1954 Henderson Farm Murder

On June 15, 1954, Ted Henderson was arrested for the murder of his wife Judi.

This statement, taken from the case reports regarding the event, explains what happened leading up to Ted's arrest.

The Hederson Family owned the farm and land since the mid 1800s. The owners were Ted Wilcox Henderson (age 41), Judi Henderson (wife, age 36) and Tracy Henderson (daughter, age 6).

On the morning of June 15th neighbors called the local police, complaing of screams, and the sounds of gun fire.

Sheriff Clint Denterman (age 54) and two deputies, Dan Parks (age 24) and Chris Fines (age 33) came to the farm at 8:34 am. The horses in the barn were torn apart, almost as if attacked by wild animals. Inside the main house reports said that there was blood all over the living room, kitchen, and hallway. 

Ted was found in the bed room, barricaded behind some furniture. Next to him was the body of his wife, killed by a shotgun blast to the chest. Ted still had the weapon in his hands. 

This description of the arrest was taken from Officer Dan Parks' report.

"Ted had a freaked out, far off look in his eyes. He seemed to not realize that we were in the room. We asked what happened. Where was his daughter. But he didn't answer." 

This photograph (click to enlarge) was retrieved from the house, revealing a man that experts agree is the one that Ted said attacked his farm and stole his child. It was reportedly taken eight days before the incident took place.

A recording of that discussion was released with the permission of the late Dr. Dauton's daughter Faye. A transcript is also provided for clarity. Ted was charged with the murder of his wife, and due to his mental state he was sent to Jenkins Mental Hospital. For almost a year and a half Ted did not speak. On the third anniversary of the murder, Ted spoke to Dr. Dauton about the events that happened that night three years ago.

Click here to listen to the audio recording.

From the recording of Dr. Dauton, June 15th, 1956 8:30 PM

DAUTON: Ok Ted... go ahead.

TED: (almost out of breath) It's on? Am I safe?

DAUTON: Yes, you are safe. Now tell me what happened that night.

TED: The horses.... horses actin' up... the horses...

DAUTON: Go on.

TED: W...went out there... dead... all dead... the eyes... no.... no eyes

DAUTON: What did you see?

TED: Ran... ran inside... got gun... Tracy crying... Judi screaming... r...ran to them... He had them... was holding them...

DAUTON: Who had them?

TED: Skinny fella... suit... Looking at me... Judi screaming... shoot me... SHOOOT ME, SHOOT MEEEE!

(Ted starts screaming for a period, then slams hands onto table)

DAUTON: You shot Judi?

TED: Saved her... saved her...

DAUTON: Did you shoot Tracy?

TED: No... It went after me... They went after me... shot them... shot them... keep shooting... Tracy... let Tracy go... damn it LET HER GO!

(Ted started to had a yelling fit, suddenly starts slamming his face into the steel table. Two orderlies grabbed Ted and Dr. Dauton injected him with some tranquilizers.)


Ted Henderson was found dead in his room at 3:00 AM on June 16th, having broken free of his restraints and chewed through his wrist, causing him to bleed to death. 

Tracy Henderson was never found.