A Minnesota man has been sentenced to 26 years in prison for the murder of his 93-year-old grandmother, whom he killed with a tomahawk cleaver because he believed she had “tampered” with his bacon.
Dustin Gene Tinklenberg, 43, was convicted of second-degree murder in the killing of Stella Anderson, online court records show. He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in August.
As Law&Crime previously reported, on September 13, 2022, officers responded to a request for a welfare check on a single-family home in the 1300 block of Highway 23 in Ogilvie, about 70 miles north of Minneapolis. Once there, first responders entered the home and discovered that Anderson had “died of apparent homicide.”
According to a copy of the criminal complaint, Anderson’s body was discovered by her daughter and at least one other family member, who then called 911.
Two of Anderson’s great-grandchildren told investigators they went to Anderson’s home to pick up something from someone who was camping on the property. As she left the house, a great-granddaughter said she heard screaming from inside. Minutes later, she was getting back into her car when she reportedly saw Tinklenberg on the patio right outside the house.
The great-grandson said Tinklenberg “seemed upset” and noted that “his fists were closed/clenched” and he was “looking across the deck and yelling at something,” the affidavit states.
Police found Tinklenberg at a home nearby, where he was taken into custody.
She died from “horrific sharp force injuries,” including “seven lacerations to the head from a tomahawk hatchet,” court documents said.
Investigators learned that Tinklenberg was regularly observed with a hatchet. Witnesses told police that in 2021, Tinklenberg got into an argument with an employee at the Fat Jack’s bar in Bock and smashed the small ax into the wooden bar. Two homeowners also told police that Tinklenberg visited their house the Monday before the murder and displayed a double-edged ax in its sheath.
In an interview with police, Tinklenberg said he was homeless but occasionally stayed with his grandmother. He claimed he was “emotional.” He accused his grandmother of sexually abusing him as a boy and further claimed that she continued to molestation him as an adult.
Tinklenberg then made a series of increasingly bizarre allegations, telling investigators that he was constantly followed by drones and subjected to multiple surgeries that he couldn’t even remember.
“Tinklenberg then lifted up his shirt to show them the scars – no scars were observed,” the complaint states.
When confronted with the news that his grandmother had been killed, he told police that she had “somehow tampered/altered the bacon he was eating,” adding, “So I lost it,” he said it in the ad.
Law&Crime’s Jerry Lambe contributed to this report.
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