For the past 16 years, Kirtland resident Lee Traxler has been waiting to see if justice would be served in the murders of his five former neighbors.
On Tuesday, as Traxler sipped coffee at Judy and Jen's Restaurant in Kirtland an hour after the execution of Jeffrey Lundgren, he said it had.
Dennis and Cheryl Avery and their daughters, Trina, Rebecca and Karen, lived next door to Traxler on Route 306 for a year before moving in with Lundgren.
"They had already been involved with Jeffrey by the time I got to know them, but they were nice people," Traxler said. "I think he thought he would get out of it all these years. Carrying it out all these years was ridiculous. It's not soon enough."
Many in the quaint community of 6,670 residents had similar feelings as they went about their daily routines.
"I would have liked to see the cops shoot him in the knees and have him fall over into the mud," resident Lew Fowler said. "The only good thing is that in prison, maybe he had some time to think about what he did."
Some say the murders forever changed the way Kirtland is viewed.
"It gave everything a whole new feel," resident Jeanette Potosky said. "I pass that barn every day on the way to work, and it's a constant reminder. It's just silence, and I remember what happened there. Even when you see the Mormon Temple and the gas station on the corner, you don't look at those things the same way."
Officials of the Kirtland Temple, where Lundgren was once a member, declined to comment on his execution, referring all questions to Susan Naylor, communications specialist for the Independence, Mo.-based Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Lundgren had been a member of the Kirtland church until officials revoked his credentials because of his involvement in cult activities and efforts to recruit people from the church.
In a written statement, Naylor said the church remains opposed to the death penalty.
"The Community of Christ will always remember the tragedy caused by the actions of Jeffrey Lundgren and his followers," Naylor said. "Our prayers will continue to uphold all those affected by these events.
"Community of Christ continues to stand by a resolution passed at the 2000 World Conference opposing the death penalty. As a church, we strive to seek new ways to achieve healing through restorative justice."
For many Kirtlanders, Lundgren's execution jogged memories of the media frenzy that descended upon the town in 1990. For others, it conjured up more painful images.
Resident Jim Zorn was among volunteer firefighters who helped recover the Averys from a pit in Lundgren's barn.
"It's not something I like to talk about," Zorn said. "I'm just glad he's dead. There's still a lot of guys who were hoping he'd be put to death, and this will give some of them closure."
While Lundgren's death might end a painful chapter in history for many people, it's not likely to end the fascination with his former house and barn on Euclid-Chardon Road. Geoffrey Howell has rented the property for the past six years.
Howell has gotten used to the attention from ghost hunters and curious tourists.
"People constantly drive by and slow down to see it," Howell said. "In the summer, I sit out here on the front porch, and I can hear the guys on motorcycles yell to their girlfriends on the back, 'That's where the Lundgren killings were.' "
Howell said he didn't have any qualms about renting the home, which he hopes to buy soon.
The property has changed Howell's views on the supernatural, however.
Over the years, he said he has seen hundreds of photographs taken inside the house and barn by various people, with unexplainable images that appeared.
He and his husky and shepherd mix dog, Pinhead, have also gotten used to hearing strange noises on the property.
Howell said one fellow renter even reported seeing a ghost of a young girl in her bed. "I'm 53, and I never believed in any of this stuff until I moved here," Howell said.
Shortly after 10 a.m. Tuesday, Howell said he was upstairs when he heard a loud thump.
He raced downstairs to see what fell over, but found nothing.
"I realized then that it was about the time Jeffrey Lundgren died," Howell said. "I heard Jeffrey Lundgren say in recent years that he found the Lord. I hope he did go with the Lord."
Although Howell said he is against capital punishment, he has mixed feelings after finding remnants of the Avery family's lives in the home.
Items he has come across include the Averys' wedding album, children's books, and a diary belonging to 15-year-old Trina Avery.
"It said she wanted to be a ballerina when she grew up," Howell said.