James Mease journal  1835; 1841
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Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection is made up of correspondence, legal documents, and newspaper clippings related to Winnie Ruth Judd and George W. Stephens. Judd was sentenced to death after being found guilty of the murder of her friend and roommate Agnes LeRoi, but avoided capital punishment after being declared insane at a later trial. The focus of the collection is on Judd's mental health and her second trial.

The Correspondence series consists of incoming and outgoing letters of George W. Stephens (24) and Winnie Ruth Judd (5). Stephens, superintendent of the Arizona State Hospital, sent and received 24 letters in the early 1930s. On June 13 and November 4, 1931, he wrote to George S. Adams of Yorkton State Hospital in South Dakota, discussing his salary, hospital funding, and his involvement as a witness in a murder trial. The remaining items are letters that Stephens received from various correspondents about his involvement with the Judd trial and his work at the hospital. Some criticized Stephens for testifying on behalf of Judd at her insanity trial and otherwise discussed the mental health aspects of the case. One correspondent suggested that exposure to aluminum had contributed to Judd's insanity (February 10, 1932), and a longtime acquaintance of the Judd family suggested that Winnie had always been slightly unstable (April 15, 1933). Additional items include a lengthy letter from Juanita Rose Baker, possibly a patient at the Napa State Hospital in Imola, California (January 30, 1932), and an open letter from H. C. Reichenbach of Detroit, Michigan, to the "Supreme Justice" about the religious aspects of capital punishment (April 16-17, 1933).

Winnie Ruth Judd wrote letters to George W. Stephens on October 17 and December 30, 1932. She complained of her poor treatment by "Dr. Stewart," including her imprisonment in a "death cell" where she could hear executions, and thanked Stephens for his assistance in her case. In letters to H. Richardson (October 26, 1932) and her husband, William C. Judd ([December 7, 1932]), she discussed her many health problems and related treatments. Judd received an unsigned letter of support dated December 12, 1932.

The Legal Documents series (13 items) contains materials related to Winnie Ruth Judd's physical and mental health around the time of her murder and insanity trials. Some items mention family members' own mental health issues. Items include a judge's decision regarding Judd's initial appeal of her conviction and sentence (December 12, 1932), and undated transcripts of testimonies by Dr. H. E. Pinkerton and George W. Stephens, both of whom believed that Judd suffered from dementia praecox.

The Newspaper Clippings and Other Printed Items series (37 items) is made up of articles related to the murders of Agnes LeRoi and Hedvig Samuelson and to Winnie Ruth Judd's trials. The materials cover several aspects of the case, including initial reports of the murders, lawyers and other legal personnel involved in Judd's trials, and trial proceedings and judgments. Some materials concern Jack Halloran, a Phoenix businessman and acquaintance of the three women who may have been involved in the murders. Included is Burton McKinnell's printed defense of his sister, entitled "The Truth About Winnie Ruth Judd."

The Photograph is a studio portrait of a young boy.

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