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article image75-year-old woman faces life behind bars as 2 cold cases solved

By Anne Sewell     May 9, 2014 in Crime
Cheyenne - Two cold cases have recently been solved. In one, a 75-year-old Missouri woman has been found guilty of second-degree murder Thursday for killing her husband back in the 1970s. In the second, her husband faces charges for killing his wife and two sons.
Jurors in Cheyenne, Wyo. have been deliberating on the evidence against Alice Uden for 13 hours over a two-day period, but on Thursday the guilty verdict was unanimous. Sentencing will take place on a later date, but Uden is now facing a possibility of 20 years to life behind bars for the murder of her former husband, Ronald Holtz.
Uden, who appeared with a grim expression in court, defended her actions, stating that she was protecting their two-year-old daughter from her husband’s attack. Her attorney, Donald Miller, said he plans to appeal the decision.
It was a cold case until investigators discovered Ronald Holtz’s remains last summer, in an abandoned mine shaft on a cattle ranch between Laramie and Cheyenne. This discovery led to the arrest in September of Uden and her current husband, who has separately been charged with killing his own wife and her two children.
Apparently police had never before linked the two cold cases, which have now led to the arrest of the couple, who were living quietly in the rural Ozarks near Springfield, Mo.
In her testimony, Uden said she shot Holtz in the head in late 1974 or early 1975, to prevent him attacking their two-year-old daughter, but prosecutors state on the evidence that she shot Holtz while he was sleeping.
According to Uden she then emptied a 55-gallon cardboard barrel, which had contained Christmas decorations, and stuffed Holtz’s body inside. Uden then drove to the ranch where the body has eventually been found, to dispose of the barrel.
Reportedly Uden met Holtz, who was her third husband, when working as a nurse in a Veterans Administration hospital in Sheridan. According to hospital records, Holtz had a long history of violent outbursts and drug abuse.
Uden’s lawyer said in his closing argument that, “He was extremely violent, unpredictable and impulsive.”
According to Uden, Holtz became abusive soon after they were married in September 1974 and that one morning he flew into a rage after working as a taxi driver at night. Uden’s daughter started crying as he tried to go to sleep and he lost his temper. She said Holtz knocked her down while raging towards the child’s bedroom and Uden grabbed a.22-caliber rifle and shot Holtz, as he stood over the toddler’s crib.
Another damning piece of evidence was a returned envelope, containing divorce papers in a case initiated by Uden, pictured below. Uden has been accused of filing the divorce papers after she had already killed Holtz.
Alice Uden is accused of filing divorce papers after she murdered her husband.
Alice Uden is accused of filing divorce papers after she murdered her husband.
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In the other case of Gerald Uden, 71, her current husband, he has pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree murder. The case dates back to when he shot his ex-wife, Virginia Uden, and her two sons back in 1980 in central Wyoming.
While it is unclear when Alice and Gerald Uden actually met, she did testify that she married him in November 1976, which was five months after Gerald was legally separated from Virginia Uden.
According to Gerald Uden, life with Virginia Uden had become “intolerable,” and he testified in court that she “did her very best to split Alice and me apart,” adding, “She used the boys to do that.”
After living out most of their old age in peace, the couple will now face the consequences of past actions.
More about Wyoming, Alice Uden, Gerald Uden, Ronald HOltz, Murder
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