Suspect allegedly hangs man, kills another as part of ‘purge’

Posted at 11:54 AM, July 12, 2022 and last updated 2:10 AM, December 13, 2022

OGDEN, Utah (KSTU) — Police say a suspect admitted to hanging an Ogden man over the weekend, and killing another man in Spanish Fork last week as part of a “purge.”

Christian Francis Taele, 28, was arrested and faces murder charges for his connection to the Ogden incident on Saturday evening.

Police were originally called to a report of an assault at an apartment complex in the 2400 block of Adams Avenue. Inside, officers found the victim hanging from a piece of gym equipment, according to court documents.

The victim was taken to the hospital and currently has no signs of brain activity.

According to a witness, Taele randomly approached the victim and began strangling him with a rope or strap, before kicking him numerous times. Taele allegedly then dragged the suspect into the gym of the apartment building.

Police say Taele then took the rope or strap and hung the victim from the gym equipment, where the victim’s body was later found.

“The attack was unprovoked and there is no indication that either the suspect or victim have ever spoken prior to the attack,” police wrote in the arrest report.

While being interviewed by Ogden police for the assault, Taele confessed to a homicide in Spanish Fork that had occurred on Friday, ending with the body of a deceased middle-aged man, later identified as 49-year-old Ryan Hooley, being found next to a dumpster.

Spanish Fork police detectives interviewed Taele who allegedly provided details of that homicide and crime scene that had not previously been released.

Taele told police that he “was directed by a higher power and to ‘purge’ the city,” according to the report.

Officers wrote that Taele felt no remorse for the killings.

This story was originally published July 11 by KSTU in Salt Lake City, an E.W. Scripps Company.