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'Blind Faith' Killer Larry Thompson Confesses to 1984 Murder-for-Hire

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By Angela Deines   |   Monday, 19 May 2014 10:36 AM

Larry Thompson, the man who was long suspected of carrying out the murder-for-hire plot detailed in the 1989 book "Blind Faith," has reportedly confessed to the crime 30 years later.

Though Thompson was acquitted of carrying out a hit on Maria Marshall, who was found shot to death in a picnic area along New Jersey's Garden State Parkway in 1984, he actually did commit the crime, The Associated Press reported. The events surrounding the killing were the subject of Joe McGinniss' novel, "Blind Faith," and later made into a TV miniseries in 1990.

Thompson reportedly confessed to the crime last week, right after he was indicted in a separate 1979 murder in Louisiana. Robert Marshall, Maria Marshall’s husband, was originally convicted in 1986 for paying to have his wife killed. He was set to be executed after New Jersey reinstated the death penalty in 1983, but his death sentence was overturned in 2004. The state has since abolished the death penalty, and Marshall now has a December parole hearing scheduled.

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Joseph Coronato, prosecutor for Ocean County, New Jersey, said his office reopened the case on Thompson in 2013 after a Louisiana district attorney's office contacted him noting the similarities between the Marshall killing and the 1979 murder, according to the AP.

During the Marshall trial, Thompson was cleared because of his alibi. The "Blind Faith" killer had his wife, son, brother, and other acquaintances testify that he was with his son at a dentist's office in Louisiana the day Marshall was killed, making it impossible for him to have been in New Jersey at the time.

In April, Ocean County authorities claimed Thompson told a retired detective who had worked on the case 30 years ago that witnesses who said he was in Louisiana were lying or mistaken.

Authorities in Louisiana and Texas are also looking into whether Thompson may be connected to additional murders that took place in 1988 and 1979, respectively.

Thompson is currently incarcerated in Louisiana on an 80-year rap for the armed robbery and attempted murder of a police officer. He's served a dozen years of that sentence.

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