Workplace romances rarely end well, but they don’t usually end like it did for Seidah Vaughn’s live-in girlfriend, Judy Bell. On February 29, 2008, Vaughn allegedly shot Bell in the head during an argument, then called police and blamed a botched burglary for Bell’s death. Her apprehension almost three years later is the focus of Weird Teacher Watch…
From the beginning, police were suspicious of Vaughn’s story. (It didn’t help when she said the perp looked just like the guy who killed Nicole Brown Simpson and JonBenet Ramsey.) Then again, give her points for novelty — not many burglars swoop down in from the attic to surprise you (as Vaughn says), generally preferring easier entrance/exits. They aren’t Spiderman.
Nor do burglars generally pick homes with six people in them at the time. Not only did the alleged burglar shoot Bell in the chest, and not shoot Vaughn, standing there beside her, but also avoided the four children in the house at the time (Bell’s 10-year-old son and three of Vaughn’s children).
Bell and Vaughn both taught at Permenter Middle School in Cedar Hill, Texas. Bell, a former New Mexico State basketball star, taught special education and and coached girls’ basketball and track. They’d lived together for four years after Vaughn sought solace in Bell while enduring a particularly bitter, financially draining divorce battle. (If there’s one thing that could make you hate the opposite sex, it’s divorce — providing their lesbian relationship wasn’t the catalyst.)
Vaughn was reassigned after the homicide to an administrative job for the rest of the ’08-’09 school year, and then moved to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in September of last year. She worked as a substitute teacher at Northeast High School until
she was transferred to Douglass High School where she worked as a
language arts teacher.
According to authorities, interviewing family members and re-interviewing people in the house yielded new information/leads that eventually allowed Cedar Hill detectives to get a grand jury murder indictment. She was arrested in Oklahoma last week.
Read last Wednesday’s Weird Teacher Watch: Top 10 Weird Teachers of 2010.