Gerald Woodman had a strong business mind. He knew how to compete in tough markets and walk away with millions. He also knew how to balance two sets of books for tax purposes and put his pricey assets in wife, Vera Woodman‘s name so as to dodge any judicial judgements.
And as his sons, Neil and Stewart Woodman grew from little boys to young men, he taught them the tricks of his trade – a mistake that would prove very, very costly.
When the brothers grew weary of their fathers mismanagement of money and mishandling of business affairs, they bonded together to oust the man who had taught them everything they knew. Using some of the same backhanded practices taught to them by their father, the duo successfully won ownership of the family business through the Los Angeles County courts.
But Gerald Woodman wasn’t a man to just walk away, even if he a judge had officially declared the battle over.
It was after their father established a competing business and took to stealing their employees and clients that Neil and Stewart turned to desperate measures to make it end. Those desperate measures were a hitman known as Steven Homick and the end result would become known as “The Ninja Murders” and also the “Yom Kippur Murders” – the latter because they occurred on the evening of the most important Jewish holiday.
In Family Blood: The True Story of the Yom Kippur Murders: One Family’s Greed, Love, and Rage by Marvin J. Wolf and Larry Attebery, the murders of Gerald and Vera Woodman are recalled with much detail as readers are given a bird’s eye view into the dynamics of the Woodmans, a successful, Jewish family living in Los Angeles, California.
I found this book to be very interesting even if, at times, it became a little weighted in the backgrounds of investigating officers. Fortunately, those times were short lived and didn’t take away from the book as a whole and leaves me recommending this book to my valued readers.
Just as no one wins in marital divorce, no one wins when family members decide to “divorce” one another because of business-related disagreements. After reading Family Blood, if you’re on good terms with your family, hug them and be grateful you weren’t born into the Woodman family where money was thicker than blood.
NOTE: The kindle version of this book does contain photos.
Where Are They Now? Updates on Those Involved In The Yom Kippur Murders
Stewart Woodman is currently incarcerated at California’s infamous Folsom State Prison. He suffers from a multitude of health problems, mainly diabetes.
Neil Woodman is spending his sentence with the California Department of Corrections at Mule Creek.
Steven Homick remains on California’s death row at San Quentin. He was also sentenced to death in Las Vegas, Nevada for the 1985 execution-style shooting deaths of oil heiress Bobbie Jean Tipton; her maid, Marie Bullock; and James Meyers, a deliveryman who apparently was killed when he happened onto the death scene.
Robert Homick is incarcerated at Pleasant Valley State Prison in Coalinga, California.
At Bonnie’s Blog of Crime, those interested can see a clear photo of Neil Woodman. Following the article, there are quite a few comments from people who knew the Woodmans well and provides some insight into the family dynamics.
Stewart and Melody Woodman divorced in 1991 but not before she lost everything. At one time (and possibly still presently, though unconfirmed), Melody has worked as in new car sales in Calabasas which is a suburb north of Los Angeles. (Melody is the woman in the 2nd and 3rd pictures of this article)
Neil and Maxine Shepard Woodman divorced following his conviction. She has since remarried and lives in Beverly Hills, California.
Wayne Woodman was last known to be living in LeHigh Valley, Pennsylvania, and a very active member of the local Republican Party.