Murders of serial killer Judy Buenoano investigated on ID’s The Black Widow

Mugshot of Judy Buenoano
Judy Buenoano was executed for murdering her husband, James Goodyear, and her son, Michael Goodyear. Pic credit: FL Dept. of Corrections

The Black Widow (ID) is examining the horrendous crimes of serial killer Judy Buenoana who was convicted of murdering her husband, James Goodyear, and her son, Michael Goodyear, and the attempted murder of her boyfriend, John Gentry.

When her crimes finally came to light, a Florida prosecutor nicknamed her The Black Widow because she preyed on her mates and young.

Buenoano’s known crimes began in 1971, but she first came to the attention of the cops in 1983 when her boyfriend, Gentry, survived a car bombing in downtown Pensacola, FL.

Gentry told the cops that his girlfriend had given him “vitamin” tablets, which had made him so ill that he had been hospitalized. Thankfully, he recovered, but he was soon back in the hospital after his car exploded.

A search of Buenoano’s home revealed that she had constructed the bomb. The pair had taken out a life insurance policy that meant Buenoano would have received $500,000 on Gentry’s death.

The investigation caused the cops to look at two more mysterious deaths connected to Buenoano. Her husband, US Air Force officer James Goodyear returned from a tour of duty in Vietnam in 1971, and a short time later, he fell ill with a mysterious illness. After his death, his wife pocketed large amounts of cash from various life insurance policies. The cops would later conclude that she had poisoned him.

Bobby Joe Morris is another suspected victim of the Black Widow. The pair began dating in 1972 and moved to Colorado; however, in 1978, Morris started to exhibit the same strange symptoms that had affected James Goodyear; he died a short time later.

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Buenoano also poisoned her own son, Michael Goodyear. Michael was a healthy young man who joined the army in 1979; however, a short time later, he was struck with a strange illness that affected his limbs. On his release from the hospital, he was forced to wear leg braces and was placed into the care of his mother.

In 1980, Buenoano took her disabled son canoeing. At some point, the canoe capsized, and poor Michael drowned after his leg braces weighed him down, pulling him under the water. Once again, Buenoano benefitted from hefty life insurance payouts.

Judy Buenoano was sent to the electric chair

In the mid-1980’s courts in Florida convicted Buenoano of the murders of James and Michael Goodyear, and of the attempted murder of John Gentry. She was sentenced to be executed.

She was not convicted of the Morris murder as Colorado decided not to prosecute.

Buenoana spent 13 years on death row before she was executed by electric chair in March 1998. She was the first woman to be executed in Florida since 1848.

She maintained that she was innocent right to the end and shortly before her death said: “I have eternal security and I know that when I die I will go straight to heaven and I will see Jesus.”

More from Investigation Discovery

Follow the links to read about more horrendous serial killers profiled on ID.

Killer Ed Gein lived in a real-life house of horrors on a remote farm in Wisconsin, where he skinned his victims and made furniture out of body parts. Gein was the inspiration behind many of Hollywood’s most gruesome characters, including Psycho’s Norman Bates and Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Eli Stutzman, aka The Amish Serial Killer, was convicted of killing his roommate Glen Pritchett, in Texas, in 1985.  But he is suspected of killing many more, including his own son, 9-year-old son Daniel Stutzman.

The Black Widow (ID) airs at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.

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