After Beverly Thompson was brutally murdered at her home in Dyer, Indiana, the authorities tried to find who did it. Through their interrogation, they zeroed in on her husband, Douglas Thompson, with physical evidence eventually connecting him to the slaying. Investigation Discovery’s ‘American Monster: Just Out of Frame’ chronicles the work that went into solving Beverly’s murder. So, if you’re curious about what happened, we’ve got you covered.
How Did Beverly Thompson Die?
Beverly Thompson was an Illinois native that settled in Dyer, Indiana. She met Douglas when they were pretty young, and at the time of the incident, they had been married for 41 years. The couple had two daughters, who lived not too far away with their respective families. While Beverly owned a beauty salon, Doug ran a successful local liquor store. On April 9, 2010, the family made plans to have dinner together.
On that evening, Cheryl, the daughter, drove by Beverly and Doug’s home only to find her mother dead. Beverly was in a pool of blood, and she suffered severe blunt force trauma to the head. The 62-year-old was hit at least ten times in a vicious attack. Furthermore, Beverly had some lacerations, and her hands were bruised. While some jewelry was missing from the house, most other items of value, including a bag with over $1000 of cash in plain sight, were left untouched.
Who Killed Beverly Thompson?
To the authorities, it seemed like the scene was staged to make it look like a burglary. The drawers were left open, but nothing inside was disturbed. Other items like the TV, watches, and necklaces were still at the residence. While the garage door was damaged, it was confirmed that the damage occurred when the door was already open. At this point, the police began questioning the family to understand better what might have happened.
The authorities learned that Beverly left her business at around 3:30 pm on April 9 and had called her daughters on the way back home. When Doug was questioned, he said that he came home sometime before Beverly arrived because he had to pick up a few boxes for their daughter. At the time, Doug said he was with an employee, Reginald Coleman. As per the show, he didn’t mention meeting his wife in the house. Doug claimed that he was there only for a few minutes before leaving.
When Reginald was questioned, he said that they left the liquor store at around 2:45 pm and went to the Thompsons’ residence. There, Douglas went in while Reginald said he waited in the garage. According to the show, Reginald remembered seeing Beverly come home and go inside. Then, surveillance footage from a neighbor’s camera confirmed what Reginald said. It appeared that Doug stayed in the house for about half an hour after she arrived before leaving in his truck with Reginald. But Doug initially told the police he was inside only for a few minutes.
Furthermore, Reginald mentioned that Doug tossed two black garbage bags in the back of the truck before they left. Then, the authorities searched Reginald’s apartment, which was owned by Doug. A car was parked outside the residence; it was registered to Doug’s business. Then, the police found a bag inside an AC unit in the truck’s bed. That bag contained some jewelry. In the front yard, the police found another bag with some bloody clothing, including a pair of pants, a shirt, and socks.
Where is Douglas Thompson Now?
Doug Thompson’s DNA was found on the clothing, and the blood was confirmed to be Beverly’s, thus connecting him to the murder. While Reginald was suspected initially, the charges against him were dropped later on. The authorities also learned that Doug had gambled away more than $60,000 in the weeks before the murder. According to the show, they believed that Doug wanted to scam the insurance company with respect to the jewelry, but when Beverly arrived, an argument ensued, causing Doug to attack.
The investigators felt that Doug later put the bags where they were eventually found. While Doug denied having anything to do with the murder, he stood trial. In November 2011, he was found guilty of killing his wife. The following month, then 63-years-old, Doug was sentenced to 65 years behind bars. Prison records indicate that he remains incarcerated at the Pendleton Correctional Facility in Madison County, Indiana. Doug is projected to be released in 2042.
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