True Crime Tuesday: Lady Sings the Blues Edition

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In today’s True Crime Tuesday we continue to shatter the notion of women as “the weaker sex.”

First up, let us take a moment to mark the passing of one of the most unforgettable figures in True Crime: Was the lady in question a mafia boss? A serial killer? A notorious cat burglar?


Via the ever fantastic AMMI comes this note on love and crime from ABCNews:

Linda Pugach, who was blinded in 1959 when her lover hired hit men to throw lye in her face […] has died, her husband said Thursday. She was 75.

Are you familiar with the tale of Linda’s blinding? Her husband almost certainly was, despite his denials.

Pugach, who hid behind dark glasses for the rest of her life, died Tuesday at the Long Island Jewish Hospital in Queens. The cause was heart failure, said her husband, Burton Pugach, who spent 14 years in prison for hiring […] thugs to attack [Linda] after she spurned him. He was married at the time, and the heinous attack became an instant tabloid sensation.

After his release, Pugach divorced his first wife and convinced [Linda] to marry him in 1974. He proposed to her on live television.

Disturbing? Yes, though perhaps not as unsettling as her later testimony.

“Testimony?” you may be asking: Why, yes, though not at the trial for her own blinding. Instead, she was called to her husband’s defense in regards to the OTHER mistress blinding that Burton had threatened.

Two decades after his release from prison, Pugach was accused in another case with chilling similarities but acquitted of the charges in 1997. He had been accused of threatening and harassing another lover after she tried to end their five-year affair. That woman testified that he threatened to make it “1959 all over again.”


Linda Pugach testified at that trial, describing her husband as a good man. Under cross-examination by Pugach, a disbarred lawyer who defended himself, she said couldn’t have sex with him after undergoing heart surgery in 1990.

The only clear winner in that incident may have been Pugach’s divorced first wife, but some ladies take less guff than others – from

Alec Eric Arapahoe was reportedly drunk when he went to [his grandmother and great-aunt’s] house just before midnight, according to police records.

One of the women confronted Arapahoe about being intoxicated, and “demanded he turn over his Taser device,” the arrest report stated.

She told police that’s when Arapahoe got angry, and physically blocked the women from leaving. She also said Arapahoe grabbed the phone when she tried to call police.

Scary stuff, but I’ve learned that six decades of being a lady – the women were 60 and 61 – goes a long way towards toughening up a dame.

You know those clips in which burly policemen are knocked flat by a taser demonstration? The Araphoe sisters consider those fellows whiners.

When one of the women tried to run from the apartment, Arapahoe shot her in the back with the Taser. She told police she felt the pain, and felt her back muscles tighten up, but was able to get out and call police.

The only way this story might have gotten better is if she’d went back afterwards and spanked him.

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