The Twinkie Defense worked. Excusing double murder with aggravated circumstances by claiming “Scientology made me do it” did not for Kenneth Wayne Thompson. He would have done better to admit the truth: “my wife made me do it”.
Scientology defense fails as jury returns first-degree murder verdicts in Prescott trial
By Richard Ruelas, 20 February 2019
He tried to convince jurors that his brutal slaying of two people in a Prescott Valley home was understandable when viewed through the lens of his Scientology beliefs.
The jury did not buy it and, after just two hours of deliberation, found Kenneth Wayne Thompson guilty of first-degree murder on Wednesday.
Two hours of deliberation in a double-homicide case? It takes 45 minutes for the jury to pick a foreman and find the donuts. Kenny should have just pleaded guilty and been done with life.
Jurors will return on Friday to begin the sentencing phase, said Shelly Bacon, a spokeswoman for Yavapai County Superior Court. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in the case.
Thompson’s attorneys used Scientology as part of a bid to spare their client the first-degree murder conviction and the possibility of a death sentence. They argued that Scientology explained why Thompson drove from his home in the Ozarks region of Missouri to the northern Arizona house of his sister-in-law that turned into a bloody and charred crime scene in March 2012.
Thompson used a hatchet and knife to kill his sister-in-law, Penelope Edwards, and her boyfriend, Troy Dunn, according to court testimony. He then poured acid over the bodies and set the house on fire before fleeing the scene.
And then claimed religion compelled him against his will to do so? That’s not just dishonest, that’s a bad guy attacking religion while walking the road to Hell.
Thompson, according to court testimony, aimed to rescue a child in the couple’s custody who was being subjected to behavioral-health treatments, including the use of anti-depressants. As a person raised as a Scientologist, Thompson believed that psychiatric treatment was damaging to the child’s eternal soul.
“(Scientologists) think psychology is evil and a scam,” defense attorney Robert Gundacker told jurors in his opening statement. He also invoked the name of Tom Cruise, the movie actor and Scientologist who famously railed against psychology during an interview on NBC’s “Today” show in 2005.
Many people think psychology is evil and a scam. In fact, after the APA got woke it’s possibly the majority opinion of men. But Scientologists do the Sigmund Freud thing, too, so this is all hypocrisy. I’d rather take my chances with pills than quacks.
For the background information that leads me to suspect Thompson’s wife was Thompson’s real motivation, we go now to the Daily Beast.
Did Scientology Drive Kenneth Wayne Thompson to Commit Bloody Murder?
By Tarpley Hitt, 19 February 2019
You can tell from the date that the guilty verdict hadn’t yet been announced, hence my giving the other article first.
n March of 2012, according to court testimony, a 28-year-old man named Kenneth Wayne Thompson told his wife and two kids he was taking a quick trip away from their home in Doniphan, Missouri to Memphis, Tennessee. Thompson’s mother and stepfather had died in a motorcycle accident eight months prior, leaving him with a small sum of money. The trip, he allegedly told his wife, had something to do with their estate. But after Thompson left his family, he didn’t go to Memphis. Instead, he drove 1,400 miles west to the small mountain town of Prescott Valley, Arizona, where he bludgeoned Penelope Edwards and Troy Dunn—his wife’s sister and her fiancé—to death with a hatchet, poured acid over their bodies, and set the house on fire.
I think the recent death of his parents played a role, just not the role of an alibi.
This month, in the opening arguments for a major, lengthy trial which could send Thompson to death row, defense attorneys laid out a daytime-soap subplot of an argument for Thompson’s detour: the Church of Scientology. Alongside the legalese of standard court documents, Thompson’s defense includes the Scientology “tone scale,” a diagram which purports to sketch the full spectrum of human emotion, multiple mentions of the phrase “eternal soul,” and the name Tom Cruise.
The lawyers’ thesis hinged on the fact that the female victim’s son was receiving psychiatric treatment. Scientology, a religion the practice of which involves regular one-on-one meetings with a counselor to talk through emotional and mental problems (a ritual they call “auditing”), has a long, bitter opposition to psychiatry—a church spokesperson told The Daily Beast that the industry is “brutal” and rife with “human rights violations.” Thompson’s lawyers claim their client is a practicing member of the faith (the church denies any affiliation), whose opposition to mental health treatment led him to intervene on his nephew-in-law’s behalf.
Notice the “nephew-in-law”. Most familial homicides these days are bio-dad versus bio-mon & stepdad/boyfriend/Sugar Daddy/pimp/ISIS reject.
Of course, the Scientologists refuted the notion that anything about their beliefs leads to homicidal urges. That would be more convincing except that the wife of current Scientology leader, David Miscavige, Shelly Miscavige, hasn’t been seen in public since 2007.
The victims, 35-year-old Penelope Edwards (née Rhoads) and her fiancé, 38-year-old Troy Dunn, had been trying to start over. For more than a decade, Edwards had struggled with drug addiction, abusive partners, and managing both while parenting two young kids, Devynn and Ben (The Daily Beast has changed his name because he is a minor). In 2003, when her 5-year-old daughter confessed she had been molested by her stepfather, Edwards did not take any action. “She just hit him and cried,” Devynn said. Later, relatives reported the incident to the local sheriff, ultimately sending the stepfather to prison, and landing Edwards with a charge for failure to report.
Holy shit! They prosecuted a wimmin for hybristophilia! The local cops probably had a pool on what fate this particular family was going to meet. I can find only one blurry picture of her, from the linked article.
If her nose has no ridge and is just a smooth S shape, that indicates very weak willpower.
[Devynn Rhoads, the daughter of the woman Thompson allegedly murdered] told The Daily Beast that neither sibling had known their legal uncle particularly well. Both Rhoads and her brother had lived with their aunt for four years, but in that time, “Kenny was only in the picture for the last two months,” she said.
Thompson didn’t have a personal relationship with the kids. No financial motive, either, not that the prosecution found. Therefore, he committed the murder on behalf of someone else… and as mentioned earlier, his parents had died eight months previous. He didn’t do it for them.
That leaves his wife. Does she have a motive for wanting her sister dead? Or a motive for wanting to claim her sister’s kids? Besides the stepfather being arrested for child abuse?
Around that time, Edwards also lost custody of her kids. In 2004, after a period in state foster care, Devynn and Ben went to live with their mother’s sister, Gloria Rhoads, first in Arizona, and then in Alaska, where Gloria would meet her future husband, Kenneth Wayne Thompson.
The kids’ time with their aunt, now known as Gloria Thompson, was fraught, Devynn recalled, in part because both siblings were traumatized by their unstable early years. Ben, who would later get diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder, a condition which develops when children have no secure parental bond, was prone to angry, violent episodes. (“For a while, people were concerned about whether [he] was going to be the next Ted Bundy,” Devynn said). But the 20-year-old also said problems stemmed from Gloria and Edwards, who had a “terrible relationship” and whose childhood rivalry had grown into “pure sibling hatred.” (“Gloria was the only sibling that my mom never talked to or about, really,” Devynn said. “And every time Gloria talked about my mom it was mean, hateful, angry.”) Gloria did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Yep, double motive. She hated her sister and had a barren womb. No mention anywhere of her own kids.
Just before Edwards regained custody of her kids, Gloria met a man on an online dating site. Thompson, a boxy white man with reddish hair and a soul patch, took the kids’ aunt out several times before they met him. “She told us about him a lot, how she wanted us to meet him,” Devynn said. “One time, it was a full weekend that he came over to meet us, and he spent most of the time in the bedroom with Gloria with the door closed. We weren’t really getting to know him.”
Captain Save-A-Ho at least got lots of sex… so much sex that the traumatized children living with their unmarried aunt while bio-mom and stepdad were in jail felt neglected because of it.
Father God, thank you that my own online-dating efforts came to nothing.
Not long after, Edwards regained custody of the kids, and they returned to Prescott Valley, Arizona. The young mother had gotten clean, rented an apartment, and started seeing a man she’d met online, Troy Dunn. Life wasn’t exactly easy; there was still some shuffling around—Devynn said she spent her seventh grade year living with family in a nearby town. But when she returned, Edwards had moved into a house with Dunn. “For the first time in our whole entire lives,” Devynn said, “we had our own rooms, had our own bed that we got to pick out. We got to pick out all of our own furniture. We had dinner like a family pretty much every night that we were all together—me, Troy, Mom and [Ben].”
Edwards started taking parenting classes at a local clinic. She starting going to therapy with each of her kids, and sought treatment for Ben, who still suffered from behavioral problems. “She got better at learning how to—I won’t say subdue him because that sounds dramatic,” Devynn said, “but how to just slow him down safely so that he wouldn’t hurt himself or anyone else.” Ben’s treatment involved medication, periodic stays at a local respite home, and occasional trips to the mental health clinic at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, which is where he was on March 16, 2012, when Thompson is alleged to have arrived and beaten his mother and her boyfriend to death. When police examined the body, Edwards had 22 bodily wounds, some showing “signs of chopping,” according to the Arizona Republic, and a severed jugular vein.
Two ghetto rats hated each other, then one of them started pulling her life together. Hell hath no fury like watching an inmate escape. Strange, however, that a man who arrived on the scene only recently would be so passionate in the crime. A double-tap with a low caliber pistol would have gotten the victims just as dead as two dozen chops with a hatchet.
Thompson cleaned up the crime scene by dumping acid on the bodies and burning the house down. I can believe he came up with the latter–it’s a stupid but plausible way to destroy evidence, therefore appealing to the stupid–but I can’t believe he came up with the former.
Long, thick eyebrows and orderly hair indicate he’s not low-IQ. He should know that if you kill someone in their own home then there’s no point in mutilating the body. The police will just assume the victim is the homeowner and be proven right within the week when the homeowner’s employer and family file missing persons reports.
So, who gave him the idea to pour acid on the bodies of (to him) total strangers? Occam’s Razor: his BPD girlfriend, stringing him along with lots of crazy sex, because she saw it in a movie.
And for the smoking
dick gun, here’s the story of how Thompson’s arrest went down.
…An Arizona Department of Public Safety Officer named Matt Bratz noticed a white Ford Taurus with Missouri plates on the I-40 near Flagstaff, Arizona. As Bratz saw it, the driver was acting visibly weird. He was, as the trooper later wrote in his report, “staring straight ahead with both arms locked out and gripping the steering wheel.” In court testimony, the trooper explained that he began following the vehicle from a distance, and eventually pulled them over. The man behind the wheel was Thompson.
That is one awesomely eagle-eyed state trooper.
From the window of the Taurus, the trooper saw a red gas can and smelled solvent. His K-9 unit caught wind of a substance and began barking, although the trooper would not find any evidence of drugs. As Bratz spoke to Thompson, he would later tell jurors, the defendant’s behavior grew increasingly anxious. His hands shook and his chest heaved, according to Arizona Republic accounts of court testimony. Apropos of nothing, Thompson launched into an anecdote about visiting a wildlife park and observing an employee feed the wild animals raw meat. Some blood from the meat had splashed onto his pants, Thompson reportedly said, forcing him to change clothes.
The wicked flee though none pursue. A cop’s favorite Bible verse.
When Bratz searched Thompson’s car, he turned up the bloody pants, a bloodier hatchet, a sample of human hair, and a handgun. Bratz handcuffed him. As they waited by the side of the road, Thompson asked the trooper if prisoners in Arizona could get conjugal visits.
Why was he thinking of continued sexual access to his wife when arrested on the way home from the double murder of his wife’s hated sister? Because that had been his motive for doing it. He was so thirsty for sex that he did a gruesome double murder in return for continued access to a feral skank’s used crotch.
With his parents dead and no kids of his own, he didn’t have much to live for anyway. Grief and depression may have played a role in his emotional state. Meanwhile, nobody is looking at prosecuting wifey. She manipulated Thompson into doing this for her, now she can cut him loose forever and monkey-branch to a new chump. I bet Scientology has a great Sunday Morning Nightclub. The men are prescreened for vulnerability to mind games.