Tragic Incident in Linn County: Three Dead, One Injured, Possible Movie Motive


Police say one probable reason for the deaths of three individuals and the serious injuries of another in rural Linn County on Wednesday was to make the tragedy into a movie.

Linn County Sheriff’s Office deputies were summoned to 3699 E. Otter Road in rural Marion north of Cedar Rapids around 4 p.m. for an undisclosed reason, according to Sheriff Brian Gardner in a news release. First responders discovered four adult victims with “severe injuries.”

Gardner said three of the individuals died at the site, while one was rushed to a hospital with what appear to be life-threatening injuries. Gardner said the research found the individuals died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head caused by a metal pipe. The three victims who perished were taken to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Ankeny for autopsies.

“Among the possible motives was the possibility of the crime being made into a movie,” Gardner stated in the announcement.

Gardner told the Des Moines Register that he’s never seen a motive like this before.

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Luke Truesdell, 34, of Marion, was arrested Wednesday and charged with one count of attempted murder. He has now been charged with three charges of first-degree murder.

“It is my understanding that he was assuming that a movie would be made of the crime,” Gardner said in an interview. “As to my knowledge he did not record the crime.” Truesdell is being jailed under a $4 million bond.

Police have named the victims as Romondus Lamar Cooper, 44, of Cedar Rapids; Keonna Victoria Ryan, 26, of Cedar Rapids; and Amanda Sue Parker, 33, of Vinton. Brent Anthony Brown, 34, of Marion, was hospitalized in critical condition on Thursday morning. Deputies discovered the victims’ bodies in various areas of an outbuilding on the rural property, according to a criminal complaint. Truesdell arrived on the scene and allegedly informed detectives that he hit the four victims with a metal pipe.

The criminal complaint states that a pipe with blood and hair was discovered at the scene. According to the criminal complaint, Truesdell admitted to many motives, including plans to make a movie about the killings. Truesdell was recorded on video surveillance near the outbuilding where the victims were discovered, according to the lawsuit.

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Truesdell is a yard worker for T&K Roofing Co., a roofing and sheet metal firm in Iowa.

“He was an employee of ours, and as a company, we take this pretty seriously,” said Kurt Tjelmeland, president and CEO. “We’ll cooperate with authorities to the fullest.”

Truesdell does not appear to have a significant court record in Iowa. He was charged with criminal mischief in 2008 and assault inflicting bodily injury in 2010, in addition to several driving violations, according to court documents.

The investigation is underway. No additional arrests are likely, according to Gardner.

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