Convicted rapist charged in murders of two women in Frayser in 2001

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A 70-year-old man who pleaded guilty to a 2001 sexual assault after his dentures were found at the scene has now been indicted in the murders of two women in Frayser that same year.

Thomas Maupin was indicted this month by a Shelby County grand jury on first-degree murder charges in the deaths of Nancy Carol Alvis and Patricia Cook Thornton.

Their bodies were found in October 2001 in a weed-covered area near the dead-end of Old Millington Road south of Fite Road, the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office said.

Alvis, 46, had reportedly been strangled several months prior to the discovery and had to be identified by dental records.

While searching the area, the sheriff’s office located the body of Thornton, 37, who had reportedly been stabbed and had been dead for about two days before her body was discovered.

Dentures left at scene lead to rape conviction 16 years later

Prosecutors said Maupin admitted to knowing both women as customers of a Frayser bar and said that he would take different women to the area of the crime scene to have sex. He was one of the initial suspects in the case but was never charged. That case eventually went cold.

The family of one of the women said tuesday they’ve been waiting for justice.

In 2017, Maupin was indicted and pleaded guilty in a separate stabbing and rape of a woman in the 1200 block of Thomas in August 2001. Maupin is serving eight years in the rape case.

The main piece of evidence against Maupin was a pair of dentures that were left at the crime scene, but that evidence, along with a rape kit, was not processed for many years.

That case also led to the reopening of the two murders, prosecutors said.

According to the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office, Maupin came to Memphis after he was released from 12 years in a Washington state prison for the abduction and murder of a 6-year-old girl. His convictions were overturned on appeal.

He is due in court Wednesday.

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