Authorities say six people, including a child, were killed at a campsite in Anderson County, Tex., over the weekend. William Hudson, who lives near the property, has been arrested and charged with the murder. (Reuters)

It sounds like the plot of horror film: family from out-of-town buys land in the country, then finds out — fatally — that a very dangerous someone thinks the property really belongs to him. But, at least according to the ex-wife of one of the victims, that motive is behind a multiple murder in East Texas over the weekend that claimed the lives of six people, including a 6-year-old boy.

On Monday, William Hudson of Tennessee Colony, Tex., was arrested and charged with one count of murder after officers found two bodies in a trailer on land abutting his property and four more in a pond behind his house.

“Mine and my family’s theory is that Mr. Hudson got mad that my husband bought the land and this [the murders] was something he planned on doing,” Carina Kamp told the Palestine Herald Press.

[Texas campsite massacre claims 6, including child]

In a tragic story with so many victims, it takes a bit of explaining to sort out who’s who. Carina Kamp is the ex-wife of Thomas Kamp, a 45-year-old man who owned the reportedly disputed land in a rural area of Texas about 100 miles southeast of Dallas. According to Carina, Thomas recently purchased the land from suspect Hudson’s father, who died shortly after the transaction. Hudson was reportedly angry about the sale, and about Thomas’s decision to fence off the property. Indeed, Carina said her ex-husband found out over the weekend that Hudson had cut the lock and reclaimed the property.

If such tension was brewing beneath the surface, it was not apparent when Hudson, as CBS19 reported, helped Thomas Kamp and his visitors dislodge a vehicle from mud the day before he allegedly killed them. With Thomas were 23-year-old Nathan Kamp and 21-year-old Austin Kamp, his sons with Carina Kamp; his girlfriend Hannah Johnson and her 6-year-old son Kade, with whom he lived in Midlothian, Tex., a Dallas suburb; and 77-year-old Carl Johnson and Cynthia Johnson, Hannah Johnson’s father and mother who moved to Texas from Maine to be closer to their daughter.

The two families, brought together at their new campsite for the first time, had intended to enjoy it together

“We had a nice celebration here on Friday night for [Nathan Kamp’s] birthday,” Steven Woodruff, Thomas Kamp’s uncle, told CBS19. “Some of the family and friends were all here. They had a great time. And obviously they were going camping Saturday afternoon.”

All save Cynthia — who fled from the scene after Hudson attacked, hid in the woods and lived to tell the tale — would soon be dead.

“Apparently [the killer] did not see her run away,” said Sheriff Greg Taylor. “She was able to hide, thank God.”

Surviving family members were left numb by the carnage, which Taylor likened to “a war movie.”

“Nothing can describe the pain and suffering the remaining family members feel,” Woodruff said. Carina Kamp, meanwhile, described ex-husband Thomas as “a loving father and wonderful man.”

“We have been close our whole lives,” she said. “I love him more than anything.”

Four of the victims. From left: Carl Johnson, Thomas Kamp, Hannah Johnson, and Johnson’s son Kade.


 

Hudson remains in jail with a $2.5 million bond. Sheriff Taylor noted that he had recently been arrested on an assault charge.

“We handled him for assault within the last few weeks,” Taylor said. “He was violent, but it wasn’t of this nature.”

Correction: A previous version of this post incorrectly reported that Carl and Cynthia Johnson moved to Texas from Vermont.