|Please send letters supporting clemency for Judy Henderson to:
Honorable Eric Greitens, Governor
State of Missouri
PO Box 720
Jefferson City MO 65102
Judy Henderson has served 35 years in prison for
a murder committed by her boyfriend in 1981.
Her trial judge noted in the "Extenuating
Circumstances" portion of his report that Judy
"... an accomplice in the capital felony committed
by another person and her participation was
The "other person" - the man who pulled the
trigger - was acquitted; his co-conspirator was
given immunity and testified at both trials. Judy,
who admits that she led the victim to the location
of what she believed would be a "robbery by
intimidation," became the only one of the three
participants to be convicted.
Judy was sentenced to Life without Parole for a
minimum of 50 years. She is now 68 years old.
|Photo (above) taken for article that can be viewed at
|4-H Life Visit
October 15, 2011
Judy with daughter Angel
and grandchildren Jordan and Jarred
|Judy's supporters include current and former State Senators and Representatives; judges;
lawyers; a former County Prosecutor; a former Federal Probation Officer;
Prison Superintendents and guards; social workers; ministers;
and the news reporter who covered the crime and attended both trials.
Excerpts from some of the letters they have written to the Governor's office over the years:
Don Clough, Retired: Former Greene County Associate Circuit Judge, former Taney County Chief Prosecutor:
"There is a cassette taped transcript of the oral arguments from Judy's 8th Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. One of the
three (3) judges on the panel asked the Attorney General if he felt there was a possibility of 'sandbagging' going on in her
case. The Assistant Attorney General answered, "that is a possibility.'"
"I discussed [Judy's] case with the Governor [Carnahan] on several occasions...The result of these discussions was that he
felt that Judy was entitled to relief and that he was inclined to give her request [for clemency] a favorable ruling at the
appropriate time...I decided to give the Governor as much time as he needed ... As you know Mel was killed in a plane
wreck before making a favorable ruling on Judy's petition."
Mike St. Vrain, former Federal Probation Office: "This woman has undergone change and growth during the 30 [plus]
years ofher incarceration...I firmly believe releasing Judy Henderson and allowing her to return to the community will be a
positive experience for all parties. She has the support and love of her family, and Judy will be a law abiding citizen who will
cherish and appreciate her freedom."
Dale Whiteside, State Representative District 7 (retired): "I have been visiting Judy ... over the past 10 years, here at
our Chillicothe prison. I probably know Judy Henderson about as well as anyone and Marilou and I will continue to support
her in anyway we can after her release. She has an excellent home plan and support group to assist her after she is released."
Robert Ramsey, Attorney at Law: "Unfortunately, the inadvertence of the trial court, coupled with the malevolent
intentions of the conflicted trial attorney, resulted in a tragic miscarriage of justice wherein the more culpable defendant,
Greg Cruzen, was able to manipulate the legal system and be unjustly rewarded with an acquittal. The other obvious
participant of this robbery/murder, Don Littlejohn, was able to procure a great immunity."
Pastor Bob Thornton, Harvest Tabernacle, Lebanon, Missouri: "I attended Judy's trial and have stayed in contact with
her since. I also officiated the funeral of her mother and step-father, Tessie and Larry Hines. The chaplain at Chillicothe
Correctional Center told me that Judy has been a model citizen and a very good example to all the other women there."
James L. Rogers, Patriarch, RLDS Church, Independence, Missouri: "My congregation and myself will do whatever
we can to help Judy upon her release, whether it be a job, home plan or any other need."
Mike Lair, State Representative, District 7, Chillicothe, Missouri: "Judy ... has taken advantage of every educational
and self-improvement program available to her. Additionally, she has created a home support system that will help her
reenter society in a successful fashion."
Karen Backues, Offender at Chillicothe Correctional Center: Judy is a role model and an inspiration to me. She carries
herself with the highest integrity and shows compassion in a way that can only be explained by life's lesson. She is well
respected by both offenders and staff. Judy is a true leader and has given me emotional, spiritual and for a loack of better
words, ethical advice thqat has helped me strive to be the best person I can be. I believe Judy's contributions to society are
unlimited and I am blessed to have her in my life as a mentor.
JoElla Sartin, Sister: I would like you to know that Judy was my role model growing up. Prior to her incarceration, she
was a very well respected businesswoman. I grew up wanting to portray her professional mannerisms. As a result of Judy's
mentoring me through high school and college, I was able to focus on the ability to become a successful business woman
today. During her 30 years of being incarcerated, Judy continues to amaze me with her drive to succeed. Her continued
desire to be professional and active in helping others serve their time meaningful says a lot about her true character.
Elise Crain, retired construction executive and former member of the Missouri Commission on Human Rights:
"[Judy] is the example of making lemonade from lemons. She is a mentor and a leader. Her enthusiasm is contagious. I am
always in a good mood when we visit via telephone and in person. We have a place for her to live while she is getting on her
Paula Gott, retired insurance industry executive: "What can't be seen ... is the unselfish work [Judy] does for others in
spite of the limitations of her confinement. She sends a portion of her meager earnings to various charities, and she has
organized and participated in a multitude of fund raisers for charitable causes. She is an inspiration, and I do my best to
imitate her generosity and attitude toward life."
Partial list of other supporters:
Judge Don L. Wolff, Wolff & D'Agrosa, St. Louis Missouri
Judge Michael A. Wolff, Missouri Supreme Court (retired)
Bryan Goeke, Superintendent, Renz Correctional Center (retired)
John J. Ammann, Attorney at Law, Saint Louis University
Shannon Norman, Attorney at Law, St. Louis, Missouri
Mary Neff, Attorney at Law, St. Louis, Missouri
Nick Zotos, Attorney at Law, St. Louis, Missouri
Judy Cromwell, Attorney at Law, St. Louis, Missouri
Errol Copilevitz, Attorney at Law, Kansas City, Missouri.
James Bartimus, Attorney at Law, Kansas City, Missouri.
Louise Bauschard, LCSW
Beckie Ponder and Reva Carr, former prison guards.
Barbara Clauser, Springfield News-Leader (retired)
State Representatives (past and present):
Paul Quinn, District 9
Beth Long, District 146
George T. Kelly, District 130
Bill Boucher, District 46
Cindy Ostmann, District 14
John Quinn, District 7
Roy W. Holand, District 135
Carson Ross, District 55
Sam Gaskill, District 31
Susan Phillips, District 32
Merrill Townley, District 112
Peter C. Myers, Sr. District 160
Judy Berkstresser, District 141
Estel Robirds, District 143
Annie Reinhart, District 34
Lane Cunningham, District 86
Martin Hohulin, District 126
Ronnie Miller, District 133
Patrick A. Naeger, District 155
Fred Pouche, District 30
Dozens of inmates have taken the time to write to Judy after their release. This is just one example:
I didn't want to leave without telling you good by and telling you how I've appreciated your presence in
my life. You have inspired me throughout the years and gave me hope when at times I didn't have
any. Your (smile) in spite of your circumstances gave me that hope, that if you could muster up a smile
to help someone else get through their day, then I could surely make it through. Thank you for always
holding me in high esteem no matter what you seen me go through and helping me no matter what.
You have been like another mother to me and I want you to know that I have much respect for you and
I will never ever forget you! You are definitely beautiful inside and out and a woman who has style and
I love You and I'll Miss You,