Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Lyda May Trueblood: Murderer And Black Widow

Lyda May Trueblood was born 16 Oct 1892 in Keytesville, MO to William Jefferson Trueblood (1864-1928) and Elizabeth Laura Drinkard (1869-1940). William was a farmer and he and Elizabeth had six children.

1) Olivier Franklin Trueblood 1887-1949
2) Blanche May Trueblood 1889-1962
3) Lyda May Trueblood 1892-1958
4) Ray Edward Trueblood 1896-
5) Beulah Edith Trueblood 1900-1993
6) William Trueblood 1901-

Inmate #3052 Idaho State Prison


#1 Robert C Dooley (1887-1915) married 17 Mar 1912 Twin Falls, ID
#2 William Gordon McHaffle (1889-1918) Married 20 Dec 1916 Twin Falls, ID
#3 Harlon Charles Lewis (1885-1919) Married in 1919
#4 Edward Meyer married 10 Aug 1920 in Bunnock, ID
#5 Paul Vincent Southard (1894-1952) Married 28 Nov 1920 Los Angeles, CA
#6 Benjamin Harrison Whitlock (1888-1965) Married March 1932
#7 Hal Shaw (1892-) Married 1950

Her Victims:

Husband Insurance Money
Robert Dooley $4,600
William McHaffle $500
Harlan Lewis $3,000
Ed Myer $10,000
Paul V. Southard $10,000

She collected over $7,000

Other victims:
Brother-in-law Edward Dooley
Daughter Lorraine Marie Dooley 1913-1915

Photo of her cutie little daughter below

Here's some newspaper articles and photos

She escaped from prison:

Lyda was sentenced to 10 years to life in the state penitentiary in Boise. She occupied one of the few cells in the women's quarters of the old pen until her escape a decade later. Lyda managed to charm prison trustee David Minton, a machinist imprisoned for theft, 4 May 1931.

On the run Lyda Trueblood  become Mrs. Harry Whitlock in Denver, and continued to elude police until she was captured in July 1932. She was returned to her cell in the old pen and remained there until she was paroled in October 1941.

Except for a picnic the warden let her go on and he was dismissed promptly.

When she was paroled from prison she went to live with her sister.

Lyda died 5 Feb 1958 in Salt Lake City, UT

Her grandfather Benjamin Franklin Trueblood was a Quaker and he  he was also a Civil War Veteran He died in 1905.

Benjamin Franklin Trueblood

Benjamin's father was William Jefferson Trueblood also a Quaker.

William Jefferson Trueblood

I made her a tree, as I do all of whom I blog. I was impressed with her family tree lots of notable hard working people. I guess she was just money hungry sadly. People paid dearly for it including a chid that was innocent and sweet.


  1. Ben Trueblood wasn't a Quaker. The Truebloods left Quakerism starting with Caleb Trueblood (the older William's grandfather) when he left North Carolina for Indiana in the early 1800s. After that they were, at best, Christians.

    Ben Trueblood was best known as a bee keeper. His second and last wife died in the 1870s. After that he lived as a bachelor for 30 years. There is also strong evidence he suffered from syphilis as there are newspaper reports of him having incessant movements consistent with that disease.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this information. Feel free to use any of the material/records I believe I made her a tree on Ancestry as I do all the criminals I write about. I add all the records there too.