Monday, March 28, 2016

Grand Rapids’ Murder-Suicide

Warren and Virginia Randall moved into the old Judd-White mansion in 1907. This home at one time was a lavish property in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan. But by the turn of the century, it was in a state of disrepair for it had been used as a boarding house for several years.

Downtown Grand Rapids turn of the 20th century.

Warren Randall had a steady job as a brakeman for the G.R. and Indiana Railroad. He and his wife were happy. A bad accident would change this.

Warren was involved in an accident at the rail yard. He tragically lost his leg. He now was home a lot. He could no longer work for he walked with a wooden leg. His self-esteem took a drastic plunge.

He became convinced his wife was seeing other men. He accused Virginia of having affairs. Virginia denied these accusations, which caused arguments. The local police were called out to break up these heated fights on several occasions.

At one point, the cops found Warren chasing Virginia down an alley with a straight razor in his hand. Several months later in the summer of 1910, Virginia left Warren.

Contrite, he tried to coax Virginia back, however, she stayed away. But he did manage to convince her to take a buggy ride with him one late afternoon. The couple ended up back at the Judd-White mansion where they argued once more. This fight escalated out of control.

Warren removed his wooden leg and beat Virginia with it until she lay unconscious in one bedroom. He then stuffed towels into all the cracks in the room and tore a gas light fixture off the wall. Deadly fumes invaded the bedroom.

Not leaving anything to chance, Warren slashed his throat with the same straight razor he had held as he chased Virginia down the alley. Neither Warren nor Virginia were reported as missing.

Two weeks after the Randall’s final fight, workers at a nearby business began to complain to the health department about a foul stench coming from the mansion. Officials from the gas company were sent out to investigate.

They broke into the home and discovered the sealed off bedroom. The Randall corpses were then found. However, they were in such an advanced state of decay they were only identified by Warren’s wooden leg.

The mansion because of the murder-suicide was never occupied again.

For over a decade, neighbors became convinced the house was haunted. Witnesses reported seeing strange lights and hearing loud noises coming from the home.

People stated they heard a woman's voice, presumably Virginia’s, begging for mercy. Others reported hearing the sounds of Warren’s wooden leg thumping through the home.

The children who grew up in the neighborhood remembered they were warned to stay away from the old mansion.

Bell Telephone Company
This house was torn down in the early 1920s. The Bell Telephone Company built offices on the lot in 1924. They have occupied this space since.

Despite the fact, the mansion no longer stands it appears these two ghosts have remained. For decades, this company has claimed their offices are haunted.

One common occurrence has annoyed many of the local residents.

According to an article by Troy Taylor, these local residents are awakened by a phone call in the middle of the night only to hear nothing on the line. All of these calls have been traced back to the offices that reside on the Judd-White lot.

Workers are never in this building this late at night.

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