a doorway between the dining room and breakfast room, dying of multiple stab wounds. Under the dining room table was the family dog, also dying.

As Police Chief Clifton J Brown reconstructed events, Virginia - in ill health since an operation in 1947 - had shot her mother as the elderly woman prepared for bed in an upstairs room, then wounded her brother when he dashed up the stairs to investigate the noises.

Afterward, Chief Brown theorized, Virginia shot the family poodle and, her ammunition exhausted, seized upon a steak knife and hacked her own throat, face and chest.

Mrs Judd was killed instantly, Albert Judd died later the same day.

And Virginia, who died Wednesday, lingered only long enough to admit to Chief Brown that it was she who had attacked the family in the bizarre incident.

Los Angeles Times, December 4, 1953