A Phoenix man who knocked on his neighbor’s door to check on him and his wife was met by a shocking sight, as the man opened the door while naked and missing his right eye and part of his left forearm.
The neighbor called police, who made an even more gruesome discovery when they entered the home. The man’s wife, Trina Heisch, 49, was found decapitated inside the walk-in closet of a bedroom, and the couple’s two dogs were also dead, the Arizona Republic reports.
The 43-year-old husband has been identified as Kenneth Wakefield. He was released from the hospital and charged with first-degree murder and two counts of animal cruelty. He was held on $2 million bail, police said.
The husband and wife both had troubled pasts and are believed to have met in a mental hospital. Neighbors said they often heard screams and fighting from the home, the newspaper reports.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Scene Was Described As a ‘Bloodbath’
The neighbor who checked on Wakefield and Heisch described the scene as a “bloodbath.”
“I didn’t realize his arm was cut off until probably a minute or two into the conversation after I proceeded to ask him ‘What was wrong? What was wrong? What was wrong?'” the neighbor, George Loney, told the Arizona Republic. “He told me he killed three of his family members but that God had forgiven him so it was OK. ‘Let me have a drag of your cigarette’ he kept telling me.”
Police said they believe the suspect was talking about his wife and their two dogs, but were investigating to determine whether any other members of his family were killed. Authorities believe the suspect’s injuries were self-inflicted.
Authorities said they will not publicly identify the suspect until he has been charged. But Heisch’s son, Kendall Fernald, posted on Facebook, “@kenneth wakefield i hope you get the death penalty!”
2. Wakefield Pleaded Guilty to Attempted Murder in 2004
According to court records, Wakefield pleaded guilty to attempted murder in 2004. Wakefield was found to be insane and was committed to a mental health facility.
The Arizona Republic reports that he attempted to kill a family member in 2003, but other details of the case weren’t immediately available.
3. He Was Released From a Mental Hospital in September 2014
State records show that Wakefield was approved for conditional release to the community in September 2014 by the Arizona Psychiatric Security Review Board.
“Based on the evidence presented by the Arizona State Hospital’s treatment team … Mr. Wakefield’s mental disease or defect is in stable remission and he is not dangerous if he resides in the residential treatment program as specified in the conditional release treatment plan and is compliant with the terms of his conditional release and the treatment plan as presented.”
His case was brought back before the Security Review Board in November after Wakefield was accused of violating the conditions of his release, but it’s not clear if he was sent back to the state hospital.
4. The Victim Was Also Convicted of Attempted Murder & Was Sent to a Mental Health Facility
Trina Heisch was also convicted of attempted murder in 2000 and was also found guilty of child abuse. She was also found to be insane and was committed to a mental hospital. Other details about that case weren’t immediately available.
She was also arrested in March for attempting to stab Wakefield, ABC 15 News reports.
5. Her Family Says She Was Very Religious & Loved Her Dogs
Heisch’s daughter told the Arizona Republic that her mother was very religious and loved her two dogs, Scrappy and Petals.
“My mom made mistakes but she is human,” Christal Heisch said. “The last time I talked to her she said her husband was ‘out of it and that he wasn’t in her mind.’ It’a like we drove right into a nightmare.”
Christal Heisch started a GoFundMe account to help raise money for her mother’s funeral.