Murder of Albert Thomas by Lorraine Hunter investigated on Where Murder Lies

Mugshot of Lorraine Alison Hunter
Lorraine Hunter was sentenced to death for the murder of Albert Thomas. Pic credit: Riverside County Sheriff’s Office

Where Murder Lies examines the death of Albert Thomas, who was shot dead by his wife, Lorraine Alison Hunter, so she could pocket the life insurance money in Moreno Valley, California.

On November 4, 2009, the body of 56-year-old truck driver Albert Thomas was found kneeling in the sleeper section of his big rig truck. He had been shot four times at point-blank range, twice in the back of the head and twice in his back.

The cops were baffled as to who would want to murder the hard-working trucker, who his stepdaughter described as a calm, quiet person who was never overly aggressive. The case lay cold for two years before the detectives finally got a break.

The police were contacted by a relative of Thomas’s wife, Lorraine Hunter, to say they had helped her and her daughter, 15-year-old Briuana Hunter, escape after killing Thomas.

On the night of the murder, the trio had walked to Thomas’s big rig, where he had stashed a present for Briuana. As he reached for the gift in the sleeper section, Lorraine pulled out a gun and shot him.

The cops learned that Lorraine had been planning to kill her husband for months. She had planned to kill him on at least two occasions in the months before his death but had been thwarted each time due to too many witnesses in the area.

Lorraine Hunter killed Albert Thomas for money

Her motivation seems to have been greed; she enlisted Briuana to help her plan the murder and apply for numerous life insurance policies in Thomas’s name.

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Lorraine had forged Thomas’s signature on the insurance policies. She stood to gain over one million dollars in the event of his murder. Thankfully, she never actually received a cent. But she was arrested and charged.

Briuana was also taken into custody, and she agreed to plead guilty to attempted murder and involuntary manslaughter. She also agreed to testify against her mother.

A jury later convicted Lorraine Hunter of first-degree murder, and the same jury recommended that she receive the death penalty. A judge agreed with that recommendation and sent her to death row.

A contributing factor in the decision to use the death penalty was the discovery of a previous husband of Lorraine, Allen Brown, who had also died in suspicious circumstances in 1996. He was also shot in the back, and Lorraine had received a life insurance payout.

More from Where Murder Lies

Follow the links to read about more murderers profiled on Where Murder Lies.

William Snyder strangled his wife, Kelley Jo Snyder, to death at their home in Renovo, Pennsylvania. He then tried to cover up his crime by claiming she’d been abducted.

Todd Garten pretended to be an international assassin so he could recruit local idiots from his town to kill his 8-month pregnant wife, Carole Garton. Shockingly, the plan worked, but the police soon arrested Garten and the trigger man, Norman Daniels.

Where Murder Lies airs at 11/10c on Investigation Discovery.

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