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Murderer who claimed Scientology led him to butcher sister-in-law and boyfriend to death is killed in prison

A convicted murderer who claimed Scientology led him to butcher his sister-in-law and her boyfriend to death with a hatchet, pour acid on their bodies and set fire to their home has been killed in prison.

Kenneth Thompson was found after an “attack” in his assigned housing unit in the Arizona State Prison Complex Eyman, in Florence, Arizona, on Wednesday, according to the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry.

Officials said lifesaving measures were administered to the 38-year-old but he was pronounced dead just after 1pm.

His death is now under investigation as an apparent homicide with two other inmates currently suspected of carrying out the attack, reported AZCentral.

The identities of the suspects were not revealed and no further details were given about

the attack.

Thompson had been on death row in Arizona since 2019 when he was convicted of first-degree murder, burglary, arson, criminal damage and tampering with evidence in the brutal double murder of his sister-in-law and her boyfriend back in 2012.

Thompson travelled from his home in Missouri to Arizona and murdered Penelope Edwards and

Troy Dunn, hacking them to death with a hatchet and a knife.

He then poured acid on their corpses, set their home on fire and fled the scene.

At his trial, Thompson claimed he carried out the attack to try to rescue Ms Edwards’

children after learning that one of the children was being seen by a psychiatrist.

Kenneth Thompson hacked his sister-in-law and her boyfriend to death, poured acid on their bodies and set fire to their home - Arizona Department of Corrections

Arizona Department of Corrections: Kenneth Thompson hacked his sister-in-law and her boyfriend to death, poured acid on their bodies and set fire to their home

He said he had been raised as a Scientologist and so believed psychiatry was “evil and a scam”.

He was not practising Scientology at the time of the attack.

Thompson’s wife had previously cared for the children while Ms Edwards was in prison and, after they returned to her care on leaving prison, he grew increasingly concerned for them.

He claimed he had planned to travel to her home to convince her to let him care for the children and only had a hatchet with him because he was planning a camping trip.

But they got into an argument and things turned violent, he claimed.

The victims’ charred bodies were found inside the home after neighbours reported a fire.

Thompson was captured by police driving along an interstate headed back to his home.

A bloodied knife and hatchet with human hair on it was found inside his vehicle.

Reference: Independent: Rachel Sharp 

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