The Bizarre Christian Sex Cult Death of Bethany Leidlein Deaton
A young Arlington woman is dead and her husband along with several other members of her secretive prayer group are suspected of raping her, then killing her and trying to make it look like a suicide.
Bethany Leidlein Deaton: Police investigating husband of eight weeks in connection with her murder.
Though the death at first looked like a suicide, Micah Moore, a friend and fellow prayer group member of Deaton's, confessed Friday to murdering her. He claims he acted on the orders of Tyler Deaton, Bethany's husband of a mere ten weeks. Tyler Deaton reportedly feared Bethany was about to tell her therapist that Tyler had been drugging her and forcing her to have sex with his friends as part of their religious activities.
The assailants allegedly recorded their sexual assaults of Bethany Deaton on an iPad, and then wrote poems about the rapes.
In his confession, Moore told police that the charismatic, energetic and domineering Tyler Deaton had sex with his male followers as well. The Deatons lived with four other men; three have said they had sex with Tyler and the fourth claims to feel that he was being groomed.
Most in the group are native Texans and graduates of Southwestern University in Georgetown. The group apparently reportedly followed Tyler Deaton en masse from Texas to Missouri to attend a Kansas City institution called the International House of Prayer University, an evangelical missionary training school.
Neighbors of the Deatons recalled seeing their street fill with cars with Texas plates. Most of the cars were driven by men; few women were seen going in the house to attend what was passed off to neighbors as "Bible study" meetings.
A spokesman for IHOPU acknowledged that the Texans were students, but disavowed their clique as "an independent, close-knit group" that operated "under a veil of secrecy."
While Moore has confessed, Tyler Deaton remains merely under investigation by Kansas City authorities. In one detective's report, an unnamed source told police that Tyler had been "angry" and "frustrated" in the weeks leading up to Bethany's death, and even said he had a dream that he suffocated her.