Alvin Taylor killed four people, claiming he was a ¨soldier of God¨.

Sara B
Photo byDuluth News Tribune

Alvin Taylor was a traveling nightclub performer and admitted to murdering four people between 1985-1988. He was found not guilty by reason of mental disease/defect and is institutionalized at Mendota Mental Health Institute.

The four men murdered were Daniel Lundgren in 1986, Robert Williams in 1985, James Severson in 1988, and Timothy Hayden in 1987. Taylor's first victim, Robert Williams, was visiting Taylor at his Dunn County home when Taylor snuck up behind him and shot him. He then buried Williams in his yard.

A year later, Taylor murdered Daniel Lundgren, Taylor's former roommate. They went for a ride in Lundgren's car, and Taylor shot him several times in the head; Lundgren did regain consciousness enough to drive and crash his car. The death was ruled an accident until Taylor admitted to killing him, and when Lundgren's body was, exhumed, they found bullet holes in his head, which were not found when he was in the hospital, even after having X-rays.

In 1987, Taylor murdered Hayden in his home after Taylor had gone to visit him. Not only did he shoot Hayden, but he also smashed his face in with the gun. Taylor was arrested at Hayden's funeral.

The last of his murders was James Severson in 1988; he stabbed Severson with a knife and left him in his apartment, which eventually began to smell and led police to investigate. At this time, they found Severson, and Taylor knew him and admitted to killing him.

All of those that Taylor murdered were his friends or acquaintances, and he claimed that he was a ¨soldier of God¨ and was driven to kill by the messages he received from the radio and television.

A psychiatrist diagnosed Taylor with paranoid schizophrenia and testified the crimes were committed due to his mental illness. However, while incarcerated at Mendota, another psychiatrist, Deborah Collins, Ph.D., evaluated Taylor and re-diagnosed him with a persecutory type of delusional disorder that includes antisocial and narcissistic behaviors.

Over the years, Taylor has applied to be released from the state mental institution, but he has been denied. According to Dr. Collins, he has not even been able to qualify for Mendota minimum security unit for nonviolent residents. As well as in the mid-1990s, he conspired with another inmate to bring a gun into the institution.

His history of violence ... is a strong predictor for future violence," Collins said, adding, "He has shown a pattern of testing limits in the institution."

At times, Taylor refuses his medications and claims he has healed himself through yoga and meditation. He has been described as a very dangerous person, and he remains institutionalized.

His last petition for release was in April 2022; however, he withdrew his plea for release shortly after.

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