Judith File was found murdered in her Oklahoma City area apartment on January 5, 1963. She was nineteen years old.

The last time Judith was known to have been alive was approximately 7:30pm on January 4th when her roommate and a friend of her roommate’s left to go out on the town. Her mother would state that she stopped by Judith’s apartment around 10:30pm that evening, knocking on the door before leaving because no one answered. The roommate would later report that Judith had stayed home, stating that she wasn’t feeling well. However, when the roommate and friend returned home around midnight, they discovered Judith dead in her bed. She had been brutally beaten and stabbed repeatedly in the chest and neck, raped, and then set on fire. The knife that was used to kill Judith was taken from her kitchen, and had been left behind. The back door to the apartment was found open, but there were no signs of forced entry.

Within weeks the police had several suspects and began conducting lie detector tests, however nothing much seemed to come of it.

Then in January 1964, police reported to the media that they believed Judith’s murder might have been connected to the murder of a woman in Amarillo. The Amarillo police even had a suspect for that murder, a 55 year old transient man. In fact, this man was even looked into as a suspect in the 1959 murder of Fern Romero in Lawton (a case that remains unsolved even today). Given that no other mention of Judith occurs in the papers until March 1965, this man apparently proved to be not the person who committed the crime. In the March 1965 article, we hear from Judith’s father- stating he had all but ruined himself in pursuit of answers for his daughter’s murder. By December of the same year an article stated that while numerous suspects had been looked into, nothing had panned out. One Oklahoma City man had even confessed to the killing, but later told police he only did so to impress his wife. At this point, police state that Judith’s case had received more dedication and man hours than any other in recent city history. They also stated they had a composite of a man that was seen in the vicinity of the apartment complex on the night of the killing, This composite was never made public as far as I can tell.

Eventually, a man named Charles Autry would be charged in Judith’s murder, however he would be found not guilty of the murder in 1969.

To date no one else has ever been charged in the brutal murder of young Judith File


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