Country music star Naomi Judd left a brutal suicide note by her bed, in which she insisted her daughter and singing partner Wynonna be barred from her funeral and claimed she was mentally ill.
Judd, 76, committed suicide in her Tennessee mansion in April after years of struggling with her own mental health.
On Wednesday, it emerged that police found a note next to her bed that read: “Don’t let Wy come to my funeral. She’s mentally ill.”
The Judd family – daughters Wynonna, 58, and actress and activist Ashley, 54, and husband Larry Strickland, the gospel singer – tried in court to prevent the police report from being released but dropped the case in December.
The Williamson County Sheriff’s Department has now released the files containing the photo of the blood-stained bed where Judd shot himself.
Naomi Judd (right) is seen with her daughter Wynonna (left) in one of her final public appearances. She is pictured waving to the crowd at the CMT Music Awards on April 11, 2022
Naomi Judd left a suicide note by her bed and insisted her daughter Wynonna should not attend her funeral
Sheriffs released photos from the scene where Judd took his own life
The pictures also show the gun next to her bed and the suicide note.
Strickland, her 33-year-old husband, was in Europe at the time of her death and the police report noted that she disliked being alone.
“I didn’t like being alone/Larry in Europe,” a sheriff’s deputy wrote in a handwritten note from the crime scene.
“She threatened to kill herself half a dozen times involving guns. She locked herself in her bedroom. She would threaten to shoot the people who took her (illegible.)’
The police report also describes how Ashley Judd found and comforted her dying mother as they waited 30 minutes for an ambulance to arrive at the home in Leipers Fork, 25 miles south of downtown Nashville.
Naomi Judd’s home in Tennessee, where she was found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head
Ashley Judd (left) with her mother Naomi Judd (center) and sister Wynonna Judd (right)
Ashley found her mother in a manic state and called the family doctor, Dr. Ted Klontz, on.
The actress told police her mother yelled, “Kill me, kill me now.” I do not want to live!’
She said she replied, “Well mom, you know I won’t do that.”
Ashley texted Klontz and wrote: “She’s having an episode. Screaming and crying and pacing… Emergency… Please come to Mom… Now.”
When Klontz arrived, she told him, “She was screaming and speaking in tongues.”
Ashley said her mother calmed down when the doctor arrived and later left her alone to discuss her condition.
When she returned to the room, she found her mother with a gunshot wound to the head.
She told the doctor, “She made it. She finally made it.’
The country music superstar died in April 2022 at the age of 76 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound
Wynnona attended the funeral, a source told Radar Online, and believes the note was written when her mother was not in her right mind.
In a harrowing essay in The New York Times in August, Ashley described how discovering her mother was “the most harrowing day of my life.”
“The trauma of discovering and then holding her working body haunts my nights,” she wrote.
But instead of being able to comfort her mother in her final moments, Ashley said cops interrogated her harshly and kept her away from her mother.
“I felt cornered and powerless when law enforcement officers began questioning me as my mother’s last life faded,” she wrote.
“I wanted to comfort her and tell her that when she ‘went home,’ as we say in Appalachia, she would see her daddy and younger brother.”
Ashley Judd (left) with her mother Naomi Judd (right). Ashley and her family filed a petition to seal police tapes of interviews conducted shortly after Naomi’s suicide last April. The family suspended their efforts in December
Ashley said she was in such shock after finding her dying mother that she answered police questions “I wouldn’t have answered any other day” and never considered if the public would have access to it later.
“In the immediate aftermath of a life-changing tragedy, when we are in a state of acute shock, trauma, panic and despair, the authorities come to speak to us,” she wrote.
“Because many of us are socially conditioned to cooperate with law enforcement, we are completely careless in what we say.
“I never thought to ask my own questions, including: is your body cam on? Will I be reinstated? Where and how is what I share stored, used and made available to the public?”
Both Ashley and Wynonna were written out of their mother’s will.
The Judd family said in a statement confirming her death: “Our beloved mother and wife succumbed to mental illness.
“Anyone who has experienced this tragedy understands that thinking is deeply distorted in the depths of a mental health crisis. Furthermore, the worst days are never representative of the comforts and joys of the sick-free days.
“Following this tragedy, our family has attempted to grieve together with our community and most importantly, with the privacy that anyone who loses a family member deserves.
“We’ve always been an honest and open family, both in terms of our needs and the depth of our love for one another. However, on this particular matter, we ask for privacy, because a death with privacy is a death with more dignity.”
The Judds were the most successful country singers of the ’80s, winning five Grammys, nine CMAs and selling 20 million records.
Immediately after their mother’s death, Ashley and Wynonna supported each other through her loss and attended her induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame on May 1st — the day after her mother’s suicide.
According to the report, “the shot that killed Judd punctured the right side of the scalp and entered the skull through an entrance-type gunshot wound.”
Naomi and Wynonna Judd in their prime
On May 29, a month after her mother’s death, Wynonna wrote an emotional Instagram post, expressing her unbearable grief and fear that she would never face the truth of how her mother left this life
Naomi had a tumultuous upbringing – and in part she attributed her depression to the sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of an uncle when she was three years old.
When she was 22, Naomi was raped and beaten by an ex-boyfriend, trauma that made her flee Los Angeles to rural Kentucky, where she lived with her children on welfare while she was training to be a nurse.
They lived in a house with no electricity, telephone, television or indoor plumbing.
Naomi moved to Nashville after qualifying and eventually became a head nurse in an intensive care unit.
There she learned that the father of a patient worked in the music industry. She took a recording of herself singing with Wynonna, gave it to him and The Judds’ music career was launched.
On May 29, a month after her mother’s death, Wynonna wrote an emotional Instagram post, expressing her unbearable grief and fear that she would never face the truth of how her mother left this life.
She wrote about “personal healing,” her feeling of “helplessness,” and the few things she knew in the face of such despair and drama.
She said she will continue to fight for her faith, for herself and for her family to keep “performing and singing.”
And she vowed to break the cycle of addiction and dysfunction that has dogged the Judd women.