Murder conviction for 75-year-old Missouri woman some 40 years later

Careful of the past, you never know when it might catch up with you. For 75-year-old Alice Uden, the day of reckoning has come: Uden has been tried and convicted of killing her former husband, a deed the Missouri woman committed some 40 years ago. In a strange twist of fate, the cold case of Uden has been linked to a second murder by her current husband of his family.

Uden admits she killed Holtz

Uden admitted to the court that she indeed shot and killed her husband, Ron Holtz, in either late 1974 or early 1975 in Wyoming, when she claimed that he was about to attack her then-2-year-old daughter. A perhaps damning piece of evidence is that Uden filed for divorce after she shot and killed her husband. Other tape recordings of Uden’s earliest confession suggest that she may have shot and killed Holtz while he slept.

In detailing the crime, Alice Uden told police that after she killed the 24-year-old Holtz, she emptied a Christmas storage barrel, put his body in there and took it to Remount Ranch in Wyoming to dispose of. The cattle ranch is a location where the couple had worked as caretakers.

Finding the body and the uncovering of two murders

According to NBC News, the remains of Ronald Holtz were located on a small cattle farm between Larramie and Cheyenne, Wyoming, in a derelict mine shaft on the property. The body of her husband was found in Wyoming last summer, and Uden was arrested for the murder while living in Missouri. She stood trial at the Laramie County District Courthouse in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Strangely enough, Uden’s current husband, Gerald Uden, 71, has been charged with the death of his own ex-wife and two children in 1980. The Uden couple had been living quietly in the Ozark Mountains, near Springfield, Missouri, before the two cold cases were broken.

Guilty conviction and sentence

At the age of 75, the guilty conviction will likely place Uden in prison, probably for her natural life. However, she escaped the more serious first degree murder charge, which does indeed guarantee a life sentence. Uden received a guilty verdict for second degree murder, which carries a possible 20-year sentence, which was harsher than the voluntary manslaughter charge Uden’s lawyer had sought, according to the New York Daily News.

Noted District Attorney Scott Homar: “We are pleased with the verdict. The jury made it clear that they believe that she at least purposely and maliciously killed the victim in this matter.” Deliberations over Uden’s guilt and the degree of the crime took some 13 hours over two days. Uden’s Attorney Donald Miller plans to appeal.

Heartbreaking courtroom scene

Testimony in the trial against Alice Uden came from one of her children, a son Todd Scott, who told the court that his mother had confessed to him that she shot Holtz in 1974 while he was sleeping. At one point, he turned to his mother, frail and in a wheelchair, and said, “I hate you.”