Scott McLaughlin, Missouri
Updated: Tuesday, January 3, 2023
On Tuesday, January 3, 2023, Scott McLaughlin was executed in Missouri. He was the first execution of the year nation-wide. Scott was pronounced dead by 6:51 pm local time inside the execution chamber at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic, & Corrections Center in Bonne Terre, Missouri. Forty-nine-year-old Scott was convicted of murdering 45-year-old Beverly Guenther on November 20, 2003, in Earth City, Missouri. Scott spent the last 16 years of his life on Missouri’s death row.
Scott had a sad childhood. His mother worked as a prostitute, while his father was an alcoholic. He was frequently abused and negated during his early childhood. At the age of five, Scott was adopted, however, her adoptive father also physically abused him. He was also denied food as a child. Due to poor grades at school, Scott was tested and found to have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, mild brain damage, and learning disabilities.
Scott McLaughlin and Beverly Guenther first met in 2002. They quickly began dating and moved in together. They often fought and broke up before getting back together. In the spring of 2003, their romantic relationship ended but they continued to see each other on social occasions. Additionally, McLaughlin would call and visit Beverly at her place of work.
On October 27, 2002, McLaughlin was arrested for burglarizing Beverly’s home. McLaughlin argued that he was simply trying to reclaim items he left at her house after they stopped living together. As a result of the burglary, Beverly sought, and was granted, an order of protection against McLaughlin.
About one month later, on November 20, 2003, McLaughlin drove to Beverly’s place of employment. When she got off work and emerged from the building, he approached her. They spoke while walking to her truck. At her truck, McLaughlin attacked her with a knife. He forced her to the ground where he raped her. McLaughlin then repeatedly stabbed Beverley with his knife, ultimately killing her. McLaughlin attempted to dispose of the body by dumping it in the nearby river, however, thick underbrush by the bank prevented his progress. Beverly’s body was left in the underbrush while McLaughlin returned to his vehicle, which had a flat tire. McLaughlin slept in the parking lot.
The following day, McLaughlin cleaned out his car with bleach. He eventually asked a friend to take him to a hospital to obtain medication for his mental disorder. Police arrested McLaughlin at the hospital. McLaughlin confessed to the murder, however, he has never confessed to raping Beverly.
McLaughlin was tried and convicted by a jury. The jury was unable to reach a unanimous vote for the sentence, leaving the decision up to the judge, who sentenced McLaughlin to death.
Please pray for peace for the family of Beverly Guenther. Pray for strength for the family of Scott McLaughlin.
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