Man charged with decapitating 2 women, burning down Tacoma house to hide crime

TACOMA, Wash. – Pierce County prosecutors said two women found dead in a fire last week were beaten and decapitated by 32-year-old Matthew Leupold amid a drug binge at a house in Tacoma’s Lincoln District.

Leupold was charged Wednesday with two counts of aggravated murder and one count of first-degree arson after he allegedly told police that he “heard voices” telling him to kill Theresa Greenhalgh, 31, and Mary Buras, 22, in the middle of the night Jan. 4.

Lindsey Leupold, Matthew’s sister, was charged with first-degree rendering criminal assistance in the case.

According to probable cause documents filed Wednesday in Pierce County Superior Court:

The Leupolds were using drugs with Greenhalgh and Buras in the house at 3714 S. Yakima Ave. An underage boy was also there.

Matthew Leupold said he began hearing voices and hit Greenhalgh in the head with his fists and a framing hammer. He said he then went after Buras, hitting her in the head with the hammer as well.

Leupold told police he then dragged both women into a bathroom, where he spent the next hour cutting their heads off with various objects.

The medical examiner said one of the women was likely alive when she was decapitated.

Lindsey Leupold told police she and the boy left the room. She said she came back the next day and tried to help Matthew clean up the scene.

The boy said he came back on a different night and helped Matthew Leupold pour kerosene on the crime scene and light the house on fire.

The boy later led detectives to a backpack containing one of the women’s heads.