EVERETT -- A 21-year-old sex offender who has admitted killing mail-order bride Anastasia King has written a letter to a cult leader claiming that he alone was responsible for the woman's death.
The letter complicates the case against King's husband, Indle King, who prosecutors believe helped strangle his bride from a former Soviet republic. King, charged with witness tampering and first-degree murder in the case, is scheduled to go on trial next month.
The letter's author, Daniel K. Larson, lived with the Kings in their Mountlake Terrace home. Months after the 20-year-old woman disappeared in September 2000, Larson led detectives to her shallow grave.
Larson has repeatedly claimed that the 270-pound Indle King not only ordered him to strangle the young woman from Kyrgyzstan, but held her down as she fought for her life. That's what he told prosecutors in an October plea agreement.
But in April, Larson offered a different version of events in a letter to self-proclaimed prophet Christopher Turgeon, 38, former leader of a violent cult called the Gatekeepers. Trying to hasten the apocalypse, the cult went on a crime spree in 1998 during which they killed a former member and shot at a California police officer.
In the letter, The Herald of Everett reported yesterday, Larson says that he alone killed King -- and that he was ordered by God to do so.
Including misspellings, the letter reads:
"You already know what happened, but just in case you forgot: I executed Anastasia King because God told me she was an adulterous, and that I need to fulfill Leviticus 20:10 and put her to death. God gave me some unbelievable strenth, so that I could do all this by myself. By doing this I rescued Indle from a very evil woman. I am happy that God used me as his personal Avenger and saviour."
King's lawyers, David Allen and Cassandra Stamm, said the letter should help their client's case.
"It proves what we've said all along," Stamm said.
The letter became public at a pretrial hearing Friday before Snohomish County Superior Court Judge George Bowden.
Prosecutors said that they learned of the letter last week and that it may force them to request a trial delay.
Larson, who has a history of mental problems, was housed in the same part of the Snohomish County Jail as Turgeon early this year. At the time, Larson tried to fire his female public defender, saying he had religious objections to being represented by a woman. A member of Turgeon's cult had made a similar request.
Larson ultimately abandoned the request, but not before some unusual court appearances -- notable in part because he had shaved his head and eyebrows.