Police: Man Befriended Campers, Then Killed Them

Victims were a family celebrating a 24th birthday
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 17, 2015 6:00 PM CST
Updated Nov 18, 2015 7:00 AM CST
Police: Man Befriended Campers Then Killed Them
William Hudson is shown here.   (Anderson County Sheriff's Office via AP)

William Hudson helped a family of seven get their vehicle unstuck from mud Saturday at an East Texas campsite and hung out with them for a bit, the AP reports. "Then something went wrong," Sheriff Greg Taylor tells the Corsicana Daily Sun. According to the AP, Hudson allegedly returned to the campsite hours later and murdered all but one of the family members. The victims were identified as 46-year-old Thomas Kamp; his partner Hannah Johnson, 40; her 6-year-old son, Kade; Kamp's two adult sons, Nathan and Austin; and Johnson's father, Carl, 77. The family members were camping on property purchased by Kamp in August and were celebrating Nathan Kamp's 24th birthday. Hudson lived next door. The Daily Sun reports the sole survivor is Johnson's mother, Cynthia, who ran into the woods and hid for hours before calling 911.

"Apparently [Hudson] did not see her run away," Taylor says. "Thank God." Two bodies found in the family's camper had been shot to death. The other four bodies were found in a pond. Hudson, identified by Cynthia, was arrested at his mother's house nearby. The 33-year-old has a history of violence, but "nothing like this," says Taylor, who described the scene as "like a war movie." While police haven't commented on motive, Thomas Kamp's ex-wife has a theory: Carina Kamp says the land purchase didn't go over well with Hudson and suggests the murder was planned. Thomas Kamp bought the land from Hudson's father, who has since died, and Hudson was reportedly angry that Kamp locked the property to prevent access. She says Kamp last weekend found that Hudson had removed the lock and "regained possession," as the Palestine Herald-Press puts it. (In another high-profile murder case, police have released photos of a man suspected of killing a pastor's wife.)

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