Judge Ford is one of the main characters in the book, and she is one of the residents of the Sunset Towers. She is partnered with Sandy McSouthers in the competition to figure out who "the fourth" is. Part of her strategy is to do background checks on the various other players in the game. Oddly enough, she does not have her partner investigated. Readers will come to figure out that was a huge mistake on her part since Sandy ends up being Westing. Judge Ford is also an extremely hard working and intelligent person. She has to be in order to be a black female judge in 1970's America. As it turns out, Judge Ford's education was paid for by Sam Westing, and Judge Ford makes sure that she is just as generous in her life now that she is able to be financially generous. It's why she gives $10,000 to Sandy and why she sends Chris to college.