Elderly New York Man Allegedly Kills Elvis Impersonator During Sexual Encounter

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John Oyewale Contributor
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Authorities accused a retired chiropractor of fatally smothering a longtime Elvis impersonator during a sexual encounter in an upstate New York suburb last Friday, according to multiple reports.

Ronald G. Rayher, 69, allegedly “caused the death” of 40-year-old Thomas J. Krider on Apr. 5, Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) said Wednesday in a media release. Krider was reported missing Apr. 6 in Ticonderoga, New York, three days before the SCSO learned Tuesday of “a possible deceased person” in a Milton residence.

Rayher was arraigned in Milton Town Court for “manslaughter in the 2nd degree (class C felony) and tampering with physical evidence (class E felony)”, the SCSO said. He was also remanded in custody “in lieu of bail, bond, or partially secured bond pending further action.”

The SCSO’s statement did not reveal the circumstances surrounding the alleged killing. However, Rayher allegedly restrained and bound Krider and then administered chloroform to Krider more than once during a sexual encounter, The Times Union reported, citing court documents and investigators. The alleged chloroform use was reportedly determined to be consensual, according to investigators. The two men had known each other for years, SCSO Undersheriff Jeffrey Brown stated, the outlet reported.

Deputies are investigating how the defendant allegedly secured the chloroform — a toxic organic compound once employed as an anesthetic — but observed that the substance was “not difficult to make,” according to the outlet. Rayher also allegedly tampered with and hid Krider’s belongings following the alleged killing in Rayher’s home, court documents reportedly revealed. (RELATED: Man Wearing ‘Scream’ Mask, Wielding Chainsaw Allegedly Kills Neighbor)

Krider’s wife, 42-year-old Heidi Greene, had alerted Ticonderoga police last Saturday that her husband had gone missing, 24 hours after he traveled to Milton to help move furniture, the outlet reported.

“He was always so trusting that, even if he met someone one time, they were a friend,” Greene reportedly said.

Krider’s close friend James Cawley agreed, according to the outlet. “He just didn’t see bad in anybody,” Cawley reportedly said.

Krider was a celebrated Elvis impersonator working under the stage name TJ Greene at the annual Elvis Festival, the outlet reported. Held at New York‘s Lake George Forum between 2004 and 2019 before a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual festival will be held early May this year at Verona, New York’s Turning Stone Resort Casino, according to the official Lake George area website.

Krider also had settled with his wife in Ticonderoga in January, having taken up a job in October as a tour guide at the Star Trek: Original Series Set Tour museum featuring a replica of Star Trek’s spaceship U.S.S. Enterprise and its bridge, according to The Times Union.

A commenter on what appeared to be Krider’s Facebook page called Krider’s death “a nightmare.”