COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — It was the case that captivated central Ohio and beyond. Back in 2015, Judy Malinowski was doused with gasoline and set on fire by her boyfriend Michael Slagle after months of abuse.
Despite being told she had just hours to live, Judy fought for 700 days before she died.
But before her death, she recorded a statement that would later be used in Slagle’s murder trial. And in 2018, she became the first woman to testify at the trial of her own murder.
This after enduring 60 surgeries, seven months in a coma, and numerous skin grafts. But what she lost in physical appearance, she did not lose in her bravery and spirit.
Now, her fight is being shown in a documentary called “The Fire That Took Her”. It’s being shown at film festivals in New York, Los Angeles, and Indianapolis.
So far, the feedback on the 96-minute documentary has been extremely positive.
“A lot of people are just really taken back by the fact that an ordinary person who had an ordinary life was able to change so much while she was under so much,” said Kaylyn Malinowski, one of Judy’s daughters. “Like she was under so much pain I feel like a lot of people really admire her for what she did.”
With the help of Judy’s testimony in the trial, her boyfriend Michael Slagle was sentenced to life without parole. And Ohio lawmakers passed Judy’s law, which created tougher penalties for those who commit crimes that permanently disable or disfigure their victims.
Meanwhile, Judy’s family created Judy’s foundation, with the hopes of helping families like theirs. Assisting those who may be suffering from domestic violence, preventing firther tragedies and strengthening the family unit.
“So we just want to be able to welcome in the victims and give them a place to say that is safe and also provide counseling,” said Kaylyn. “So right now we are just looking at hopefully having a couple of rooms that they can stay in and provide on-site counseling and they’ll also be a measure of security so that they feel safe.”
On Tuesday, November 22, Judy’s foundation is hosting a fundraiser called “Buckeyes and Barstools”. A bunch of Woody Hayes’ former players like Tom Skladany, Champ Henson and 2-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin will attend and share stories about the rivalry and more from their playing days.
Griffin also plans to bring his Heisman Trophy for fans to take pictures with. Only 150 tickets will be sold to maintain an intimate setting.
The event is from 6-9 p.m. at the Athletic Club of Columbus on E. Broad St. You can find ticket information here. “The Fire That Took Her” will be shown nationwide in May and will have local showings starting in March. You can see the full trailer for the documentary here.
And for more information on Judy’s foundation and how you can donate to the cause, click here.