Thomas Creech, Idaho
Updated: Monday,November 6, 2023
Thomas Creech was scheduled to be executed on Wednesday, November 8, 2023, at the Idaho Maximum Security Insitute near Kuna, Idaho. His execution has been stayed. Seventy-three-year-old Thomas is convicted of murdering fellow inmate David Dale Jensen on May 13, 1981, in a maximum security wing at the Idaho State Correctional Institution. For the last 47 years, Thomas has resided on Idaho’s death row.
Thomas Creech was born in Ohio. His parents frequently argued, eventually divorcing. After the divorce, Thomas lived with his father, who eventually died in front of him. After his father’s death, it is believed that Thomas ran away and began traveling across the county. In December 1969, Thomas was arrested for unarmed robbery. He served time and was paroled in 1971. Two years later he married a 17-year-old in Idaho, who was later committed to a psychiatric hospital where she committed suicide.
Thomas was arrested in August 1973 after he violated his parole by stealing 13 boxes of cigarettes. The charges were dropped after Thomas was admitted to a psychiatric hospital. He was a model patient during his one-week stay. After his release, he went to Portland, Oregon, where he worked as a sexton for a church. He quit his job after a body was discovered in his living quarters. Thomas then began dating another 17-year-old and the couple moved to Idaho.
On November 6, 1874, Thomas Creech and his girlfriend were hitchhiking when two house painters, 34-year-old Edward Thomas Arnold and 40-year-old John Wayne Bradford, offered them a ride. The couple accepted but during the ride Creech shot both men in the back of their heads, killing them. He and his girlfriend buried their bodies. The bodies and the missing vehicle were found the following day.
Two days later Creech was arrested, along with his girlfriend. Creech was convicted and sentenced to death. During his trial, Creech admitted to committing 42 murders in several different states. Creech provided details to the police who were able to link him to several cold cases, but police were not able to verify all his claims. Eventually, Creech’s death sentence was commuted to life in prison after the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that death sentences must be given by a jury.
Creech was serving his time at the Idaho State Correctional Institution near Kuna. He was housed in a maximum security wing, which usually only permitted one inmate out of their cell at a time. However, Creech worked as a janitor, against the protests of prosecutors who maintained that Creech continued to present a threat, even to other inmates.
While working, Creech was often not the only inmate out of his cell. Creech had a few altercations with fellow inmate, 23-year-old David Dale Jensen. David was in prison for a non-violent car theft. David was also mentally handicapped, with a plastic plate in his skull. On May 13, 1981, the altercations between Creech and David turned physical and deadly, as David was beaten to death with a sock full of batteries. Creech was quickly tried and convicted. He did not dispute the charges against him and asked to be sentenced to death. His request was granted
Thomas Creech was granted a stay of execution after the Idaho Parole Board agreed to conduct a hearing to consider changing Thomas’ sentence to life in prison. Thomas is the longest-serving death row inmate in the state. His lawyers are arguing that due to his advanced age, Thomas should be allowed to live out the remainder of his life in prison and die of natural causes. A hearing for Thomas has not yet been set by the board. Thomas has also filed a stay of execution request with the federal district court.
Please pray for peace for the families of David Jensen, Edward Thomas Arnold, John Wayne Bradford, and any others affected by Thomas’ crimes. Please pray for strength for the family of Thomas. Pray that if Thomas is innocent, lacks the competency to be executed, or should not be executed for any other reason, that evidence will be presented before his execution. Pray that Thomas, who claims to be a “devout Christian” will find peace through his personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
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