- Louis R. Payne sits with his face in his hands at his inquest for the murder of his mother and brother. His father, Lucius F. Payne, sits at his side.Louis Rude Payne, 21 years of age, used a camping axe to kill his mother, 45-year-old Carrie L. Payne, and 15-year-old brother Robert in their Westwood mansion home. Payne turned himself in for the killings of four to five days after their deaths, at a Huntington Beach police station. When he turned himself in, detectives found on his person both a letter and a telegram addressed to his father Lucius Payne, a St. Louis businessman, confessing to the crime, apologizing for his actions, and explaning that he did not know what impulse it was that drove him to the murders. Although he was questioned repeatedly, no motive for the murders was ever discovered, save for what Payne termed a force stronger than himself that compelled him to commit the crimes.Payne was convicted of the two murders, but found to be insane at the time of the crimes. He was confined to psychiatric treatment at the Mendocino State Hospital at Talmadge, in Mendocino County, CA. His father stood by him throughout his trial and conviction.
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