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Uden statement, sentencing resolve some old questions, but others still unanswered
Nov 7, 2013 - By Eric Blom, Staff Writer
Gerald Uden told a court Friday where he hid the bodies of his three first-degree murder victims 33 years ago -- ex-wife Virginia Uden and their sons, Richard and Reagan. That mystery was probably the biggest unanswered question in his case up to that point.
Other questions, however, still have not been resolved.
Was Alice Uden, Gerald Uden's current wife, involved in the deaths of Virginia Uden and her sons?
The question stems from the similarities in the Udens' homicides and the homicide of Ronald Holtz, Alice's ex-husband.
Alice was married to Gerald at the time of Virginia Uden's disappearance, and Alice is accused of killing Holtz roughly five years earlier. Prosecutors allege Alice hid Holtz's body in a gold mine shaft, and Gerald said he also originally hid the bodies of Virginia, Richard and Reagan in a gold mine shaft.
Alice Uden was arrested in Missouri the day before Gerald Uden was. She is now in Cheyenne being prosecuted for the death of Holtz.
How did Virginia's station wagon get to Trout Creek Canyon?
Investigators found the blood-stained vehicle abandoned high in the Wind River Mountains more than 40 miles from the scene of the crime.
Law enforcement officials think two people must have been involved, one to drive the station wagon and a second in another vehicle to take the first person home.
During his public statement in court required under the plea agreement that spared his life, Gerald Uden said Alice Uden was not involved in the three local homicides -- meaning, presumably, that she did not help him move and hide the station wagon.
How did Gerald plan to kill Virginia and the boys?
In court, Gerald said he planned to kill the three on Sept. 12, 1980, when they met up. But he said he did not ask his ex-wife to bring the .22-caliber rifle he used to murder the victims. What did he intend to do if he did not know he would have the weapon?
For years, the official account of the case stated that Gerald Uden asked Virginia to bring the gun with her, suggesting that he meant to use that gun all along.
Why did Gerald confess?
The Uden case had long been considered "cold." Law enforcement officials had not indicated that they received any new evidence in Gerald's case before Sept. 27. But on that day, he told investigators he killed Virginia and the two boys. Charges were filed, and he was arrested in Missouri. Alice was arrested the day before, a month after authorities unearthed Holtz's body.
Since his interview with law enforcement, Gerald has not defended himself in court.
Now 71 years old, he might well have been able to conceal his secret for the rest of his life had he not confessed in September.