Connecticut man charged with beheading landlord over rent dispute


To quote the eminently quotable Marc Lamont Hill, “People behead for all sorts of reasons.” In the 2014 case that prompted Hill’s observation, a Muslim convert decapitated a coworker, and Hill was rejecting his fellow panelists’ characterization of the man as a terrorist as well as the unstated implication that Islam is a religion of violence.

In the current case, the beheading was occasioned by a rent dispute. According to the Hartford Courant, the suspect, 42-year-old Jerry David Thompson used a samurai sword to decapitate his landlord, Victor King, after the two had an argument about Thompson’s failure to pay rent. During the dispute, Thompson, who lived in King’s house, threatened to murder him, brandishing the weapon to show he meant business.

King was so alarmed that he phoned the Hartford police. A day later, friends of his called police to report they could not reach him. Police and firefighters forced their way into King’s home and found a lot of blood and King’s badly slashed body covered in bedding.

Police began looking for Thompson to question him about the killing and found him and pulled him over. … Back at police headquarters, detectives tried to talk to Thompson but he would not say anything.

At one point he wrote on a piece of paper, “paper in glove compart [sic] in Jeep is all you need.” In the glove compartment of the Jeep, police found paperwork suggesting Thompson viewed himself as a sovereign citizen, people who don’t view themselves as subject to the law.

Thompson has previous convictions for assault and robbery. He is being held in lieu of $2 million bail.

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