Everyone has those days; days where you wake up on the wrong side of the bed and just struggle entirely to get going. Your coffee tastes burnt, your milk’s gone bad, the kids aren’t ready, and you still have to get to work.
Terry was one heck of a hard working single mom. She was having one of those mornings, but her troubles didn’t start until she’d gotten all three of her kids into the car. The ride that followed was one previously innocuous trip to work that would change everything…
Dropping them Off
Terry was on her way to work at the local supermarket with all three of her kids, five-year-old Misty, four-year-old Mark, and three-year-old Steven in tow. She was planning to drop them off at the babysitter before she began her 6 am shift, when someone passed her car on the interstate and rolled down their window.
The man was driving alongside Terry, indicating that there was something wrong with her tire and motioning to her that she ought to pull over. With a carful of kids, she couldn’t be too careful. As she inspected the tires, the helpful stranger told her he’d check under the hood. What she didn’t know, was that the man wasn’t helping her at all, but luring her into a trap…
Offering a Ride
Unbeknownst to Terry and her kids, the man had removed the coil wire from inside the hood of the car. She tried to start it back up, but the engine wouldn’t turn over. The stranger then offered to give all of them a ride so that they could get help somewhere. They would not find any help that day.
The next day, the naked body of twenty-three-year-old mother of three, Terry Chasteen was found on the side of State Road 67 in Morgan County Indiana. Her hands and feet had been bound by her torn clothing, her slacks covered her head, and a scarf was wrapped around her throat. She had been strangled to death. As for her kids…
Sadly, investigators located the bodies of the three children not far from their mother. They had been drowned. The death of this divorced, hard working single-mother and her three-children was shocking, sobering news to the normally quiet Midwestern town. Everyone wanted to catch the culprit who had done such a heinous thing.
Witness to a Killing
Remarkably, it was barely a day after the bodies were discovered when a number of local witnesses came forward with information about the man who they believed to be Terry’s killer. They all reported seeing a red and gray truck decked out for construction work, near the area where the bodies were found. They even knew what the driver looked like…
The witnesses reported seeing a younger, blonde-haired man driving the truck. It wasn’t much, but it was enough to lead them to a young, blonde Indianapolis man with a rather startling record. Steven Judy vehemently denied murdering the Chasteens, but it was pretty clear from the onset that something was wrong with the 22-year-old.
Quite a Record
They would soon discover just how right their instincts had been. Steven Judy had a disturbing past that led all the way back to his days as a thirteen-year-old Boy Scout. Young Steven forced his way into the home of an Indianapolis woman, knife in hand, and proceeded to release some of the budding murderous energies bubbling within him…
At only thirteen, Steven Judy proceeded to rape the woman and then attempted to kill her with his trusty pocket knife. Unfortunately for him, the blade broke and he couldn’t finish. He ran and found a hatchet to finish the job but only managed to fracture her skull and cut off one of her fingers as she tried to defend herself.
She survived and Judy was caught sometime later. He was sent to a juvenile detention center but spent only six months there before being sent to a mental health hospital. He was confined in that place for a further three years and during his treatment was officially diagnosed as a sexual psychopath. Of course, he was still only sixteen, so what was the state to do?
Kept a Secret
Well, instead of sending Steven home to live with his birth parents, he was placed in the foster care system. He was sent to live with Robert Carr and his wife Mary, along with their own children. None of them were told about his past, his crimes, or the many years he spent in a mental hospital. No one knew what the boy was truly capable of.
Crime is the Life
In no time at all, Judy resorted to his criminal activities. He began to live a life of crime and violence and over the next five years, spent time in jails and prisons. To ask him, he’d tell you that he had been involved in over 200 burglaries, between 20 and 50 robberies, 24 car thefts, and upwards of 16 rapes. That doesn’t even include the murders of Terry and her children…
Many of these alleged crimes are indeed confirmed, but as Judy was a narcissistic, violent, sexual psychopath, it is possible that he exaggerated his record in order to seem more formidable. He had always been an easy liar and padding his criminal escapades only increased his status. Of course, murdering the Chasteens would do that all on its own.
Toward the Creek
It was during interrogation that police learned what actually happened to Terry Chasteen and her children on that fateful morning. No sooner had they gotten into his truck and on the road, than Judy pulled the truck off-road and demanded they all get out. After that, he directed the family on foot towards the creek. He sent the children down the path, ahead of he and Terry…
Death to All
Terry Chasteen screamed and when the kids ran back to see what had happened, they found their near-naked mother bound hand and foot beneath the man who had just “rescued” them. They stood around him and yelled for him to stop, but instead, Steven Judy proceeded to strangle Terry to death in front of them. The children stood little chance after that.
Out for Blood
Judy’s arrest triggered a media circus. The public outcry against his deplorable actions had thrown people, especially fellow Hoosiers into a fury. People wanted justice for the Chasteens and though the trial would stretch on for a further two years, justice would indeed be done in the end. First though, there was the matter of determining if the formerly incarcerated killer was even competent…
Sane and Guilty
The jury determined that he was perfectly sane when he committed the murders. His actions preceding them made that very clear. He was found guilty and the trial was soon moved to the punishment phase. Oddly enough, despite the fact that the state wasn’t exactly certain about bringing forth the death penalty, Judy decided that he wanted it. He soon initiated a self-led, course towards his own own swift execution.
Asking for It
Not only did he tell his attorneys to ignore any evidence of mitigating factors after the fact, he threatened the judge and jury openly in court. He promised that if they didn’t sentence him to death he would most assuredly kill again. “I honestly want you to give me the death penalty because one day I may get out,” he told the court. And that wasn’t all he said…
Judy added that, “If you don’t want another death hanging over your head, I think that’s the only thing you can do.” When he wasn’t sure that worked, he proceeded to threaten each member of the jury, one after another. He then spoke to the foreman specifically saying, “I know where you live and I know you have a daughter.” That was enough to do it.
The jury obliged him and sentenced him to death for the murder of the Chasteen family. It wasn’t hard, all of Indiana hated him. Indeed if any murderer ever deserved to be put to death, it was Steven Judy. In the end though, he got what he wanted. His monkeyshines in court got him even more notoriety and when he was finally put to death, it was with a smile on his face.