The image most people have of serial killers is often much more terrifying on the surface than it is in reality. For the most part, serial killers look like ordinary people.

They have their own lives, hobbies, and jobs, and in their downtime, they plan murders and kill people.

To them, it’s just another part of life, like a chore that they feel compelled to do or are so used to from twisted perceptions in their youth that there is no second thought about it.

It’s easier to process the acts of a true monster if they look the part. Unfortunately, that’s rarely the case. 

We often come to learn about serial killers long after they have been caught and committed. We understand their histories and motivations and how irredeemable they were for doing what they did.

Judy Buenoano, for example, killed her husband and boyfriends and her son and seemed to have a plan to kill just about everyone she met for easy insurance money.

She ruthlessly murdered so many people without a second thought, earning her the name “Black Widow,” despite looking like an ordinary, unassuming housewife most of the time.


10 /10 Born And Razed

Judy was born Judias Wetly in Texas to a moderate family of three siblings.

Her mother died when she was only two, and her father sent her and her younger brother Robert to live with her grandparents until their father remarried and moved them all to New Mexico.

Her formative youth took a much darker turn, which may have influenced her later actions.

9 /10 Youth In Action

Judias allegedly suffered a great deal of abuse from her father and stepmother. They treated her like a slave, starving her and forcing her to work in the house more than youth could do.

She finally retaliated when she was 14 and struck her parents and stepbrothers.

She was imprisoned for two months and went to a reform school instead of the back home until she graduated. She was already pregnant and had a child out of wedlock, her first son Michael.


8 /10 Mrs. Goodyear

Once out with a kid in two, she met and married US Air Force sergeant James Goodyear in 1962. They lived in Orlando and raised a son, James Jr, and daughter Kimberly.

Everything seemed to go smoothly for Judy, who had lived an embattled life until the Vietnam War broke out, and James was deployed to active duty overseas. When he returned home, she was markedly less happy than expected.

7 /10 Fortunate Wife

James Sr. started to develop odd symptoms after returning home from Vietnam, which was initially assumed to be an exotic illness of some kind.

It escalated to the point where he was admitted to a hospital and died in 1971.

Judy collected money from his military insurance policies and went back to their home – but not for long because their house burned down from mysterious circumstances later that same year.

Fortunately, she had an insurance claim which she collected and was able to resettle.

6 /10 Good A-Word

Judy changed her name from Goodyear to Bureanoano, which she thought meant “Good Year” in Spanish, but meant “Good Anus.”

Either ignorant to that or accepting her misstep, she went on her way as her children matured and met and moved in with Bobby Joe Morris in Colorado.

They met in 1973, dated for a few years, and then he died of strange poison-like symptoms in 1978 after being close to Judy for all those years.

5 /10 The Badyears

Judy’s first son Michael, perhaps inspired by his step-father, went to join the Army. However, just before he got there or formally served, he developed severe sickness that the doctors assessed was in line with arsenic poisoning.

He hadn’t been in contact with arsenic or sources of it to his knowledge and was sent back home.

His muscles started to give out, and eventually, he developed partial paralysis and could only walk with the aid of metal braces. But he survived…

4 /10 Florida Boating

In 1980, Judy took her sons out on the Florida East River for some canoeing, a year after Michael was sent home from the Army, to help take his mind off things.

Unfortunately, the canoe flipped over. Michael still had his metal braces on, weighing him down and dropping him into the deep water.

Judy and James Jr. were able to get to shore okay, but Michael didn’t survive. Judy collected his Army insurance money and opened a beauty salon shortly after.

3 /10 Special Vitamins

After a very brief affair with Geral Dossett, which ended when he died, she met and got engaged to John Gentry, a Florida businessman.

Along with the engagement, Judy convinced him that they should take out life insurance policies if they can’t live their forever love dream.

You should see where this is going now. John got sick and went to the hospital, where it was believed he had arsenic poisoning.

The only thing he ate differently after meeting Judy was the particular vitamins that she made and gave to every man she’d ever been with, as well as her son.

U.S. District Court

2 /10 Black Widow

John recovered after abstaining from Judy’s vitamins for a time. Then, in 1983, his car exploded. This prompted an investigation into all possible causes, including spousal sabotage as a mere standard of investigation.

The police detected many discrepancies with Judy’s testimonies, and they found her particular vitamins, which were laced with arsenic.

Authorities exhumed the remains of her son, first husband, and former boyfriend Bobby Joe and determined that all three died or suffered from arsenic poisoning.


1 /10 Florida Death Row

Judy was convicted of multiple counts of murder, including the attempted murder of Gentry, grand theft, and arson, all of which produced the means she lived on for years.

She was given simultaneous life and death sentences for her first husband and son. She was alleged to participate in other murders in 1974 and the death of Gerald Dossett, but these were never proven.

By the time they discovered Bobby Joe’s death as well, she was already awaiting execution.

She was executed in 1998 at 54 years old – the first woman executed by the state since 1848 and the third execution in the US since the penalty was reinstated in 1976.

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