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

Kenneth Thompson was on Arizona death row for the 2012 double murders of Penelope Edwards and Troy Dunn

Rachel Sharp
Saturday 01 January 2022 14:44
<p>Kenneth Thompson hacked his sister-in-law and her boyfriend to death, poured acid on their bodies and set fire to their home</p>

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

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.

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.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in