At first glance, Judy Buenoano appears fairly unremarkable. But the frail, bespectacled woman you see above was also known by another, more sinister name - ‘The Black Widow’. Her first victim was Buenoano’s own husband, James Goodyear, who died suspiciously in 1971 just months after returning from the Vietnam War. 5 days after his death, Buenoano cashed in on his 3 life insurance policies, and life continued as normal. Exhumed 12 years later, Goodyear’s body was found to contain lethal levels of arsenic. Buenoano did not look far for her second victim, and new boyfriend Bobby Joe Morris was the next to come down with a mysterious illness in 1978. When he succumbed to his symptoms, his death was attributed to cardiac arrest, although later tissue analysis would again point to severe arsenic poisoning. Just as before, Buenoano made sure to cash in on her boyfriend’s untimely demise.
2 years later, Buenoano’s attentions would turn to her own flesh and blood, and her paraplegic son Michael drowned in a canoeing accident, which his mother and younger brother managed to survive. Post-mortem examination would once more point to arsenic poisoning, the extent of which is believed to have caused Michael’s illness and subsequent disability, only appearing late into his teens. Despite this series of events, and the $240,000 haul she had now acquired, Buenoano was not a suspect in any murder until 1983, when her fiancé John Gentry miraculously survived a car bomb. During the investigation, Gentry told police about the ‘vitamin pills’ she had been giving him which were making him sick. These pills turned out to be a lethal concoction of arsenic and formaldehyde.
With that, Buenoano’s decade of crime was over, and the bodies of her previous victims were exhumed, revealing the truth behind their tragic deaths. Arrested for the murder of James Goodyear, her son Michael, and the attempted murder of John Gentry, she was found guilty in 1985. 13 years later, she would pay the ultimate price for her crimes, and was executed by electric chair.