Wyoming is known for its vast expanses – and it’s a place where even a homicide secret could stretch for decades.
In 1976 Alice Prunty, a 37-year-old woman who had married three times and had five children, came to Fremont County, Wyoming for a fresh start. She found one with her neighbor Gerald Uden, a man who had also been divorced three times and was being deprived of Alice’s self-sufficiency.
Five months after the meeting, they married loudly oxygen series “Killer Couples”. “They bought a farm in Wyoming and made a living together.
In the summer of 1980, Gerald’s ex-wife Virginia Uden and their sons from another marriage, Richard (11) and Reagan (10), were the Gerald had adopted, moved to the same rural area. Your time there, however, would be short.
On September 13, 1980, Virginia and the boys were reported missing by their mother, Claire Martin, to the Fremont County Sheriff’s Department. The three were supposed to go bird hunting with Gerald, who said they never showed up to their meeting.
The car Virginia was driving, Claire’s station wagon, was found, however Mom and the boys were nowhere in sight. The mystery intensified when investigators found bullets and blood in the car.
Claire was convinced Gerald killed his ex-wife and sons, investigators told producers. The motif? Tensions over child benefit payments were suspected. Like Gerald, Alice was deeply angry about what she thought was Virginia’s money theft, according to officials.
On November 14, 1980, Gerald and Alice were questioned about the disappearance. Alice was emotionally overwhelmed while Gerald became physically ill from his ex-mother-in-law’s allegations and ended the interview.
Investigators said Gerald’s reaction sparked red flags. In addition, Gerald also cryptically asserted that no crime could be proven without corpses, officials said. Despite their suspicions, investigators could not find any evidence linking Gerald or Alice to the trio’s disappearance.
Years passed without any trace. In 1982, under police pressure and suspicion from the community, Gerald and Alice uprooted. They sold their farm and moved 1,100 miles to Chadwick, Missouri. Another dozen years passed and nothing new emerged in the case of the missing.
But in 1994, Alice’s son, Todd Scott, dropped a bomb on the authorities. He said his mother confessed to being involved in a murder – but not the deaths of Virginia and the boys. She said she killed her husband, Ronald Holtz, a fugitive vet in the Vietnam War who is prone to violence.
Their romance began in a mental hospital and their marriage was tumultuous from the start. She filed for divorce in 1974 and he allegedly left never to be seen again. Alice’s son said his mother told him she shot Ronald in the back of the head. Then she hid the body in a barrel and thrown it into an abandoned mine shaft.
Investigators dug deep to verify the terrifying story, and they also considered the possibility that Alice might have harmed Virginia and her sons. However, the search for the remains in the shaft encountered a wall, and the case went cold for another 11 years.
In early 2005, the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation reopened the case. On January 18, a task force made a surprise visit to Alice’s home in Missouri. Gerald had become a trucker and had been on the road for a long time.
Alice’s interview was cordial until she was confronted by the name Ronald Holtz. At that point, investigators said, “Killer Couples,” Alice half passed out from her chair.
Alice told officers that the so-called confession she told her son about Holtz was just “a cautionary story”. In fact, she claimed, she “kicked him on the curb … and pulled him on.” With no further evidence, the investigators ended the interview.
After interviewing Alice’s daughter Erica Hayes, investigators returned to the Udens farm in Wyoming to look for evidence. It was another line of investigation that went nowhere. The case stood still.
On April 4, 2013, Claire Martin died at the age of 92, fueling investigators’ determination to seek justice – and a A few months later, the authorities were given a break. A barrel with a human skeleton was recovered from the shaft Alice’s son had spoken of. The back of the head had a bullet hole. The discovery coincided with the story Alice had told about the disposal of Holtz’s body. The remains have been confirmed to be Holtz based on DNA evidence.
Alice Uden what arrested on September 26, 2013. The 74-year-old denied any guilt, but when investigators pressed her and showed her the pile of incriminating evidence, she walked in. She claimed to have killed Holtz because he threatened little Erica.
When asked for information about Virginia and the boys, Alice said she knew nothing about her disappearance. Alice was charged with first degree murder on the death of Holtz.
The case took another turn when Gerald told investigators that he wanted to speak to them. He said he doesn’t understand why they arrested Alice, officials told producers. He apparently believed she had been arrested for the murder of his ex-wife and their sons.
Gerald then went on to give an emotionless slap after slap like him shot Virginia, Richard and Reagan. The reason: He didn’t want to pay $ 150 a month child benefit. He put their bodies in barrels and sank them in Fremont Lake. He threw the gun away and tried unsuccessfully to get Claire’s car to drive over a cliff.
“I didn’t enjoy it, any,” he told authorities in a recording of “Killer Couples”. “But it stopped child support.” About 33 years after the disappearance, Gerald was charged with three first degree murder charges.
On November 1, 2013, Gerald Uden pleaded guilty to murdering Virginia, Richard, and Reagan. He received three life sentences.
Alice’s trial for the 1974 murder of Ronald Holtz began in May 2014. Based on testimony from her son Todd Scott, prosecutors were trying to determine that Holtz was in bed and sleeping when he was shot in the back of the head. The defense team countered, saying that Alice was acting in self-defense to protect her child.
Alice Uden was convicted of second degree murder. The jury believed that Alice had committed murder, but not that it was willful. She was sentenced to life in prison and died five years later behind bars.
Two days after her death, Gerald did retracted his confession and put the blame on Alice. In September 2019, the court denied his attempt to withdraw his admission of guilt.
To learn more about the case, check out “Killer Couples” on oxygen, or Steam episodes Here.