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Archive for Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Religious cult leader executed for slayings

October 25, 2006

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— A religious cult leader was executed Tuesday in Lucasville for murdering a family of five followers who were taken one at a time to a barn, bound and shot to death.

Jeffrey Lundgren, 56, did not think the family was enthusiastic enough about his teachings and referred to the killings during his trial as "pruning the vineyard."

Lundgren was convicted in the slayings of the Avery family - Dennis, 49, Cheryl, 46, Trina, 15, Rebecca, 13, and 7-year-old Karen.

In 1989, Lundgren arranged a dinner hosted by cult members. Afterward, he and his followers led the family members one by one - the father first, young Karen last - to their deaths while the others unknowingly cleaned up after dinner.

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