Judy Malinowski Death and Obituary, Lady Set on Fire by Her Boyfriend; Hospital Bed Testimony, Months Before She Died, Led to Conviction of Suspect
On Aug. 2, 2015, Judy Malinowski’s promising life was cut short when her volatile, on-again, off-again boyfriend poured gasoline on her and set the 31-year-old on fire.
The horrific attack left 90 percent of body covered in third- or fourth-degree burns. Ultimately, the mother of two died from her wounds.
Although doctors were not optimistic about her chances of survival after the attack, she lived for two more years — long enough to give a deposition from her hospital bed against her one-time fiancé, Michael Slager, who was accused of causing the life-threatening injuries to her.
Malinowski’s ordeal, strength, and fight for justice is the subject of a new documentary, The Fire That Took Her. Directed by Patricia E. Gillespie, the movie premieres in theaters Oct. 21.
Malinowski underwent 60 surgeries, was in a coma for seven months and could barely speak or breathe, but in January 2017, not expecting to live much longer, she gave her testimony, anticipating that Slager would be charged with murder after she died.
“I don’t think words can describe what it feels like to have your whole body set on fire,” Malinowski said during her testimony. “I can remember fire on my face and eyes. I can remember screaming for help.”
She described how she felt on that day, before saying the pain was like “a thousand hot needles.” Less than five months after Malinowski’s testimony, she die — but video of her deposition was used in court after Slager was charged with aggravated murder.
Malinowski was 33 years old when she died from her injuries, and when her testimony was admitted as evidence at trial, it was the first time in Ohio history that a murder victim was able to testify against her killer.