The Horrifying Backstory Of Corpsewood Manor

Two lovers, 12,000 doses of LSD, a hand-built, hermetic castle in the Georgian wilderness, a stained-glass window of Baphomet, a "pink room," and two bull mastiffs named Beelzebub and Arsinath. Quite a night. You'd be forgiven for believing that this might be the premise of a self-published erotica novel. However, it was very much a real thing. 

In this case, this blurb describes a very true, and very strange, tale of tragedy and murder, centered around Dr. Charles Scudder of Loyola University in Chicago, and his lover, Joe Odom, as described by All That's Interesting. Scudder, who came from a wealthy family, and Odom, left Chicago in 1976 to build their dream house and escape from, as Scudder explained, "taxes, light bills, gas bills, water bills, heating bills, and the helpless feeling that resulted from watching my old neighborhood disintegrate into an urban ghetto." Within two years, they had built Corpsewood Manor deep in the woods of Summerville, Georgia, according to Atlas Obscura. Scudder, for the record, was not a typically prim academic: he was a member of the Church of Satan, who took part in psychedelic LSD-based experiments, kept a pet monkey, dyed his hair purple, and owned a pair of human skulls. 

Despite being an unconventional home, it was home, nonetheless, to these two men — until the time of their death, on December 12, 1982.

A descent into a bloodbath

Scudder, like a true Satanist, was in fact an atheist, who lauded the power and pleasures of the body. He and Odom kitted out their "pink room" with X-rated paraphernalia, mattresses, and a guest book. Visitors were free to do whatever they pleased, consensually, but often amidst a stupor of drugs and sex. Eventually, Scudder and Odom had a party involving 30 year-old Samuel West, and his roommate, 17 year-old Kenneth Brock. Brock had been to Corpsewood a number of times, and decided to invite his buddy West along for some free alcohol and drugs. 

The invitation completely backfired. West was very much opposed to homosexual activity, and blamed Scudder and Odom for taking advantage of his younger roommate. At that point, West and Brock decided to rob the couple, and went back on December 12th with two additional teenagers, Joey Wells and Teresa Hudgins. After they arrived, and took part in some homemade wine and a huffing mixture that included paint thinner, Brock went out to their car and retrieved a rifle. He shot Odom, then the two mastiffs, and demanded that Scudder give up whatever money was in the house. When Scudder said that the house was empty, Brock shot him in the head, five times. 

Brock and West took off with whatever valuables they could find. For whatever reason, perhaps guilt, Brock brought himself in to the police on December 20th. West was sentenced to death, and Brock to three life sentences.