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William Eugene THOMPSON





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Murder for hire - Escape
Number of victims: 2
Date of murders: 1974 / 1986
Date of arrest: May 9, 1986
Date of birth: July 26, 1951
Victims profile: ??? / Fred Cash (his prison farm supervisor)
Method of murder: ??? / Hitting with a hammer
Location: Graves County, Kentucky, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on March 18, 1998

Supreme Court of Kentucky


William Eugene Thompson v. Commonwealth of Kentucky


THOMPSON, WILLIAM EUGENE, DOB 7-26-51, was sentenced to death March 18, 1998 in Graves County.

William Thompson entered a plea of guilty on January 12, 1995, to the following charges: Capital Murder, Robbery in the First Degree, and Escape in the First Degree, which occurred on May 9, 1986.

William Thompson, of Pike County, Kentucky was sentenced to life for the 1986 murder of Correctional Officer Fred Cash at the Western Kentucky Farm Center in Graves County on March 18, 1998.

Thompson was currently serving a life sentence at the Western Kentucky Farm Center for the offense of willful murder for hire in Pike County. While working with an inmate crew at the dairy, Thompson struck Correctional Officer Fred Cash repeatedly in the head with a hammer, dragged the body into a barn stall, and fled in the prison farm van.

Police arrested Thompson in a bus station on his way to Indiana. Thompson was convicted and sentenced to death in October 1986 in Lyon County, but seven years later the state Supreme Court threw out the conviction and ordered a new trial. Thompson also won a change of venue from Lyon County to Graves County.


This killer was serving a life sentence for a murder for hire in Pike County.  While serving that sentence in 1986 in Lyon County, he reported for  prisoner work detail.  While on work detail, he took a hammer and hit a prison guard 12 times in the head, killing him.  After killing the guard, he took the victim's body to a nearby barn where he took the victim's wallet, keys, and knife.  He then drove the prison van to a bus station to try and escape.


Fred Cash



William Eugene Thompson



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