Judy Parker

This is another one of the cases that I researched several months ago and never sat down to compile.  I watched an episode of Women in Prison today and this case was highlighted so I decided to go over my notes, add some more and come here and put it all together. As I have repeatedly said, it seems that only on the rare occasion do I find myself intrigued enough to write about a spouse on spouse crime.  It is likely that only a true crime enthusiast would understand why.  "It's always the spouse."  We seem to hear that often so that should tell you just how almost "routine" these types of cases are. Sadly, to spark interest anymore there has to be more.  Well, this case has lots of "more."

On April 17, 2003 late at night, outside a Kirby vacuum training facility in Merrillville Indiana John Parker Jr. was shot while getting into his car at his office.  His wife, Judy, was inside the car and would tell investigators she saw little.  She would claim though that someone had come up and shot her husband just as he was getting ready to get into the car and the two of them head home after a night out.  Police were immediately suspicious of Judy and they even wondered if her two teenage children from a previous marriage, Daniel and Christina Hicks.  Seeing as they were 15 and 17 years old and still juveniles, according to state law they were restricted from interviewing them without their mother Judy Parker, their prime suspect, present.  It would take investigators nearly four years to solve the case and then they would discover just how right their first instinct were.

Throughout the investigation the police would learn several things.  The first of which was that about six month prior to John Parker being shot the police had gotten a tip that his wife had tried to hire someone to kill him.  Two officers, Leonard Homola and Milan Damjanovic had received a tip from a man saying that Judy Parker had paid him to kill her husband.  The informant had all but taken Judy's money but had not followed through. Investigators would later learn this was not the only time this had happened. Homola and Damjanovic would supposedly look into the case but found nothing, in fact, they seemingly did very little.  They would both later be disciplined for not so much as informing their supervisors of the tip.  They were also chastised for not warning John Parker himself, but then again they would learn that may not have mattered anyway as another man claims he was also hired by Judy to kill John and he had warned him but John did not believe him. Homola and Damjanovic would later sue the city saying their punishment was unjust.  The city would settle the case out of court.

By the time both Daniel and Christina were no longer juveniles investigators decided to try again.  By this time Daniel was living in Arizona, closer to his father.  Judy was in Michigan with the two daughters she shared with John, Tiffany and Erica. But, Christina was not far as she was in Gary Indiana.  She was now the mother of two small children. Investigators started with Christina and it did not take long before she confessed.  It was her claim (and later Daniel said the same) that Judy had apparently tried at least three prior times to kill John.  She had once poisoned his food but it had only made him sick and twice she had hired people to kill John but both of those people simply took her money and left.  Judy had now decided that it needed to be done internally.  It would be Judy's claim later (and collaborated it seems by at least Christina and Tiffany) that John had been controlling and abusive.  Judy had talked to her two older children and gave them the money to find a gun, to which Christina had done.  They had also bought dark clothing for Daniel to wear as he was to be the one to do the shooting.

On the night of April 17, 2003 Judy and John would go out to dinner but before they were headed home John received a call from Christina telling him that one of the other girls needed something for their homework that was left at his office.  When John and Judy arrived John went in to get the things for his daughter and Christina and Daniel were waiting outside. As John got reached for the handle of his car Daniel came up behind him and shot him in the back of the head.  Judy had hurried helped the two older children get away, making sure they took John's wallet and watch, so that it looked like a robbery, before the police would arrive.  Judy would call 911 but she would not be the only one, or the first as people in the area had called saying they hear a gun shot.  

Daniel Hicks was arrested in February of 2007.  Both Christina and Daniel would accept plea deals and agreed to testify against their mother.  For her part, Judy would turn herself into the police.  Prosecutors now had Judy where they wanted her. They did not believe her story of abuse and theorized that Judy wanted John dead simply so she did not lose the lifestyle she had come accustomed to  and could cash in on the million dollars in life insurance there was on John.   Eventually, in late 2009, Judy herself would avoid a trial and plead guilty to the charges against her. She would receive a sentence of 33 years.  For their parts, Daniel would receive 23 years and Christina would receive 5 years. 

Over the years not just for personal reasons, but for blogging purposes I have used a website pertaining to inmates in Indiana prison with little issue.  Their site has always seemed rather accurate in every case I have researched... save this one it seems.  For whatever reason I could not find Judy Parker in the system.  I saw a recent television show in which Judy Parker was featured and it had announced what prison she resides in so I even tried to go through all the Parker's in the system just in case Judy (i.e Judith) is not her real first name, and look that way, to no avail.  It seems that the show had been taped in recent months because I was able to find out that Daniel was released from prison in January of 2016, just five months prior to me seeing the episode, and it was mentioned that he was out of prison.  Christina was almost just as hard to determine.  It was stated in the episode I watched that she had died a few years ago of a drug overdose. Again, using the Indiana Department of Corrections website I was able to find Christina.  It said her release date was October 7, 2013.  However, she had died on August 3, 2013, at the age of 27 and it appears she was already released from prison.  Another article simply stated she died the same year she was released from prison.  

This never seemed to be a who done it case or one of those that in the end I am questioning the guilt of those involved.  This is one of the rare cases in which everyone seemed to own up their part, ok, maybe not from the start, but they did eventually. Despite the fact that Judy Parker did the unthinkable in getting her own children to commit this horrible act, I have to give her some props for eventually taking responsibility and saying exactly what she did.  I have seen several cases in which this was the theory or thought of a prosecution, and where kids have testified against a parent and yet the parent then continues to claim their innocence and blame the child completely.  I just recently blogged about such a case (Betty Lou Beets). So yeah, what Judy Parker did was wrong whether we believe her claims of abuse or not, but at least she owns up to it and feels remorse, if for nothing else than involving her children.


Comments

  1. I knew Judy and John Parker. He made have had his short comings but Judy was simply greedy and self serving. At the wake which was after the funeral Judy`s ex husband was there reading the newspaper as if he owned the place. Most felt something didn't sit right. This was a straight cold blooded killing for a million dollar insurance policy. She could have divorced and made out pretty well, however she wanted it all.
    ajnasworthy@yahoo.com

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    1. This is an old comment but I have to chime in. I was in lake county jail with Judy for a year and she told us she was doing tons of coke and that is what led to the crime. She never mentioned abuse at all . Pissed me off when I saw her on TV still pissing on this poor man. Judy is a phony. Probably a sociopath

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  2. It is a shame - actually shame doesn't come close to being the right word - that Christina's demons got the best of her in the end. If she had not been put under the horribly heavy stone of having her own mother pressure her to be part of a murder, maybe she would have had a full and happy life. I am watching an interview on Investigation Discovery and she claims Christina told her that John sexually assaulted her. She also discusses various emotional abuse allegations of John toward her and her son. Maybe nobody will ever really know what horrors took place behind closed doors. Still....you don't put your flesh & blood in that situation. Never. Ever.

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  3. I just saw a show called Women in Prison with this woman. What a scam. Only her side of story, with most of the facts left out. Horrible show, disgusting woman.

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  4. I knew this family, John never laid a hand on Judy, he adored her and treated her like a queen. She whored out Christina for drugs, and ran around with anyone who would sleep with her. She was the office whore. I was at the funeral, Judy and her daughter and close friends were drinking and laughing, as if they were at a wedding. She is a greedy monster who destroyed her family, and his close friends. Giving her props for anything is disgusting,

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  5. John treated Judy like a queen. He loved her and always talked so highly of her. Judy would bring men into the office and her and Christina would have sex with all of them. She whored out Christina for drugs. Christina deserved a better life than her mother subjected her to. John provided a great lifestyle for Judy and their children. At the funeral, Judy and her close friends were drinking and laughing as if they were at a wedding. We all knew she planned it all. We just couldn't prove it. Please do not give her props for anything other than destroying their family. She is a monster.

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  6. I was friends with christina's husband before she came along...I would have never thought in a million years this tiny, tough,but awesome girl had anything to do with all this...I never thought her family even had money the way she acted...I definitely never knew all this hungover.her like a dark cloud...I see her husband now and then...and her children. That's who I feel bad for...luckily their father and grandparents are good people...her husband loved her so much and tried so hard with her...when she got out of jail she was different and there relationship fell apart. It was a very short period of time after she left him before she died...whenever I think about christina now it makes me sad. All the things that led up to her drug abuse and ultimately the loss of what could have been a good life if not for an incredibly selfish mother.

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  7. Just found this and read where you say you Judy has remorse???? She has no remorse, I knew this family. She was a selfish monster. What are you giving her props for??? John loved Judy, She involved her own children in killing this man who treated her like a queen!! How do you give someone "props" for involving their own children, and hiding from it for how many years?!!

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