Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Jeffrey Don Lundgren, Prophet of Death

The False Prophet

Richard and Greg saw the break up as their way out. They no longer believed in Jeff and his teachings and simply wanted to get as far away from him as they possibly could. On October 31, the two men packed what little belongings they had and walked away. When Richard and Greg were able to leave the group, it gave some of the others a glitter of hope. A few days later Kathy and Sharon, both pregnant with Jeff's children, left the group with Ron.

By mid-December, Jeff was starting to worry that his former followers might go to the authorities with information about the Avery murders. The Lundgrens and Danny Kraft decided to hide out in Southern California and wait to see what would transpire. After establishing themselves in a San Diego suburb, Jeff rented out a storage locker and stashed most of his guns and supplies. The "prophet" had no idea how hard his world was about to come crashing down around him.

On New Year's Eve, Keith Johnson could no longer tolerate the guilt of his knowledge and contacted an informant friend who arranged a meeting with Kansas City agents. During the meeting, Keith poured out everything he knew about Jeffrey Lundgren and the Avery family murders. Investigators were at first skeptical, but had Keith draw up a map of where the bodies were "supposedly" buried and faxed it to the FBI office in Cleveland, Ohio. When the Cleveland office received the fax with the report, the agent taking the call was less than convinced of the tip's significance. He took no action and simply provided the Kansas City agents with the number of the Kirtland police department.

As soon as Chief Yarborough received word of the tip, he assigned Deputy Ron Andolsek to check on the whereabouts of the Avery family. When Andolsek was unable to locate the Averys through friends and family members, he contacted Stan Skrbis and requested permission to search the property at 8671 Chardon Road. Skrbis gave the deputy permission and on January 3, 1990, Yarborough and Andolsek took the map Keith Johnson had drawn of the barn and located an area in northeast corner that appeared to have been disturbed. Both officers' hearts sank as they realized that they were most likely standing on the Avery family grave.

 

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