IRL True Crime

Men Who Murder Their Families: A Look At 5 Faces Of Pure Evil

domestic violence

1. József Barsi

[Credit: Real Life Villains Wikia]

Judith Eva Barsi is the little girl who serves as the original voice to the character of Ducky in the first Land Before Time film. However, she lived a living hell and died at the hands of her father, József alongside her mother, Maria.

Groomed to be an actress by her mother from a young age, there was no doubt that young Judith was talented. This didn’t go down well with her father who became jealous that his daughter’s popularity was on the rise and she was the main breadwinner of the family as she was earning over $100,000 per year.

Faking Changes

József was an alcoholic and made regular threats to kill himself, his wife, and their daughter. He was arrested three times for drink driving. In December 1986, a fearful Maria went to the police with the threats her husband had made against her and Judith which had turned physical after he hit her in the face and choked her. However, no physical signs were found, and she chose not to press charges.

After this incident, József stopped drinking, but proceeded with the threats. The threats he issued including slitting his wife and daughter’s throats and burning down the family home in West Hills, California. He is so paranoid that he hides a telegram from Maria. József didn’t want her leaving America with Judith and presumingly never coming back.

Judith had been cast in the fourth entry to the Jaws franchise, Jaws: The Revenge which was shooting in the Bahamas. József threatened his daughter with a knife and showed Maria cans of gasoline and said he would burn the house down if she and Judith left.

Getting Worse

The physical abuse got so bad that Judith started pulling out her eyelashes and her cat’s whiskers. She even put on weight. She breaks down in front of her agent during a singing audition for a film later released after her death; All Dogs Go To Heaven. Maria takes her to a psychologist who is quick to identify severe physical and emotional abuse.

Unfortunately the Child Protection case is dropped when Maria tells the caseworker assigned she is beginning divorce proceedings. She intended to move herself and Judith to an apartment in Panorama City as a haven during the day. Maria’s friends urge her to proceed with her plans.

Maria knows her husband is a clean freak and so she stops cleaning the house in a desperate act to get him to leave. Her stepdaughter and Judith’s half-sister, Ági visits them and deems the house a “Living pigpen”.

Judith’s last appearance alive was on July 25th, 1988 as she rode her bike down in the street. That night, her father walked into her room and shot her in the head as she slept. Her mother runs down the hall but meets József where he shoots her. For two days, he walks around the house aimlessly. 

József Says “Goodbye”

He spoke with Judith’s agent and told her that he going to move out but needed to say goodbye to his little girl. He then took the gasoline, poured it over the corpses of his wife and daughter and set them alight. In his final moment, he entered the family’ garage took his .32 caliber pistol and shot himself in the head.

On August 9th, 1988, Judith and Maria were buried in unmarked graves. It’s unknown where József was buried or if he was cremated or if he was left to rot.

About Author

C.J. Hawkings has written for the now-defunct Entertainment website, Movie Pilot and the still functioning WhatCulture and ScreenRant. She now writes for FanSided and is loving it!

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