Missouri Pastor Cuckolds and Murders His Best Friend, Then Delivers His Stirring Eulogy

ABC News has the story of the sweet, sweet love that blossomed between Pastor David Love (pictured right) and Teresa Stone, a woman in his flock at the New Hope Baptist Church in Independence, Missouri.

There was just one little problem: Stone was married to Randy (pictured left), an insurance entrepreneur, with whom she had two kids. He thought she loved him, as he did her. A friend of the husband recalls that “[Randy] worshipped Teresa — she meant everything to him.”

Oh well. The heart wants what the heart wants. So Teresa and her secret beau plotted Randy Stone’s murder — any qualms assuaged by a tidy life-insurance payout that would soon fall into their lovin’ laps.

I guess they weren’t smart enough to try to make it look like an accident or a robbery. One night, the ordained man of God simply entered Randy’s office and shot him dead with the former Marine’s own handgun, which Teresa had given him access to.

Except for Randy Stone’s life, nothing was taken.

Oh, did I mention that Pastor Love was not just Randy and Teresa’s spiritual advisor, but also Randy’s best friend?

In both of those capacities, Love delivered a stirring eulogy at Randy’s funeral.

“We weep not just because of the separation of our loved one but because of the questions that death brings. Questions like why, why him? Why now?

There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

The charade ended soon after police found a handwritten love letter in Teresa’s trash, and began questioning her. The note said, in part,

“Happy Birthday Love. I am not in control of things yet but when we are fully together your birthday will always be exciting.”

It didn’t take the detectives long to determine that the letter had been written by David Love.

At trial, where the truth came out, the deadly couple were sentenced to prison. Love is now serving life (though he’ll be eligible for parole in 2036); Stone, who’d betrayed her lover just as she had her husband of almost two decades, testified against Love, and pleabargained her way to a term of just eight years.

ABC notes that

The church has a new pastor that the community has embraced and together they’re hoping to make new memories, no longer defined by Pastor Love’s mistakes.

His mistakes. That’s an interesting way of putting it. Do you think that if an atheist had committed cold-blooded murder, the media would be talking about “mistakes”? Such are the perks of being a God-man.

And remarkably, a God-man is still what Pastor Love claims to be. You see, he’s reinvented himself as prison preacher. He now leads large Bible-study groups, and teaches sinners the finer points of morality.

The Lord, mysterious ways — you know the drill.

About Terry Firma

Terry Firma, though born and Journalism-school-educated in Europe, has lived in the U.S. for the past 20-odd years. Stateside, his feature articles have been published in the New York Times, Reason, Rolling Stone, Playboy, and Wired. Terry is the founder and Main Mischief Maker of Moral Compass, a site that pokes fun at the delusional claim by people of faith that a belief in God equips them with superior moral standards.

  • Sven2547

    At least they’re blaming the man responsible, as opposed to The Devil or something.

  • The Other Weirdo

    I’m pretty sure I saw a plot like that on Castle or NCIS or something.

  • pparf

    So does anyone besides me suppose that good old David and Teresa would have comforted each other with “We’re not perfect, just forgiven” for years on end had they gotten away with the murder? I’ve always found that rationalization for horrific, or even mildly bad, behavior to be problematic, not only as rationalization but as a mental “Get Out of Hell Free” card–if not encouraging the bad behavior, at least not discouraging it enough.

  • Mitch

    Sounds like another story I heard as a youngster. A man (also named David, go figure) murders a woman’s husband so that he can be with her. Though the David in this tale was never on trial or imprisoned for this despicable deed, he continued to think of himself as a man of god. What was that woman’s name again? Oh, right, it was Bathsheba. Zing!

  • Dez

    Yea I remember this story has been done on Investigation Discovery or Snapped on Oxygen. I think the husband was killed at his office at a chip business.

  • Randy Meyer

    It makes me mad that all anybody has to do is just repent and they feel they can just get away with whatever it was they did. Kill your best friend’s wife? No problem! All you have to do is say some magic words and you’re good to go.

  • Kimpatsu

    Convicted tax fraudster Kent Hovind has also reinvented himself as a prison preacher. He will be eligible for parole in July 2015. You couldn’t make it up.

  • Tainda

    I rolled my eyes so hard that I think my left one is stuck looking backwards now.

    This is right in my backyard. How did I not hear about it?

  • momtarkle

    You’re probably not a member of their church.

  • Tainda

    You can count on that!

  • Steve H

    Sure it was a mistake.

    He just FORGOT pre-meditated murder was a crime!

    Give the guy a break, will ya?

  • busterggi

    Murder, adultery & lying are just fine as long as you pretend to apologise to Jesus.

  • islandbrewer

    It was the devil. And the fall.

    … and gay marriage.

  • Hat Stealer

    And video games. Don’t forget the video games.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    …no longer defined by Pastor Love’s mistakes.

    Ugh! I often find people’s euphemisms for a vile thing that someone has done to be just about as disgusting at the thing itself. The only mistake that Pastor Love made was thinking that he could get away with it. His actions were not a “mistake.” They were the deliberate, carefully chosen, cold-blooded, cynical, debased, and utterly, utterly selfish actions of a sociopath. “Reinvented himself in prison” my ass. He has simply come up with another way to feed his voracious vanity and have status even amongst other murderers and felons.

    Makes me feel sad for his inmates.

  • Peter Mountain

    My backyard too. I remember visiting this church once back in the late 80′s. But Independence is thick with Baptist churches and always has been. My brother is a KJV only Baptist and was a member of KC Baptist Temple when it’s pastor (Bob is Bold!) was sent to prison.

  • Terry Firma

    I agree. It’s moral bankruptcy of the highest order. See “Does Jesus Cause Crime?” Why, yes, I believe that with the easy forgiveness available to literally all comers, he does. http://moralcompassblog.com/2013/03/12/does-jesus-cause-crime/

  • KMR

    This is an oldie but a goodie. Love those crime shows.

  • Tainda

    A lot of “pastors” being sent to prison it seems. Things that make you go, hmmmm

    The only reason I go to Independence is when my mom drags me to SantaCaliGon lol

  • Mario Strada

    My wife watches ID a lot and I often ask her “Which pastor murdered someone else for love or money”?
    There are an incredible number of stories based on Pastors or pastor’s wives using murder in place of good old divorce.
    That would be a sin I guess. Murder is a sin only if you get caught.

  • Miss_Beara

    And those liberals in Hollywood.

  • Miss_Beara

    But remember, it is us atheists that are morally bankrupt and have no moral compass.

  • Buckley

    I am struck by the hypocrisy. I just got done watching “Blue Like Jazz” and my GF and I talked about the hypocritical behavior of the xians. The religious can do as they please and when they are held to the same standards as everyone else, their behavior is waved away because they asked god for forgiveness, and that’s what makes it ok. This is where I get pissed at most of the religious. One apologetic after another…

  • Jl

    He was a man after God’s own heart, so the scriptures say. Makes sense, because God impregnated a betrothed woman himself later.

  • ron

    Never met a preacher I would trust with anyone’s wife, daughter or son, or grand ma or grand pa

  • ron

    Well all they hav eto do is go to church, admit they are saved again or again later and they are heaven bound

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    You forget, though, obviously he wasn’t a REAL Christian.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke, TOWAN

    this is so very sad. what the hell, was divorce just too difficult for this bitch?

    i get that sometimes, one person in a marriage wants out, to be with someone else, whatever. but murder?

    i don’t care how much she “cooperated” with the prosecution. she needs to rot in jail until 2036 and then some just like he does.

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    Sorry, but the use of the word cuckold seems a little out of place in the title. Just my opinion, but that word has a more exact term and these three did not seem to be doing any cuckolding.

  • Randy Meyer

    But, see, he IS a real Christian after all because he repented. And now he is probably saying that his killing that man was a blessing now because God allowed him to find his TRUE calling of being a prison preacher.

  • ShoeUnited

    Hey, to defend Pastor Love, it worked out alright for David and Bathsheba!

  • ShoeUnited

    Divorce isn’t as profitable as an insurance man who’d get cheap high yield insurance policy through his company.

  • Terry Firma

    Whatchoo talkin’ about Willis?

  • Steve Caldwell

    Ministers should do more than lay people.


  • Glasofruix

    Hey, where is the “no true christian” crowd?

  • Baby_Raptor

    So it’s a “mistake” when a Pastor plots out and then then actually walks into a room and puts a gun to someone’s head, but a medical procedure that removes a clump of cells from a woman’s uterus is murder?

    I don’t even.

  • Baby_Raptor

    I have to wonder if any of them take his preaching gig seriously. I know I wouldn’t.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Plus, divorce is a sin, whereas bible!god is huge on murder.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Don’t jynx us!

  • Mario Strada

    There is that.

  • Kent Mason

    She will be out in 8 years? Probably less for being a proper Christian woman?

  • http://www.successstories.co.in/ Mousumi Saha Kumar

    Criminals will be criminals and they can be found in all professions. Neither our education system nor does religious books can alter a criminal mind.
    There is something wrong with us albeit we’d have created a peaceful world by now. For how many centuries have we been calling ourselves civilized?
    This Pastor deserves the worst.

  • mikespeir

    This tells me a lot. If they really believed in an all-seeing deity who would bop them on the heads for wrongdoing, they wouldn’t think they could get away with murder to cover up for adultery. I’ve become more and more convinced that most Christians don’t quite believe what they believe they believe, as crazy as that sounds.

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    Annnnd now I want to barf. Thanks, Christians!

  • Mick

    The parishioners know that they have to forgive sinners in order to be worthy of a free trip to heaven, but none of them were too keen on forgiving a cold-blooded killer who murdered his best friend, so they downgraded the crime to a mere “mistake”; something they could easily forgive. And a whole lot easier than trying to explain (if only to themselves) why dear sweet Jesus allowed the innocent victim to cop a bullet in the head.

  • dsmith

    This reinforces my long held belief that Men of God, as they piously call themselves, don’t believe or follow half the crap they are saying to the congregation.

    One recently retired minister told me of a renter who trashed a rental property he owned. His insurance agent, a former member of his congregation, told the minister he could have the insurance company pick up the cost for repairing the damages by lying to the insurance company….tell them the condo was damaged by a raccoon that got in through a window. The minister agreed.

    So here is a man who preached goodness and honesty for over 40 years who agrees to lie to an insurance company for financial gain. I refer you back to my opening paragraph.

  • Lurker111

    Yeah, well, if the KJV was good enough for Christ, it should be good enough for you!

  • Lurker111

    Or sheep.

  • Lurker111

    Thanks. Now I have coffee all over my monitor.

  • ZeldasCrown

    That’s one of the things that bothers me most about Christianity. Do something wrong, tell God you’re (you being general here, not referring to Buckley) sorry, and boom all is well. Never mind that you don’t have to apologize to the person you wronged (if that’s possible, depending upon what happened) or try to make it right/make amends. It just seems like a “get out of jail free card” so that nobody ever has to feel guilty about bad things that they’ve done.

  • ZeldasCrown

    “He now leads large Bible-study groups, and teaches sinners the finer points of morality.”

    The finer points, such as it’s ok to kill your girlfriend’s husband?

  • Bev

    Just another biblical story they took their game plan from (i.e., David & Bathsheba & Uriah the Hittite and how David the murderer is blessed by god as the righteous king.)

  • Oswald Carnes

    Sounds like a Drive By Truckers song.

  • Spuddie

    If there was an award for chutzpah he would definitely be on the short list of nominees.

  • Spuddie

    You mean those policies which pays 2x the usual amount if the person dies on a train. ;)

  • Dirk Radar

    I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.

  • Bob Becker

    Oh ye of little faith! Adultery and murder were clearly God’s plan for this pastor, God’s way of telling him He wanted him to pursue a prison ministry next. How can y’all not see that?

  • Artor

    I love this planet. I just wish assholes like that would live somewhere else. I recommend Venus.

  • baal

    Isn’t there a commandment that could have lead this good christian to reconsider this murder?

  • Artor

    Okay, where would you like your internet delivered?

  • Artor

    I wonder how much he pondered that story while he was convincing himself he was doing god’s work.

  • Artor

    Hello? Divorce doesn’t give a huge life insurance payout, and it’s a sin, doncha know?

  • markdouglas

    I wonder what the preacher got from the married woman that was so amazing, he would kill to get it regularly? I don’t mean to be crude, really. But there had to be something he enjoyed about her THAT much, that she did for his ego, sense of happiness, etc.

  • JenL

    And here I’d assumed that the pastor was a big part of the “murder, not divorce” decision, because if it became known that he’d been part of the cause of a divorce, it might have been frowned on by the congregation. It *could* have led to them asking him to step down, or even (gasp!) cutting his pay!

  • JenL

    As long as you pray fervently and sincerely for forgiveness afterwards! Using the proper phrasing, and making sure you’re praying to the big guy as described by a mainstream denomination.

  • Mairianna

    Venus is to close and associated with love. Let’s put them on the rock they used to call “Pluto”.

  • Mairianna

    My brother lost his first wife to their church pastor. Apparently the whole congregation knew what was happening, except my brother – until he woke up one day and found a letter from his ex saying she and the pastor ran off to Florida together. Amazing Christians, all (except for my brother, who now is NOT!)

  • Ron

    It was her Christian side hug.

  • Monika Jankun-Kelly

    My favorite bit of that is how they’re forgiven by God, so redress of wrongs and forgiveness from the human beings they actually hurt are totally unnecessary.

  • JohnnieCanuck

    Exactly. Before I grew out of my Christian childhood, I never actually spent my days thinking that Jesus was staring at me every moment, watching everything, hearing every thought. Whatever moral decisions I made, they weren’t influenced by a sense of intense and immediate judgmental scrutiny.

    To the extent that one must believe in that all-seeing deity to call yourself a Christian, there are very few True Christians. Maybe the odd Catholic manages to feel the guilt trip that deeply.

  • kukuk esel

    Now I am afraid of buying life insurance to benefit my children when I am gone. The biggest loosers are the insurance companies. HOPE, FAITH and LOVE. But LOVE is the greatest cannot be applied here because the other half of this crime is the $800,000 insurance money.

  • maddogdelta

    Are you kidding? All the preacher and his honey had to do was say “please forgive me god, ‘cuz, you know, I’m like really really sorry”, and POOF! He’s forgiven!

    So now he can tell all those nasty criminals how jebus leads you to a good, moral life.

  • markdouglas

    Robert E Lee justified torture of slave girls on religious grounds, and if his slave ledgers are any indication, he and other Southern leaders justified rape of slave girls. So there is nothing that people can not justify with religion, and have.

    The difference here is — this guy went to jail, and Robert E Lee is a some kind of hero.

  • markdouglas

    We need a better word fake word of God. Seriously. Untold violence torture slavery, killing, have been done because people could excuse it in the bible or other “holy text”.

    It’s all a fraud, of course, no GOD every told some guy what to write down as the word of God – hustlers and lunatics did that. Too bad they didn’t such a horrible job, cause a good fake word of God, that would have people be kind, generous, and honest with one other, would have avoided a whole lot of suffering.

  • Cattleya1

    Didn’t their all-seeing, all knowing, all-mighty god see this coming? How come he let this happen… was this some sort of divine clerical error? Mistake? No, this is all about a group of people who gullibly went to get inculcated by a psychopath every Sunday morning and cannot bear to think it was in any way bogus, except for the pre-meditated murder part.

  • UWIR

    You’re afraid your kids will kill you for the insurance money?

  • Derrik Pates

    I want to lose my lunch every time I hear that phrase.

  • UWIR

    And he admitted doing so. Does he not feel ashamed of his actions?

  • mike

    Actually, he didn’t impregnate a woman. The virgin was either 12 or 13 at the time…….according to The Catholic Encyclopedia that is.

  • mike

    Ah yes, let’s not forget the Christian review board.

  • mike

    If Jesus is watching when you masturbate, did he really think Jesus wasn’t watching him pull the trigger on his friend?

  • Marianna

    You are so disgusting, markdouglas. Consider this my downvote for you.

  • nominalize

    Nice one! It’s worse than you describe, even: David didn’t actually have the courage to murder Uriah himself. But Uriah was a soldier, so he asked his generals to send the poor chap on a suicide mission. Mission accomplished!