Thacker’s Former Landlady Says Alleged Killer “A Different Man”

Tuesday, January 4th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

We're learning a little more about the man police believe went on a three-state killing spree after authorities say he kidnapped and killed Laci Hill. The News on Six talked with Margie Fry, Steven Thacker’s former landlady on Tuesday. The interview was a News on Six exclusive.

"We saw a completely different man,” said Fry. “He was as good to me as he could be. He even bought a lawn mower and kept my yard mowed. I didn't even have a lawnmower."

Police call him a kidnapper and killer. Fry calls Thacker a shy, model tenant. From her Mayes County home, she watched and waited for police to capture Thacker, the man who used to live downstairs in a one-bedroom apartment. She says his wife Trena leased the place and then met Thacker at a Tulsa bar last summer. "He worshiped her and the baby, too,” Fry recalled. “And then her son came down from Utah and he was good to him. He bought camo clothing for himself and for that little boy. I think he was happier than he'd ever been in his life."

Fry can't imagine how or why Thacker would bring Laci Hill to her property, where police found her body last Wednesday. Now Fry and her family have the road blocked to keep a stream of curious people away from the building. She wondered how could a family man turn evil? "He loved them,” she said. “I think when his wife told him she was going to divorce him, he just cracked."

Fry says she’s glad the police caught him. He had to be stopped, she said, so he wouldn’t kill any more innocent people. “They didn't deserve that,” she said. “They had done nothing to him." The former landlady says Thacker and his wife and her two children moved out in November. He left behind the lawnmower he used to mow her grass. Thacker sits behind bars in a Tennessee jail. A Tennesee judge ordered his bail set at $5,000,000. His next court hearing is set for next Wednesday.