Woman, 75, gets life term for killing husband

Associated Press

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A judge in Wyoming sentenced a 75-year-old Missouri woman to life in prison on Monday for killing her husband with a rifle in the mid-1970s and throwing his body down the shaft of an abandoned gold mine, where it remained for nearly 40 years.

Defendant Alice Uden sobbed gently as she addressed the court about the death of her third husband, Ronald Holtz, then 25. "He was a very frightening man," she said

Uden killed Holtz in late 1974 or early 1975 in Cheyenne, where he was living with her and her 2-year-old daughter. Uden testified that she shot him with a rifle after he flew into a rage over the girl's crying and was inches away from attacking her in bed.

"This was very much a cold, calculated murder," Sharpe said. "The jury heard all of the evidence that was before the court and the jury rejected the defense that it was self-defense."

District Attorney Scott Homar argued the killing was a thoughtful, deliberate act that rid Uden of Holtz. "Her way out was to take Mr. Holtz's life while he was sleeping," Homar said.

Police arrested Uden and her fourth and current husband, Gerald Uden, 72, both of Chadwick, Missouri, last fall in southwest Missouri, accusing them of killing former spouses in separate attacks.

Gerald Uden has pleaded guilty to killing his ex-wife and her two sons in central Wyoming in 1980. Prosecutors have not drawn any link between the two cases.

At her trial, Alice Uden testified that she removed Christmas decorations from a large cardboard barrel and put Holtz's body inside. She wrestled the barrel into her trunk, she said, and dumped the barrel in an abandoned gold mine on a ranch between Cheyenne and Laramie.

One of Uden's sons, Todd Scott, testified at the trial that his mother told him decades ago that she had shot Holtz while he was asleep.

After previous, unsuccessful attempts to find Holtz's remains in the mine filled with the carcasses of cattle and other ranch animals, investigators last summer dug deeper in the vertical shaft and finally excavated Holtz's remains.

Prosecutors in the case against Gerald Uden said the bodies of 32-year-old Virginia Uden, and her two sons, 11-year-old Richard Uden and 10-year-old Reagan Uden, have yet to be found.

Gerald Uden told a Fremont County courtroom in November that he shot each of them with a rifle not far from his home, one after the other, and dumped their bodies in an abandoned mine.

Months later, he said, he retrieved the bodies and sank them in Fremont Lake in western Wyoming. Investigators briefly searched the deep lake for the bodies and say they plan a more comprehensive search soon.

Jurors at Alice Uden's trial were prohibited from hearing about Gerald Uden's case.


The court should have considered that this man was abusive and violent. She could not defend herself and her young daughter when he was attacking. He was bigger and stronger than she was. What would any of us do to protect our children from a person who presented a danger to them?

It seems odd that she killed her husband because he was going to kill the daughter and then she marries a man that was successful at killing his children. She should have been worried this new husband would kill her and her daughter.

No one REALLY knows what goes on behind closed doors! I would have found her NOT GUILTY! She had a child to take care of and if he was violent the baby was MORE IMPORTANT! Mother's protect kids!

I'm not sure why the jury didn't believe she feared for her life. Even if she shot him while he was asleep instead of in the midst of a brawl that doesn't prove that she didn't suffer from domestic violence. It seems very likely that she in fact did fear for her and her child's wellbeing and so she shot him as he sleep because otherwise he would have put up a fight and would have killed her!

What an absolutely charming couple. Murderers both. Wonder if they each slept with weapons available to protect themselves from the other. Or if they simply recounted cute little tales at dinner of dragging the bodies and dumping them.

He probably had it coming

Mrs. Uden's husband might have killed her before letter her get a divorce.

Nowadays it would have been self defense. They didn't have that in the 70's. You could rape your wife and that was ok. Women couldn't get a credit card in their name unless their husband said it was ok.

"Unattached spousal killer seeks like. Loves camping, hiking, cooking, and throwing bodies down gold mind."

Wonder how they could sleep in the same bed together at night?

Well, even if she spends her life in prison, I'm sure she will be treated well considering her age and heavens knows there are plenty of women there who were victims of physical and mental abuse who will truly empathize with her.

Delores Claiborne. Sounds like she was justified.

We were all probably better off with this guy down a well. Thank you, Alice.

Why the emphasis through out this article about them being shot with a rifle?

I wonder if Gerald helped Alice dispose of Ronald's body. It's not easy to move the dead weight of a body by one person, unless Alice was exceptionally strong when she was young.

I don't understand how a woman who was protecting her child from a very violent man;gets sentenced to life in prison. A man can kill his wife and family and get away with it. That doesn't seem fair.

If two murderers fell in love and married, maybe there's hope for those of us who are law-abiding and single.

Ever wonder how many people are buried in and around your neighborhood, other than in cemetaries? Fried green tomatoes the movie comes to mind. How many missing persons aren't missing at all, only well hidden. Ever wonder?

She'll probably go to a low security prison and be housed in the prison hospital.

Wow. These two should have worked for the Pentagon.

She shot a guy who threatened her child, good for her.

It is not unusual for a woman to end up on death row for premeditated murder for killing a man who is in the process of killing her.

If a woman is always getting beat up by her husband and she goes out and buys a gun and waits for her husband to come home and start beating her and then shoots and kills him, she is charged with premeditated murder because she went out and bought the gun and could have just walked away from the relationship instead. Of course the fact that the man could hunt her down and kill her is not even considered...

What story were you reading?

It was love at first sight when these two met at that abandoned mine shaft!

She was dealt a bad hand. She protected her daughter, the judge would have done the same thing.

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