Inspiration behind Texas Chainsaw Massacre dies in prison

THE MAN widely thought to be the inspiration behind The Texas Chainsaw Massacre film has died after being held in a British prison.

Wheelchair-bound Dr Robert Kleasen, 70, died of suspected heart failure yesterday at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich where he was transferred to from Belmarsh Prison, south-east London, last week.

He had been fighting extradition to the United States for the murders of two Mormon missionaries 29 years ago.

Last August, Kleasen was told there was a case for him to answer regarding the murders of Gary Darley, 20, and Mark Fischer, 19, on 28 October, 1974 in Travis County in Texas.

Kleasen was found guilty of murdering Mr Fischer and spent two and a half years on death row in Texas before his conviction was quashed.

He was originally acquitted on appeal in 1977 because of an illegal search warrant. He had always denied the charge.

He moved to the UK in 1990 and married pen pal Marie Longley, from Barton-upon-Humber, near Scunthorpe, after serving a sentence for federal firearms violations.

But advances in DNA testing had revealed new evidence linking him to the scene of the crime and prompted lawyers for the US government to seek an extradition.

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