Last month, a man in Connecticut decapitated his landlord with a sword during a dispute about his rent being due. According to Hartford police, a man named Victor King was killed by his roommate, Jerry Thompson, after telling Thompson that he would need to move out because he wasn't paying his rent.
King called 911 in the midst of the dispute, which was a day before he was found dead, telling dispatchers that his roommate was waving a sword at him in a "threatening and terrorizing manner." In his initial call, King gave the police Thompson's cell phone number, but it is not clear anything was actually done.
The only reason police returned to the house the following day is because two separate people later called authorities expressing concern for King's wellbeing. Sadly, when police arrived on the scene, King had been brutally killed and decapitated with the sword. According to CNN, the police report said that officers found King's body on the floor and "covered by numerous articles of bedding."
The medical examiner also noted other injuries, including "lacerations to the landlord's right arm, upper chest and across the neck causing decapitation."
A surveillance recording showed Thompson leaving a vehicle carrying what is issued to be the murder weapon, and walking into the house on the day of the murder, then leaving a half hour later with the same object.
Thompson would not speak with police when he was questioned, but wrote a message that said, "paper in glove compart in Jeep is all you need."
Police did not find any clues in Thompson's Jeep, but instead found paperwork that identified him as a "sovereign citizen," which means that he does not recognize the legal framework of the United States. After Thompson was taken into custody, police recovered the murder weapon at the bottom of the Farmington River, although it is not clear how they knew where it was.
The economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a massive unemployment and housing crisis in the United States. Despite the fact that millions of people are out of work, their rent and mortgage bills are still due, and many of them are now at risk of losing their homes and joining the large population of homeless people who are already living on the streets.
According to the most recent data from the National Alliance to End Homelessness, which was recorded in 2018, it is estimated that there are 552,830 people living homeless in the United States and that number has likely risen significantly this year. Meanwhile, there are more than 17 million vacant homes across the country, according to 2019 data from the US Census Bureau.
A massive wave of evictions is expected to take place this year, as people are unable to cover rent because they lost their jobs as a result of the lockdown. As more evictions take place across the country, these types of violent disputes may become more common. It is also possible that tenants who refuse to leave their homes may end up in standoffs with police.