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Thomas Woodel

Florida Death Row Inmate

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Thomas Woodel

Thomas Woodel

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On December 31, 1996, 79-year-old Clifford Moody and his 74-year-old wife Bernice Moody were found dead. The couple resided in a mobile home trailer on lot 533 at Outdoor Resorts of America in Polk County. The Moodys owned an adjoining trailer in lot 532, which was sometimes rented. The trailer was in the process of being cleaned and prepared to be rented.

The Moodys were found dead in the trailer on lot 532 a little after 1:00 p.m. Clifford Moody was found lying on his back in the dining room area. His underwear and pants had been pulled down below his knees. The medical examiner testified that Clifford Moody died from internal bleeding caused by eight stab wounds.

Bernice Moody’s body was found on a bed in the back of the trailer. She had on no clothing, except for one sock. On the floor next to the bed was a nightgown and underwear tied in a knot.

Pieces of a porcelain toilet tank lid were discovered underneath her.

The medical examiner testified that Bernice died in the early morning hours of December 31, 1996. She received 56 cut/stab wounds. She also had blunt trauma injuries to her head, fractured nasal bones and a slit jugular vein. Many of her cut/stab wounds were located on her right arm, which suggested the wounds were received in self-defense. No semen was detected on Bernice Moody.

On January 3, 1997, detectives searched the Outdoor Resorts dumpsters, retrieving three garbage bags containing pieces of the porcelain toilet tank lid, Clifford Moody’s wallet containing his identification and credit cards, bloody socks, and paperwork bearing the address of lot 301 and the names of Thomas Woodel and his son, Christopher Woodel.

Detectives went to lot 301 where Thomas Woodel resided with his girlfriend, son and other relatives. Upon searching the premises, detectives discovered the knife used in the murder wedged between a dresser and wall.

Detectives then questioned Thomas Woodel, and he confessed to murdering both Clifford and Bernice Moody.

Florida Commission on Capital Cases

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