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A Connecticut man who was behind on his rent brutally killed his landlord when confronted over the late payments. Jerry David Thompson was arrested last week for the grisly crime that allegedly included decapitating his landlord, Victor King, with a samurai sword in a home in Hartford.

The violence over unpaid rent took place in the days leading up to what many economists have predicted will be a mass eviction crisis when some renters’ federal protections during the coronavirus pandemic expired at the beginning of this month. While Connecticut was one of the states that extended its ban on evictions until Aug. 25, the type of violent confrontation between renter and landlord that was seen in Hartford could play out in other places around the country where eviction moratoriums have ended.

In the Hartford killing, Thompson and King were roommates, too, making their living situation unique to other renters around the country who are bracing for mass evictions. But while all the details were not immediately known, the deadly dispute was over unpaid rent, the latter being a serious reality for many people.

It was unclear how late Thompson was with his rent. However, the Hartford Courant reported that King told police on July 25 that Thompson threatened him with a samurai sword when confronted about the unpaid rent. King was found beheaded in the home the very next day.

According to CNBC, “Nearly 2-in-5 tenants across the country, particularly low-wage workers, are in danger of being served eviction notices.” The lion share of those renters are people of color. “While half of White renters project that they can cover rent, just more than a quarter of Black renters feel the same,” CNBC added.


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Tenant Charged With Brutally Killing Landlord Over Unpaid Rent As The U.S. Braces For Mass Evictions  was originally published on