Very Scary People (2019–…): Season 5, Episode 9 - The Black Widow: Part 1 - full transcript

Are you wondering how healthy the food you are eating is? Check it -
[car engine starts]


[theme music playing]

Welcome to Very Scary People.
I'm Donnie Wahlberg.

Her name was Judy Buenoano,

and on the surface,
it seemed like she lived
a charmed life.

Judy was a nurse,
a small business-owner,

a wife and mother.

But dig a little deeper,

and that facade
of success fades away

to reveal a trail of tragedy.

In the course of ten years,
Judy survived two house fires,

the loss of a husband,
a boyfriend, and a child.

Was it just a string
of incredibly bad fortune

or something
far more sinister?

This is part one
of "The Black Widow."

Northern Florida,
the Panhandle,

is considered Old Florida.

[Russell Edgar]
It's, uh,
full of rich history.

Beautiful beaches,
and beautiful rivers,

and lakes, and forest.

It's a great natural beauty.

[Jim Richbourg] Pensacola,
up until recent times,

was a fairly quiet city.

There's always been plenty
to do here in Pensacola,

tremendous amount
of historical places

that you can go visit.

And then, of course,
there's the sugar-white

of Pensacola Beach.

A lot of folks
that grew up here
or were born here

don't wanna leave.

And it's a beautiful place
to live.

[suspenseful music playing]

[car engine starts]


[Richbourg] I was on duty

and the radio report
was put out

that there was an explosion
of some kind

at Baylen and Garden Street.

We responded.

When we got there,

it was pretty much
just unreal, what we saw.

There was just shattered glass
completely covered

all over the Driftwood
parking lot.

[Rick Steele]
I was a detective

and I was out
working one night,

following up on a robbery,

and I heard
the bombing go out.

In my best recollection,

we had never had
a car bombing of any type.

It was in a parking lot
next to a restaurant

called the Driftwood.

I got there and I saw
the car bombed out.

Police, fire,
everybody was there.

Checked in
with the first officer
on the scene

and asked him what happened.

He told me
who the victim was,

and that they had
taken him to Sacred Heart.

[Jackson] Witnesses said
that the victim managed

to stumble out
of that smoke-filled car

before he collapsed.

[Ted Chamberlain]
John Gentry was his name.

And he was in real bad shape.

And John Gentry was a man
who was successful.

He had his own business,
he was a wallpaper salesman.

[Jackson] John's family
got the call

that something terrible
had happened.

[Paula Gentry] I remember
my mom coming in

and saying, "Hey, I need you
to wake up, get dressed.

We gotta go to the hospital."

We asked what was going on,

and she said my uncle,
he's been hurt.

We got up
and got dressed and went out.

And we didn't know
at the time

what was going on
other than he was hurt.

He was in ICU.

We waited
out in the waiting room
with my grandmother.

Everybody was crying,
they were panicking

'cause at that time
we didn't know

if he was gonna
make it or not.

They were trying
to shield us kids

from knowing the brunt
of everything.

But you could sense it,
you could feel it.

You know, my grandmother
didn't cry for anything.

But that day,
she was in tears.

[Meghan Sacks]
Now this beloved family man

was fighting for his life.

And investigators
were scouring the scene,

trying to figure out
how this happened,

why this happened.

[Richbourg] We started
taking photographs
of the scene.

We documented
all of the cars

that were in the parking lot.

And then FBI and ATF

was called to the scene
to assist, uh,

searching through
some of the debris

and the collection
of evidence.

There was foam,
there was material

that the seats
were made out of,


metal fragments,
wire fragments,

just a whole array
of different things

that we collected.

[Sacks] Investigators
first looked to see

if this car explosion

could've been caused
by some type of malfunction.

[Steele] We felt
if there'd been something
with the gas tank,

there would've been a fire,

but there was no fire.

[Richbourg] The gas tank
had not exploded,

the battery had not exploded.

The condition
and the shape of the car,

it was almost like a balloon

because the whole roof
blew upward

quite a few inches

and made kind of a dome
out of the roof.

[Steele] It was almost
like a shaped charge.

It went straight from the back

right up to the front
to the front seat.

[Sacks] Soon,
Pensacola authorities

orange and white
wire fragments

that were not
part of the car

and so they determined
that it was not an accident.

And so they know
this is intentional.

My uncle was larger than life.

[Paula] He was a good guy
and he was very giving.

He was very giving.

He would give the shirt
off of his back to anybody.

And we couldn't imagine
anybody that wanted
to hurt him.

You know, he was just
not that guy.

The investigation determined
it was two sticks of dynamite.

It was placed
right behind the left side

of the rear back seat.

And then the orange
and white wires

were wired to the tail light.

[Steele] He went out there

and turned on the car
and turned on the lights

and it exploded.


This was done
to kill this guy.

[Sacks] Now, their mission
is to find out

who could have done this.

[Paula] We were all in shock.

Why would you try
to kill our favorite uncle?

We worshipped this man.

He was our hero.
We were mad.

-[car engine starts]

[siren wailing]

It was June 25th,

it was in '83,
and it was in the evening

when the car blew up.

[Nancy Newland-Beverly]
I had come into work

and someone said, "Hey,
we had a car bombing today."

And I said,
"A car bombing in Pensacola?"

I don't think we'd ever had
a car bombing in Pensacola.

And they said it was down
near the Driftwood restaurant
around the corner.

And I said,
"Who got bombed?"
And they said,

"Guy named John Gentry."

And I said, "You're kidding."
I said, "I know that guy."

[Paula] My uncle
was amazing.

He really was...

He was funny.

He was always a jokester.

A happy person

and brought everybody else
to a happy mood.

Just all-around good guy
to me.

[Sacks] After high school,

John Gentry
was in the service.

He did a tour in Vietnam.

He served as a marine

and he was awarded
a Purple Heart.

The guy was a survivor.


[Mike] He was
in the Marine Corps.

I believe he told me
he was recon.

Somebody in his fire team
stepped on a landmine

and he took
some shrapnel from it.

Purple Heart.

After he was discharged
from the military

and recovered
from his injuries,

John Gentry returned
to Florida

to establish a new business.

He was the smart
business mind of the family.

He owned wallpaper
and carpeting stores.

He had one in Pensacola.

[Sacks] At the time
of the car bombing,

John was engaged
to another businesswoman,
Judy Buenoano.

She also owned
a successful business,

a nail salon
called Fingers 'N Faces.

I spoke to Judy
the night of the bombing

and I ask her
the normal questions.

"Anything unusual happened?
Any problem?"

And she said, "No."

The night
when the bombing happened,

Judy had a party.

[Steele] It was a bunch
of people from her work.

She loved to have
nice parties.

She was lavish with the people
that worked for her.

He wasn't even supposed
to go to that dinner party.

But she invited him.

[Barrows] Judy
had met John Gentry

when he had gone out
to watch some mud wrestling.

And he sees her at the bar...

[Barrows] She starts
paying attention to him,

and I think he felt special.

[Steele] He owned
a wallpaper shop
in Town & Country Plaza

in the same area
that she owned
the Fingers 'N Faces.

[Belvin Perry]
They started dating.

He was smitten by her.

And from all indications,

he fell madly in love
with her.

[Paula] I met her
the first time

over at
my Grandma Gentry's house.

It was Easter
that we had gone there for.

And she was sweet.
She was really super nice.

Kinda ritzy.
She had money.

She had money
and she wasn't afraid
to throw it around.

[Pam Hill]
We owned a party business.

We worked with a lot
of people that were of means

and had big parties.

And that's when I met Judy.

Judy was very imposing.

She was tall

and she always wore
her hair coiffed

like she had just had
someone do it,

and she had
real high cheekbones.

And she over-accentuated them
with a lot of blush

and she always wore
false eyelashes.

And wore Charlie,

that cologne
that was popular in the '80s.

And she really wore it.

She overly wore it.

Judy told people
that she was the heir

to the Goodyear throne.

[Paula] She liked
the finest champagnes

and the biggest diamonds
and the best clothes

and she had a house
out in Gulf Breeze

which is, what we consider,
rich town.

You know,
that's money on there.

[Sacks] Together,
Judy and John

really enjoyed
the finer things of life.

And they were very generous.

[Mike] She was always nice.

They kinda complemented
each other, you know,
pretty well.

[Barrows] She was
very generous with gifts,

as was he.

So he had thought
he had found his soulmate,

a woman
that was a good match,

a good pair
that blended well
with his family.

McDonald's used to make
these calendars

that you would color in.

And across the bottom
were coupons

so you could get
a free ice cream

or free French fries
or something.

And they brought
each one of us one of those.

And it was the best thing
we had ever gotten
that Christmas.

[ship horn blaring]

I met John on a cruise

paid for it by Judy Buenoano.

Judy was the life
of the party.

She was boisterous,
she was loud,

she was freely spending money.

She bought drinks,

she had champagne
and we all had champagne.

[Barrows] Everybody thought
they were a good couple.

She was successful,
he was successful.

She was attentive to him,
he loved the attention.

He would tell his friends
and co-workers

how lucky he was
to have a woman
that was so good to him.

[Paula] They were always
just all over each other,

holding hands,
giving hugs, kisses.

You know, "That's my girl,"

"That's my guy,"
"That's my..."

They were like
two teenagers in...

In puppy love.

They really were.

[equipment beeping]

He was at the hospital
in critical condition.

He had shrap metal
in his back, he got trouble
with his kidneys.

He was in pretty tough shape.

[newswoman] Gentry
was badly burned

and suffered internal injuries
from a car bomb.

[Barrows] It happened
at a restaurant
called the Driftwood

and this was a nice,
classy, high-end place.

It's where everybody went
for a special occasion.

They were out celebrating.

He was gonna go home

and she was gonna stay behind
and celebrate some more.

-He turned on the car...
-[car engine starts]

...and he pulled
on the headlights.

It blew.

[distant explosion]

There were a few
other people that were there
from the restaurant.

They all said,
"Nothing unusual happened
that night,"

that he had left,
like, five minutes
before they did

and they heard it,
they were still
in the restaurant

when they heard
the explosion.


And, uh, that's all
they could really tell me.

[Sacks] The wreckage
of the car

was being scoured
by authorities

who were finding remnants
of dynamite and wiring

and then they discovered
how it was set to explode.

[Steele] We figured out
how they put the dynamite,
set it off with the lights.

Back then we had
to turn the lights on.

Nowadays most lights
just come on in a car.

He drove the car
during the day.

He had bought some speakers.

He took the car over
that morning to have
the speakers put in.

He drove from Judy's house
that afternoon

back to his house,
his mother's house,

and from her house
to the Driftwood

without lights on.
That time of the year

it didn't get dark till 6:30,
7:00 at night,

almost 8:00 at night,
so he didn't have to turn
the lights on.

He didn't have to turn
those lights on

till he got back in the car.

Whoever did this
really didn't know
what they were doing.

It was not a professional job.

Where the dynamite was placed
wasn't in the right place.

He was pretty tall,
so he leaned forward

to turn on the ignition
and pull the light switch.

So, a lot
of the really bad force
of the explosion

and the fragments went up,

went out through the sunroof
and just missed John.

That was a stroke of luck.

Had the bomb
been placed better,

it probably
would have killed him.

If they really wanted
to wreck this guy,

they would put it
underneath the seat

or put it
right on the gas tank

so the whole car
would have gone.

That would have killed him.

So, we're not looking
at a professional hitman.

[Richbourg] I lifted prints
on the left rear fender

right at the edge
of the rear of the trunk

and it did not overlap
onto the trunk itself.

Which showed
that the trunk lid was open

when that print
was placed there,

which would
have been perfect

if you were leaning over
into the back of the car

to do one of two things.
Either plant the dynamite

or fix the wire
to the tail light, either one.

There was nothing
else anywhere

on the exterior of the car.

[Paula] It was shock.

Who would do that to him?
Why would they do that to him?

And what did he do?

We talked to Judy

and she was giving us
all these tips

about, "Oh, there's people
in Mobile"

and she thinks that this lady

was the one that had something
to do with the bombing.

[Richbourg] They had had
some disagreements.

That was who
Judy pointed her finger at
right at the very beginning,

and then they started looking
at more and more things.

Something was wrong.

[waves splashing]

[Sacks] It was late June, 1983

when local businessman,
John Gentry was fighting
for his life

after surviving a car bombing.

[Jackson] It was apparent
to investigators

that dynamite was wired
into his car lights

with the intent to kill him.

[Steele] He was
a very lucky individual.

Two sticks of dynamite
in a very small,
enclosed space like this,

it was a miracle
that he didn't die.

It was a real miracle.

He was in intensive care,
so we couldn't talk to him.

[Sacks] While detectives
were waiting to speak to John,

they continued to talk
with his fiancee,
Judy Buenoano.

[Jackson] Judy took
the detectives

through the events
of that fateful night,

a celebration
that ended in horror.

[Barrows] She had special news
she wanted to tell
John Gentry.

Judy is 40 years old
by this time

and she shares
with John, "I'm pregnant."

Well, he's thrilled.
He has found his dream woman

and they're gonna build
this life together

and it's just all happening
for him

and she is seeing
his excitement, his enthusiasm

and she's like, "Well,
go get some champagne."

So, he gets in the car,
he's gonna get some champagne

to celebrate this exciting,
momentous, happy occasion,

and it explodes.


[Sacks] The detectives
continued to talk with Judy

and learned that this
was not the first tragedy
that Judy had endured.

[Jackson] And despite Judy's
affluent appearance,

she had a difficult life
beginning from when
she was a child.

Judy Buenoano's
childhood was wasted.

I was there and I know.

[Sacks] Judy was born
in 1943 in Quanah, Texas,

which is a small town
I believe about 200 miles
north of Dallas.

She had a lot of trauma,
a lot of abuse.

According to her,
she grew up
in an abusive family.

Her mom died
when she was young.

She was about four years old.

Her dad remarried
to a woman

who had several sons
of her own

and she's claimed
that they all mistreated her.

[Sacks] There was, reportedly,
abuse in the home

and in response
to some of the violence

that was put on her at age 14,

she apparently attacked
her step-brothers

with scalding grease,
burning them.

[Barrows] She got into trouble
for attacking her family

and was put
into a juvenile facility.

And, in fact,
when her time was served,

she didn't even wanna
go back home.

She graduated high school
from the state facility
in 1959.

She was
a very strong personality.

A woman who was smart.

She seemed like,
because of her background,

that she perhaps
was angry, angry and hurt,

and she hid that,

but she was determined
to make it

regardless of where
she'd come from.

[Sacks] After Judy
had finished
at the reformatory school,

at a young age,
she went into nursing.
At about 17.

[Barrows] And then
she got pregnant
out of wedlock.

Had a son, Michael,
and then not long
after he was born,

she met her future husband,
James Goodyear.

[Steele] James Goodyear
was in the Air Force.

When she met him,

they got married,
he adopted Mike,

and then they moved
down to Florida.

[Bob Kealing] Judy
and her husband James
lived in Orlando.

Orlando is a lot more
than Disney,

although it's the city's
largest employer

and tourism is a huge part
of the economy.

But a lot had happened
prior to Walt Disney

dropping anchor here in 1971.

Orlando was a small,
sleepy little town,
less than 60,000 people.

Sergeant Goodyear
was stationed

at what was known
as McCoy Air Force Base

which is now the home
of Orlando
International Airport.

[Sacks] James adopted Michael

and then they added
two more children
to their family.

[Perry] Sergeant Goodyear
was loving.

He loved his wife,
he loved his children

and he was a caring man.

[Barrows] When he married her,
he was in it
for the long haul.

Then Vietnam came,
he was sent off to war.

[President Lyndon]
Some weeks ago, to help meet
the enemy's new offence

we sent to Vietnam
about 11,000 additional marine

and airborne troops.

[Sacks] After a year
of serving in Vietnam,

James returned to his family
in May of 1971.

He came back
and returned to Orlando,

home to his loving wife,
three children.

He came home
perfectly healthy.

And within days
of his arrival,

Sergeant Goodyear got sick.

All of a sudden,
he starts getting real sick.

[Perry] He started
having hallucinations,

vomiting, disoriented...

Sudden onslaught of illness.

And the mysterious part
about the whole thing

was he was perfectly
healthy before.

[Sacks] He had passed
a physical exam on the base,

and that was around June,

but by September,
he started getting really ill

and no one really
could identify why.

[Perry] He's just suffering.

He was beyond
the point of return.

[Barrows] He goes
to the doctor, he feels sick,

and within a couple of weeks,

he's dead.

Just after a couple of months
of being home, he died.

He succumbed to this illness,
this mysterious illness.

Authorities ruled his death
due to natural causes.

[Newland-Beverly] He came home
from Vietnam
having escaped death

as a soldier
and ended up dying in Orlando.

[Chamberlain] The doctors
didn't know what happened.

There was no suspicion
of any foul play.

Welcome back
to Very Scary People.

Judy Buenoano was a respected
Florida businesswoman.

She lived
in an upscale home,

had three children,
and a thriving nail salon.

But despite all the trappings
of success,

her life was far from idyllic.

Terrible things
seemed to happen
to those closest to her.

It all started in 1971
with the mysterious death
of her husband,

Air Force Sergeant,
James Goodyear.

[Steele] James Goodyear
was in the Air Force.

He came back
from Vietnam healthy,

and within three months,
he was dead.

[newswoman] James Goodyear
died in 1971.

His death certificate claiming
kidney and heart failure.

[Steele] The doctors
never could figure out
what was wrong with him

and they couldn't explain
his death.

Judy said her husband died

and they think
it was of cancer,
but nobody could prove it.

[Chamberlain] She blames it
on the Air Force,

that he died
of all those chemicals
that were over there.

[Sacks] Lot of people
did get sick in Vietnam

due to the chemicals
they were exposed to.

[Steele] And I was
really surprised

that the Air Force
didn't do more

to try to determine
how James Goodyear had died.

[Sacks] Even though
the cause of death

for James Goodyear
was unknown,

Judy and her children
were entitled to collect

his insurance
and death benefits.

The amount was more
than $100,000,

money that they
would soon need

because their house
in Orlando caught on fire.

[Jackson] Judy collected,
on her home insurance,
a reported $90,000

and then took her kids
and they went to start
a new life in Pensacola.

Pensacola has strong
military ties

and a deep, deep history.

[Barrows] Pensacola
is the cradle
of naval aviation.

And the Blue Angels,
this is their home
during the winter.

[Steele] We actually had
an aircraft carrier here
that did aircraft training.

Up until probably
20 years ago,
every flight student,

everybody that flew a plane
for the Navy
or the Marine Corps

came through Pensacola.

Shortly after
her husband died,
Judy met Bobby Joe Morris.

Bobby Joe Morris
was a very successful person
in Pensacola.

Bobby met Judy
and fell in love with her.

Bobby Joe Morris
was originally
from the Brewton,

Alabama area.

[Chamberlain] Bobby Joe
was a real nice guy.

He was
a construction worker,
he worked hard.

[Barrows] She
and Bobby Joe Morris,
they never did marry.

They lived here in Pensacola
for a couple of years,

but it seemed
that the two of them

had a very volatile

and Bobby Joe Morris moved
out of state to Colorado.

[Perry] At some point,
Bobby, he left and went
to Trinidad, Colorado

to run, I guess,
the utility company.

[Sacks] Now it was also
possibly rumored

that he was thinking
this would be a way

to get out of the relationship
with Judy was well.

But if that was his goal,
well, he was unsuccessful

because, unfortunately
and unbelievably,

Judy's home burned
in some inexplicable fire.

This is her second fire.

-[sirens wailing]
-[Richbourg] I got there

and the fire was contained
pretty much to one corner

of the garage.

It was attached to the house.

There were very little damage

and it didn't look
like any smoke or anything

had gone up
into the main house.

Now, the second-floor window
on the same end of the house

where the garage was attached,

there were two sheets
tied together,
hanging out the window

like it might've been used
to escape the fire.

But I saw
no evidence whatsoever

that any fire or smoke
got to the main house.

[Edgar] The circumstances
were suspicious.

It doesn't make any sense.

What she did, she collected
all the insurance money

and was able to move her
and the kids up to Colorado.

She shows up there
where Bobby Joe is.

And then Bobby got sick.

[Sacks] He starts experiencing
all of these symptoms

that Judy's first husband

Sick to the stomach,
throwing up all the time,

loss of weight,

delirious, you'll see things.

He goes to the hospital.

[Sacks] Doctors weren't sure
why this was happening
to an overall healthy man.

[Chamberlain] But Judy
was telling everybody

that he drank a fifth of vodka

and almost two cases of beer
a day.

So, they blamed it on him
being an alcoholic.

He's in the hospital
about a week or so,
he starts getting better.

[Sacks] Bobby Joe
was feeling better
in the hospital.

He was actually recuperating.

But as soon as he went home
with Judy,

it was a different story.

[Sacks] Just two days
after Bobby Joe was released
from the hospital,

he collapsed.

He was rushed to the hospital,
but couldn't be saved.

He was just 35 years old.

[Chamberlain] After talking
to a couple of the doctors
up there,

they felt
there was something wrong.

They felt
there was something wrong
with this case.

[Sacks] It was January of 1978

and Judy Buenoano
had just suffered the loss
of her boyfriend,

Bobby Joe Morris, in Colorado.

Bobby Joe Morris,

he starts getting real sick,

he goes to the hospital,

he starts getting better.

He comes out and he's fine.

When he got home,
he got sicker,

and sicker,

and just slowly wasted away.

It's just sad, it's just sad.

[Sacks] The official
cause of death
was heart failure.

But the true cause
of his death or his demise
was unknown.

[Steele] Judy, she actually
was taking care of him

when he was in the hospital
and he was sick.

[Chamberlain] Judy,
she was like
a student nurse.

A couple of the nurses
would see her in there.

Judy's giving him juice
with a straw.

[Steele] When he died at home,

she pushed people
to call it a natural death

and actually had him embalmed
before they could do
an autopsy on him.

[Chamberlain] Judy,
after Bobby Joe had died,

Judy wanted
the body cremated.

And Bobby's mother, Ladelle,
said, "Oh, no. No, no."

And then had him packed up,
flown to Alabama

and buried
in the cemetery there.

[Edgar] It was difficult
because she tried to draw
so little attention

to the whole tragic episode
of his death.

[Sacks] It turned out
that Bobby Joe Morris
had life insurance policies

and the beneficiary
was Judy Buenoano.

I believe she received
about a $30,000-payout
from his insurance.

Just enough to relocate
back to Pensacola, Florida
with her children.

It was a new start
with a new home

in a well-to-do area
of Pensacola.

[Barrows] Judy had a house
in Whisper Bay,

which is in a nice part
of northwest Florida,

a well-to-do community.

So, on outward appearances,
she looked like she had it
all together.

Always talking about
how important she was.

She carried herself
like a queen.

She carried herself
like she was someone

and presented herself
as someone.

But there was something wrong.

I'd gone up to her house
many times, in Whisper Bay,

to set up for parties.

And I had gone in her home
many times.

And when I'd gone in,
I would see Michael sitting
over by the fireplace.

He's unimposing,
just sitting over there.

Michael Goodyear was a child
that was born out of wedlock.

[Barrows] This was
her firstborn.

By all accounts,
he was very nice.

He was loving, he maintained
a sweet spirit about him.

But Michael was never
her favorite.

She did not like that child.

And I bet that was a source
of shame for Judy,
who valued appearances.

Michael, all his life,
she would tell people
that's her step-son.

[Hill] He wasn't
physically strong.

he was not advanced

or even at the level
of his chronological age.

[Barrows] Apparently,
he had low IQ,
he was disruptive in school.

He wasn't good
as her other kids.

He wasn't perfect
and he wasn't bright.

And I believe that Judy
resented that.

Michael seemed to be
in the way.

[Sacks] For much
of his childhood,

Michael was sent away
to school.

For what Judy said
was to deal

with the emotional issues
that he had
and his learning disabilities.

But even when Michael
was home, reports were that

he wasn't really treated
as part of the family.

[Chamberlain] When they lived
in Colorado,
Michael lived in a cellar.

He lived down there.

Gulf Breeze,
when they came back here.

If she had a party
or something like that,
Michael would be gone.

Michael was never seen
by anybody.

She was basically ashamed
of him.

[Hill] She never
introduced me to him.

Didn't even reference him.

I'm a pretty outgoing person,
so I went up to him

and I was like, "Hi, I'm Pam."

And he would just,
kind of, smile.

But she wouldn't
have even acknowledged
he was there

if I hadn't said something.

He was considered
an embarrassment to her.

[Perry] Michael
was not as smart
as the other kids,

but he was smart enough
to enter the military.

[Sacks] Michael chose
to enlist in the service,

which was probably
a nod to his father,
to James Goodyear.

It was probably to honor him
and to follow
in his footsteps.

And maybe even, he thought,
that would make
his mother proud.

[Chamberlain] Michael,
he gets into the Army,

he gets out
of the basic training

and he goes home
for two weeks

and of the sudden,
he starts getting real sick.

Next thing you know,
he's in the hospital

and he's in real tough shape.

[Sacks] His symptoms,
at first,
mimicked the symptoms

of the other men
in Judy's life.

He's experiencing
the nausea, the headaches,
the vomiting.

And nobody
could understand why.

But unfortunately for Michael,
his symptoms got much worse.

He got medical care
in the military

that determined
he was poisoned by arsenic.

Arsenic affects
many different areas
in the body.

[Dr. Holstege reading]

And as time goes on,

your white blood cell count
and other blood cell counts
may start to drop.

Your liver function test
and renal function tests
may start to go off.

It can cause weakness
in my muscles

to the point
where I may become paralyzed.

They did determine
he was suffering
from arsenic poisoning.

This might have raised
red flags,

but Michael had been working
in a water-purification lab

and he would've been exposed
to arsenic.

Michael goes to this school
where they use arsenic
in water purification.

He went
into water purification

because of Bobby Joe Morris.

Bobby Joe Morris
also worked
in a water purification lab

and both of them were exposed
to these elements.

It was just happening
in the course of their work.

It was considered then
maybe an accident.

And they had no reason
to suspect anything
other than the bad luck.

[Barrows] Michael Goodyear,
just breaks my heart.

He tried to make his own life
by joining the military.

And then pretty quickly
into his service,

he started having
these health problems.

[Dr. Holstege] Nausea,
vomiting, diarrhea,

neuropathies where you can't
feel things well

or you have a kind of pain
in your hands and feet.

[Barrows] And the Army

that he had been poisoned
with arsenic.

People thought
that what happened to Michael
was a work-type thing.

[Chamberlain] They use arsenic
in water purification.

Michael was in
water purification

and he was around arsenic.

The thing with arsenic,
it can kill you

if you get enough of it
at one time.

[Newland-Beverly] But that
didn't kill him, and instead,
it paralyzed him.

[newswoman] The paraplegic boy
was disabled

because of the effects
of the arsenic poisoning.

He had braces on both legs
and he couldn't walk well,

and he couldn't use
his arms well.

Eventually, he couldn't be
in the Army.

[Barrows] By the time
he is discharged,

he goes immediately back
to live with his mom.

And sadly, he didn't ever get
a chance to recover.

Just three years
after her son's illness,

Judy's fiance, John Gentry,
was fighting for his life.

John Gentry
was blown up in a car
in Pensacola, Florida.


[Sacks] And the fact
that he didn't die
is really a miracle.

It took about two days
before we could actually

get in contact
with Mr. Gentry.

He'd been through
quite a bit.

We started talking to him,

the first thing
the investigator wants to know

is, "Who would want you
blown up dead?
Who'd want to kill you?"

[Barrows] Why in the world
would somebody wanna kill
a wallpaper salesman?

Why in the world
would somebody
wanna put dynamite

in his trunk and blow him up

in this conspicuous spot,

this restaurant
that's popular,

right in the middle
of the community?

[Chamberlain] And he said,
"I can't think of anybody."

Okay, well, who'd benefit
from your death?

And he said, "Well,
my mother would get
some of the business."


"And then Judy.
We have a policy out,
insurance policy."

And I said,
"How much are you looking at?"

She had gotten a $500,000
insurance policy on him.

We asked
about their relationship

and how they were going,
and he said,

"We seem to be going fine."

And they asked
if there's any problems,
he said,

well, he had been having
some health problems

and she convinced him
that he needed to take
some vitamins to be better.

She had told him
that she was a medical doctor,

but she decided
to step out of it

and open
this Fingers 'N Faces
nail salon

and she was just kind of
taking a break
from being a doctor.

So, she starts
giving him these pills
a couple of times a day.

After a couple of days,
it made him really sick.

And he got so sick
that he had to go
to the hospital.

He said, "While he was in
the hospital," he got better

and the doctors
never could figure out
what was wrong with him.

He got out and she insisted
he start taking
these pills again.

So, he did and he started
getting sick again.

Well, we knew
something was wrong
right there.

[Sacks] The police
are now taking a closer look
into Judy.

That's when I wanted
to dig into her background.

Something was wrong.

I'm just wondering,
"What's going on
with this woman?"

[Barrows] As they start
digging into all
the unusual circumstances

and trying to figure out
who would want to do this
to John Gentry,

all roads slowly kept leading
back to Judy.

One person after the other
had something terrible
happen to them.

Her son Michael was paralyzed.

Her previous lover
Bobby Joe Morris
died in Colorado.

Oh, and by the way,
her first husband also died.

And Judy's the woman
standing there, grieving,

but also
financially benefiting.

"This poor woman,

what tragedy
she's gone through."

But it does take
the police mind to say,

"Nah, coincidences
don't work like that."

Even though doctors,
hospitals, clinics at the time

thought it was something else,

what these men have presented,

what her son presented,

what her fiance presented,
what her husband presented,

the indications were
that they were poisoned.

[Sacks] If you're
not looking for poison,
it's not obvious.

So, you do have to
actively go and look for it.

Maybe she was the one
that was behind it all,
to begin with.

[Barrows] I think
that's when John Gentry,
according to police,

started to say, "Oh, my gosh."

It was just
the ultimate betrayal.

He has found his dream woman
and they're gonna build
this life together.

And the woman
that he was making
all these plans with

had plans of her own.

And they included him
being in the ground.

[Paula] She was Aunt Judy.

Everything shifted from,
you know, "There's no way
she could've done this"

to "You bitch."

No one saw
what was happening.

There was, like,
a trail of death that seemed
to follow her.

[man 1] There was a body
in the river.

I was thinking,
"It's a tragedy,"
but I had questions.

[Perry] She was like a cold.

Quiet, quick, but deadly.

[Barrows] She drove
a nice car,
she had nice clothes.

The successful,
attractive businesswoman.

She was very calculating.

Judy was smart,
she was brazen.

She was certainly cunning.

I found out real fast
everything was
for her benefit.

For Judy, crime paid.

[Perry] There was one
consistent pattern.

Life insurance money,



And then when the money
got low,

another victim.

It didn't matter
who you were.

If she wanted you dead,
she was gonna get you.

And that's just chilling.

[man 2] It's just so evil.

And the bottom line
of all of it,
it seemed, was money.

Investigators suspected
that Judy Buenoano

was behind
the attempted murder
of her fiance John Gentry

and other possible tragedies
that seemed to follow
in her path.

But believing something
is one thing,

proving it is another.

Could this businesswoman/
mom of three

be a cold, calculating killer?

In part two
of The Black Widow.

I'm Donnie Wahlberg,
thanks for watching.
Good night.