Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The True Story of John Raymond "Woody" Woodring

Fitting End

When the police department finally released Bonnie's house to the family, Michelle was among the first people permitted to enter it. Even in death, Woodring's narcissism was ever-present. According to Michelle, he had pictures of himself all over the house. Michelle found the entire environment "weird."

According to Michelle, a representative for Woodring's family came at a later date and picked up his possessions.

"They wanted his tools. I don't know what else they got. I wasn't told. I had an auction and sold everything else. The house went to foreclosure. There's nothing really in the estate. It is odd how she had so much money, and there is nothing left."

Bonnie's family is suing for more than $75,000 in damages, for Bonnie's lost income and the physical pain, mental anguish and discomfort her death caused the family. They also want to be reimbursed for funeral and other related expenses.

When asked about the lawsuit, David Moore, president of the REACH board, told the Citizen-Times the lawsuit is without merit.

REACH Shelter Sign
REACH Shelter Sign

"I think everyone will see that the organization did all it could possibly do to protect Bonnie Woodring and has no liability," Moore said.

The results of Woodring's autopsy were not released until May 2007, six months after he had been found dead.

"The cause of death in this case ended up being unable to be determined," Dr. Cynthia Gardner, the pathologist who performed Woodring's autopsy, said in an interview with Crime Library. "He had moderate decomposition and severe coronary artery disease. Full toxicology tests were conducted, and all that was found were trace amounts of Valium."

According to Dr. Gardner, Woodring's coronary artery disease was so severe that it alone could have been the cause of death, but she felt she could not list that as the official cause.

"In light of the circumstances, the [possibility of] suicide, and the case background, I signed it undetermined. There was no trauma whatsoever to the body. What could have happened is he could have ingested something that did not get picked up in any of our screens, but we did very broad screening, so it would have been something very unusual. The reason everything took so long was because we kept going back to the toxicology tests, because that is where we thought the answer was going to be. We pretty much exhausted everything we could do."

The NCSBI has yet to close Woodring's case, and it still refuses to divulge any of the details surrounding Woodring's death or the suicide note he left behind.

"The bureau has been investigating the death of Mr. Woodring and the death of his wife," Noelle Talley, a spokeswoman for the bureau, said in a telephone interview with Crime Library. "This is an ongoing investigation, and our practice is we do not comment on details for ongoing investigations."

Bonnie's daughter, Michelle Stojanik, first learned of the autopsy results when Crime Library contacted her for comment.

"It's so weird that you called," Michelle said. "I was just working on some of my mom's stuff. Somebody just printed all of your articles from the Internet and made a large binder for us, so I was in the process of making copies for all us kids."

Regarding Woodring's autopsy, Michelle said: "Undetermined? Why didn't he die of heart disease before he killed my mom?"

In regard to Woodring, Michelle said she harbors no anger that he was never brought before a court of law to answer for his crimes.

"It helps us sleep at night, Michelle said." It's sad to say, you know, but I think even all my sisters would agree were glad he's not here."

In a way, Woodring's death made for a fitting end to the story. He was a coward in life, and he took the coward's way out.

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