Felon charged with decapitation murder of 2 women in Tacoma

The Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office, On Wednesday, Jan. 11, charged Matthew Ryan Leupold, 32, with two counts of aggravated murder and first degree arson for the brutal deaths of 31 year old Theresa Greenhalgh and 22 year old Mary Buras.

On Jan. 6, 2017, just before 3 a.m., the Tacoma Fire Department responded to a house fire at 3714 S. Yakima Ave.  After the fire was extinguished, officers went upstairs and found two badly burned bodies inside the bathroom.


Matthew Ryan Leupold

Matthew Ryan Leupold

One of the victim’s hands were bound, and both victims had been decapitated. The badly burned head of one victim was located in the bathroom. The head of the other victim was discovered later, stuffed into a backback, discarded at a different location.

Sources led officers to the defendants, Leupold, his sister, Lindsey Leupold, 36, and a 15-year-old male defendant, reported to be Leupold’s nephew (identified as D.L. by the prosecutor).

Lindsey Leupold is charged with rendering criminal assistance. Her bail is set at $500,000.

The juvenile is expected to be charged with arson and rendering criminal assistance.  He’s due in court at Remann Hall on Jan. 12.

Leupold has seven felony convictions, including for a 2005 arson. He was recently released from prison after serving time for illegal possession of firearms. He is being held without bail.

Matthew Leupold admitted that on Jan. 4, 2017, sometime after dark, he was at the residence where the murders occurred. He said both victims, and D.L., were there as well. Leupold said all of them were in the upstairs bedroom consuming drugs, and at one point Leupold said he became possessed and throughout a period of time he was hearing voices in his head telling him to “kill her.”

Leupold said he then began to assault Greenhalgh by striking her in the head with fists and a framing hammer. Then Leupold said he turned his attention to Buras who was sitting on a nearby bed, and struck her in the head multiple times with the hammer.

Leupold said he then dragged both victims into the bathroom where he cut of their heads off with a utility knife, a pocket knife, and a hatchet.

– Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office