Originally Published: July 21, 2014 6 a.m.
Originally published in 1973, "Winnie Ruth Judd: The Trunk Murders," written by authors Jim Dobkins and Robert J. Hendricks, tells the historical story of an infamous Phoenix double murder, dismemberment, alleged accomplices, and Judd's subsequent high-profile trials.
Judd was accused on murdering two female friends in 1931, dismembering them and putting them in a trunk she brought with her from Phoenix to Los Angeles before she was apprehended.
The mystery of The Trunk Murders is now available for a new generation of true crime readers thanks to UCS Press, an imprint of Prescott-based MarJim Books, of which Dobkins is publisher.
"We presented the facts as they were revealed during the time," Dobkins said of the book's original publication. The current edition was released in late May.
On Saturday, July 26, Dobkins will sign books and talk about the Judd story, as well as his familial relations to the case, at the Chino Valley Library from 10:30 a.m. to noon.
Dobkins said he grew up hearing about Winnie Ruth Judd thanks to his father, who claimed he was a friend of hers. He told Dobkins he met Judd at her place of work, where he would go for lockjaw treatments.
"The treatment for it in those years was to use some kind of gauze-like material that was medicated and packed around your gums. They did that once or twice a week for quite a long time. They became friends," Dobkins said.
His father also helped Judd move into the apartment where she lived at the time of the trunk murders, explained Dobkins. Judd went on to become the subject of a number of non-fiction works, which detailed the plot of the case, as well as Judd's questionable sanity.
"I heard his stories off and on, but didn't know what to believe. My dad was a con man. He served six prison terms," Dobkins said. "In my whole life I maybe lived two and a half or three years with my dad here and there, but he wasn't a blatant pathological liar type of con man, he did things like trying to sell a large cattle ranch in California that wasn't his."
Photos found in the re-issued book belonged to members of the Dobkins family, including Dobkins uncle Herbert Green, a Phoenix policeman Dobkins said was involved in the initial investigation.
"When I saw the photos and started thinking about things, I got an urge to write it," Dobkins said.
The book is available online at Amazon.com and elsewhere. For more information, visit the UCS Press website at www.marjimbooks.com.