Murder of Henry Stange by Curtis Krueger investigated by On The Case With Paula Zahn

Mugshot of Curtis Lee Krueger
Curtis Lee Krueger was found guilty of murdering Henry Allen Stange. Pic credit: Riverside County Sheriff’s Office

On The Case With Paula Zahn is examing the murder of Henry Allen Stange, who was killed by jealous boyfriend Curtis Lee Krueger at his home in Murrieta, California, in 2018.

In 2018, Curtis Krueger was serving with the Marine Corps at Twenty Nine Palms, CA., where he lived with his girlfriend, Ashlie Nicole Stapp. The pair had hoped to marry and live the rest of their lives together.

Unfortunately, there was a major problem. Stapp had become addicted to painkillers. She hid her problem from her boyfriend and began a sexual relationship with fellow addict Henry Stange, who could afford the drugs she wanted.

Prosecutors would later describe the situation as a classic love triangle; Krueger was a jealous, controlling boyfriend, Stange was a middle-aged lonely man infatuated with Stapp, and Stapp was a drug addict, desperate to hide her addiction from her boyfriend.

Krueger would later claim that Stapp had told him that Stange had raped her. He said this was why he assaulted him in January 2018. He also claimed that he feared Stange would assault his girlfriend again, which is why he went to his home in Murrieta on May 24.

Curtis Krueger killed Henry Stange while in a jealous rage

When Krueger arrived at Stange’s house, he encountered his victim in the garage and attacked him with violent ferocity. The 59-year-old Stange was stabbed in the chest and neck, and he received multiple blunt force hits which fractured his skull.

Krueger found Stapp in a bathroom of the house, and they both agreed to cover up the murder. They bought a shovel in a nearby hardware store, loaded Stange’s body onto a truck, and drove to the Joshua Tree National Park, where they buried him in a shallow grave.

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A week after the murder on June 1, 2018, a hiker in the Park was drawn to the burial site by a group of vultures circling Stange’s remains. The hiker thought the birds were picking on the carcass of an animal and took photos of the scene. Later, the hiker showed the photo to his wife, who recognized the bones as the lower half of a human.

On identifying the remains, the police went to Stange’s Murrieta home and searched the garage where he was murdered. They found a crime scene that the officers found particularly disturbing.

Krueger and Stapp were both arrested about six months after the murder. Stapp pleaded guilty and agreed to testify against her former fiance.

Krueger was convicted of second-degree murder and was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.

More from On The Case With Paula Zahn

Follow the links to read about more murders profiled by On The Case With Paula Zahn.

Randy Baker was murdered by multiple members of his own family. His wife, Kelly Baker, and his sister, Carol Baker, with instrumental in planning the murder. Their motive appears to have been solely financial gain.

Paula Zahn recently examined the bizarre case of Roger Carroll, who used a teenage runaway to lure their stepmother, Bonnie Woodward, to his rural home, where he shot her dead. Carroll then forced his son to help him dispose of the body.

On The Case With Paula Zahn airs at 11/10c on Investigation Discovery.

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