Convicted murderer ID’d as killer in Granby murder-suicide
April 9, 2010
GRANBY – It was Michael Rexford McCormick, a 53-year old felon, who murdered his ex-girlfriend Michelle Lee Thompson-Larimer, 38, of Parker on Thursday morning in a Granby Ranch home before killing himself.
Thompson-Larimer, mother of a 4-year-old son from a former marriage, was a Realtor and had maintained a business relationship with McCormick.
The two of them would invest in rundown properties, refurbish them and sell them, according to Granby Police Chief Bill Housley.
McCormick had been convicted of 1st degree murder in the 1980s and was originally sentenced to life and 22 years for flight and escape charges. A later appeal in which he pleaded to a lesser charge of 2nd degree murder based on evidence discrepancies released him from prison five years ago. He had served 18 years.
He was once suspected along with his father Tom in the deaths of as many as 17 homeless men recruited to work on a ranch on the eastern plains.
Like McCormick, Thompson-Larimer had once owned one of the properties in Granby Ranch.
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“There was a group of acquaintances that purchased properties up there,” Housley said.
Both had sold their Granby homes, which was the reason McCormick brought his captive to an acquaintance’s home at 109 Timber Court.
Thompson-Larimer had made one phone call while under her kidnapper’s watch.
Reaching out to a roommate, presumably while her kidnapper monitored the call, the 38-year-old Parker woman told the friend that she was “being held against her will,” said Granby Police Chief Bill Housley, “and she told the friend to tell her mother that she loved her and to pick up her son.”
She was able to convey who her kidnapper was, but couldn’t say where they were located, Housley said.
The friend then reported the kidnapping to Parker police about 2 p.m. on Wednesday.
Parker officers found the woman’s car at a service station in Parker, according to Parker Police.
The kidnapping culminated Thursday morning, when McCormick killed his captive before committing suicide.
Both individuals died with a single gunshot wound to the head.
McCormick was found with the handgun in his hand, Housley said.
It appeared that “considerable” time had lapsed between the death of the woman and death of her killer, he said. He believes the crime had been premeditated.
“It was planned to end in the manner it ended,” he said.
Granby Police Department officers were informed of the kidnapping on Wednesday through a state-wide broadcast from the Parker Police Department, working with the FBI.
McCormick had vehicles registered to an address in Saddle Horn Court in Granby Ranch as a result of not having updated his vehicle registration.
Granby Police responded there, but did not find the McCormick’s vehicle. Housley and another Granby police officer then canvassed the neighborhood and found one his vehicles a block away at Timber Court.
Police made numerous attempts to call both McCormick’s and Thompson-Larimer’s cell phones, but it was later learned that the batteries had been taken out of both of them.
With a perimeter set up around the home, police worked through the night and tried to use a pole camera to view inside, but did not detect any activity within, Housley said.
Police heard a single gunshot at 5:21 a.m. after they had bored a hole in a window to insert a telephone inside for negotiations with the suspect.
Upon entering the home, Housley said, both individuals were found dead.
No gunshots had been fired by law enforcement, according to Housley.
McCormick’s record included a string of financial crimes that date back to the 1980s, including possession of stolen property, larcenies, check frauds and insufficient funds.
Housley said McCormick most recently worked as an investor in distressed properties.
“It’s debatable whether the business was on the up and up,” Housley said. “There are some people who expressed dissatisfaction.”
Housley speculates McCormick’s motive for killing Thompson-Larimer was from “frustrations with business partners of late. Things were not going like he liked and it was stressful. Also, that the relationship (with Thompson-Larimer) had ceased and it may have been relationship that he valued highly.”
McCormick is also survived by one adult son.
The last murder in or near Granby was in August 1990, when a woman shot her disabled husband in their Granby-area home on Fourth Street.