24 October 2006 – Jeffrey Lundgren
Jeffrey Lundgren tried to wriggle out of his deathly penalty on the grounds that his diabetes and obesity would make it a painful and drawn out end. But the hefty inmate failed to convince and he met his end today in 2006.
His crimes were particularly unsavoury. In a life dogged by manipulative behaviour he was to assert that God was speaking through him, which enabled him to attract a congregation to join his cult – an offshoot of the Reorganised Church of Latter Day Saints.
But far from preaching peace and love, he was to use his flock to gang up on an unsuspecting family and bump them callously off one by one.
He’d started off small, but in search of a more lucrative diocese the self-appointed man of God headed to Kirtland in Ohio to practice. There he was to amass a splinter group of Mormon followers who were sucked into his evil plans. And the focus of that plan was members of his congregation.
Pit of despair
The Avery family had really got his goat. Mrs Avery knew her own mind, her husband was beginning to ask searching questions of Lundgren, while the children were just ‘unruly’, according to David Lohr for Trutv.com.
Once he’ persuaded the rest of his following to back him up, they lured the family out to the country, where a death pit was dug ready for the massacre.
Then one by one, they summoned the Averys, starting with dad Dennis. Each was bound and gagged and tossed into the pit where they were shot several times. The last to go was six-year-old Karen, who was chucked into the now bloody pit where the rest of her family lay dead. She was promptly shot too.
The remaining members of the cult then sharply went on the run, but life started to unravel as members, shocked by the callously cold executions, began to escape the venomous clutches of Lundgren. Even two women who were pregnant with his children had scarpered.
Some sources state it was his mother-in-law who’d been summoned to look after his kids who eventually shopped him to the police. While others state it was a disgruntled husband whose partner had been commandeered by bigamist Lundgren.
By this time the bodies had been unearthed and the cult members were leading suspects.
Lundgren and his cohorts were found guilty. Being accessories to murder carried lesser sentences. And while some of them, including Lundgren’s wife and son are currently banged up serving lengthy sentences, Lundgren got the book thrown at him.
It took a jury just two hours to convict him and he got given five death penalties. But it only took one lethal dose of the killer injection to kill him on this day in 2006. He was aged 56.