Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The True Story of John Raymond "Woody" Woodring

Deviant Interests

As a result of his crimes against his second wife, Woodring was sentenced to three months in a federal detention facility. He later wrote about the experience in his book, The Convict Speaks.

Western Carolina University
Western Carolina University

"It is that experience that opened his eyes. Woody found himself living with murderers, thieves, rapists and other violent people. He began to wonder why people like himself and others committed such crimes. He wanted to know what fueled the behavior and he began to become interested in gaining that knowledge.

Bonnie Lynn Mertz Woodring
Bonnie Lynn Mertz Woodring

"After being released from the Ashville Detention Facility in 1999, Woody was accepted at Southwestern Community College in the program of Human Services and Substance Abuse Counseling. Woody excelled at his studies and he graduated with two associate's degrees, before transferring to Western Carolina University, where Woody met an instructor in whom he would come to admire and respect; Dr. Peter Nieckarz. Dr. Nieckarz is extremely experienced in the area of deviant behavior and after a lot of input from Dr. Nieckarz, Woody began to become interested in this subject as well."

Woodring waited a little over a year before marrying his third wife, Jody Anissa Sutton on July 3, 1999. Woodring lied on the marriage license and stated it was his second marriage. According to an Internet post he later made to a family tree website, Woodring had two children with Jody.

"My name is John Raymond Woodring...I was hoping to update some of your information. I married Jody Annissa Sutton...I have two sons..."

It remains unclear how Woodring's third marriage fared. However, given his past behaviors, it likely mimicked his previous marriages. Court documents show that Jody was granted a divorce in November 2005; some six months later, Woodring would marry his fourth wife, 48-year-old Bonnie Lynn Mertz.

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