Monsters Among Us: Kenneth Lee Standrod shot and killed Teresa Beaty and Thomas Morris in Kanab, UT; Sentenced to life in prison

From Standrod’s appeal: The appellant and his fiancee owned a mountain cabin in the process of construction. There were seven people occupying the various finished portions of the cabin, three men engaged in helping the appellant build the cabin and two transient hitchhikers who had been picked up the day before the killing and invited to spend the night at the cabin.

After breakfast all except the two hitchhikers ingested some drugs. (T.H.C. Tetrahydrocannabinol and cocaine were available to them.)

About 1:00 p.m. the three workmen were working. One of them entered the room where the two hitchhikers were lying on a foam mattress apparently asleep. While he was searching for a tape measure, he heard loud shots behind him. He turned around and saw the appellant standing in front of the two hitchhikers. He saw shots fired and also saw a hole in the temple of the female hitchhiker and numerous gunshot wounds in the midsection of the male hitchhiker.

Another worker, hearing shots, armed himself with a shotgun and entered the cabin. He testified that the appellant had a strange look on his face and said, “So what? You’ve got a little blood on you,” and that the appellant was looking at the bodies of the hitchhikers when he spoke.

The third worker testified that he heard shots, approached the appellant, and asked him why he shot the two people. The appellant replied, “Oh, it just had to be done.” He also testified that appellant’s fiancee was questioning the appellant as to why he had shot the people and that appellant only answered, “They will wake up.”

Two of the workmen testified that appellant ordered them back to work and picked up a rifle. The two men ran and hid in the woods for a period of time. They later left the state. One went to Washington, the other to Nevada where he notified the police of the killings.

The third workman dug a hole and buried the bodies. He testified that he removed the bloody mattress from the cabin and that appellant washed the blood from the floor.

The police arrived at the cabin the day after the killing, and according to the testimony of the remaining workman the appellant then became agitated and upset and attempted to hide the mattress by covering it with plywood.

The workman, the appellant and his fiancee were all three arrested and charged with murder. Later the workman and the fiancee were granted immunity from prosecution.

Teresa L. Beaty, 15
Thomas Earl Morris, 20

Were slayings devil worship?
My daughter is dead and I don’t know why (part 1)
Teresa part 2)
Section petition filed
Boca girl murderer convicted
State of Utah v Kenneth Lee Standrod 1976 (conviction and sentence affirmed)
Killer pleads not guilty to aggravated assault

6 Responses

  1. Some of the websites on this story weren’t opening up, but from what I read in the very first article, it seems to sum up the whole situation. The mother of the young girl murdered said she was basically told that the Utah authorities simply considered the murdered girl and her boyfriend 2 insignificant street people. In short, nobody in authority really cared that the 2 were murdered. I don’t know what happened to the 5 other people in the cabin – the husband and wife and 3 construction workers, but it looks like just the murderer husband is going to be charged with murder and the other 4 let off the hook. In my opinion, all 5 of them should be charged with murder.


  2. Several of your links don’t work. This guy should never have left prison, but he isn’t in a Utah State prison. Was he paroled in the 80’s after being sentenced to 2 life sentences in the mid 70’s? Most of all, where is he?


    • I do not know where he is. I could not find him anywhere. I will try to see what I can find out, but it won’t be until after the 16th since I am visiting my daughter this week. Yay me!


      • I found out he, or another man with the same name, born in 1945, died in Ardmore OK on May 1, 2011. I wrote to Utah DOC to get his dates of incarceration.


  3. The 10/31/87 article suggests this same man had been paroled a little more than 10 hears after he went to prison for murdering two people. Can’t imagine a parole board recommending parole. Nor can I picture a governor concurring with a recommendation for parole. At least, we can be pretty sure he is dead and can’t hurt anyone else.


  4. Melissa Moore, Administrative Lieutenant of Utah State Prison advised me today that Standrod entered prison on 2/28/81 and was released on 2/14/88. She had no information on his previous period of incarceration. I suppose the other sources for information include newspapers and libraries in the county where the murders were committed.


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