In 2015, Lucas Leonard, 19, died after being beaten by members of an Upstate New York cult, the Word of Life Christian Church. Nine individuals were convicted in connection with the crime, including Luke’s mother, father, and sister. The story is told in my book, Without a Prayer: The Death of Lucas Leonard and How One Church Became a Cult.
The following are police photos from a search of the Word of Life property after Luke was taken to the hospital dead.
Word of Life building in Chadwicks, NY.
The “big sanctuary,” where Luke succumbed to his injuries, inside the Word of Life building.
The “small sanctuary,” where a gang of angry cult members beat brothers Christopher and Lucas Leonard, resulting in Luke’s death.
The Irwin brothers had a fascination with weapons and war.
The Irwins had, at times, more than 100 animals inside the building. They ran a puppy mill, sold exotic birds, and kept pets of their own.
Police discovered the Irwins had built an underground shooting range beneath the Word of Life building, where they had been firing high powered guns.
Cult members had built the Irwins a pricey apartment on the third floor of the Word of Life building.
Interior of the Word of Life building.