Police: Connecticut man decapitated his landlord with a sword over a rent dispute

Hartford Courant reports a Hartford man has been charged with murder in the Sunday slashing of his roommate, a Travelers retiree and nationally known professional bridge player.

Jerry David Thompson, 42, is in custody on $2 million bail following the death of Victor King, 64. Thompson had recently moved into a vacant bedroom in King’s home at 784 Asylum Ave., police said.

Jerry Thompson killed his landlord with a sword in a dispute over rent, Hartford police say.

Detectives believe Thompson may have used a Samurai sword to cause “severe trauma” to King’s arms, chest, shoulder and neck, Lt. Paul Cicero said.

“It was pretty brutal,” said Jim Banks, King’s cousin. He declined to release details for fear of jeopardizing the case.

King was discovered during a well-being check about 3:40 p.m. after someone called police out of concern that they hadn’t seen King in more than a day, Cicero said. Officers found him lifeless on the kitchen floor, partially covered by a sheet. Medical personnel arrived, and he was presumed dead.

Police said they quickly focused on Thompson, who had moved into a vacant room at King’s house within the last year, as a suspect. A member of the department’s Auto Theft Unit found Thompson in a car in Keney Park in the city’s North End about 9:15 p.m. and he was taken in for questioning.

The house where the homicide happened is in the Asylum Hill neighborhood, between Sumner Street and Asylum Hill Congregational Church, and near two major insurance companies, The Hartford and Aetna.

King worked at another big city insurance company, Travelers, for more than 20 years, retiring from his IT job in 2018. The retirement gave him more time to do what he loved to do, play bridge.

Banks said his cousin was one of the top bridge players in the country.

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“He was very good at it. Very good at teaching others to play it. Just a kind and gentle person whose first love was bridge.”

Victor King was found dead Sunday in his Hartford home, police say. They arrested a suspect Monday. (Provided by James Banks)