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Thompson’s Ashes Headed for Harbor in Copenhagen

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The ashes of Thomas M. Thompson, executed Tuesday for a 1981 rape and murder, are going to be scattered in the harbor at Copenhagen near the statue of the Little Mermaid that greets returning sailors.

“Tom was dismayed by what our country was doing to him,” Lisa Nagelschmidt, his sister, said Wednesday. “He couldn’t wait to get out of the country. He didn’t want to be here.”

Thompson often expressed ire to his family that America’s justice system was brushing aside his pleas of innocence. Thompson argued to the end that he did not rape or murder Ginger Fleischli, 20, in Laguna Beach.

He claimed that after a night of bar hopping and smoking hashish he had consensual sex with Fleischli, passed out, then awakened in the morning to find her gone. Fleischli’s blood stained through the carpet 6 feet from where Thompson said he slept.

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Prosecutors have maintained that the evidence against Thompson was overwhelming. Most notably, they said, he had handcuffs in his possession at his arrest, and Fleischli’s wrists and ankles bore what appeared to be shackle marks.

With his final punishment carried out after 17 years behind bars, Thompson will be leaving the country he grew to detest. He’ll also be returning to his ancestral homeland. Thompson’s mother, Ingebort Lochrie, is a native of Denmark.

Nagelschmidt said, however, that it remains unclear when she and other family members will be heading overseas to spread the ashes. “His wishes are going to be carried out,” she said. “I just don’t know when.”


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