Shooting spree suspect’s killing of Michael Swinyard described in detail in self-published book

Local News

DENVER (KDVR) — One of the murders committed Monday night by Lyndon James McLeod bears an eerie similarity to one of the murders he wrote in a book, down to the name of the victim.

McLeod killed five people and injured two others, including a Lakewood police officer, in a spree that spread across Denver and Lakewood. The police officer he shot returned fire and killed McLeod.

The victims include three tattoo artists, a hotel clerk and a man believed to be a former business partner.

Michael Swinyard, the former business partner, is written in narrative detail in the first book of a trilogy of self-published books titled “Sanction.” McLeod wrote these books under the pseudonym Roman McClay.

The book itself is written in novel format. The lead character is named Lyndon James McLeod – the same as its author’s real name – and in the book he commits 46 murders in a single night against people he felt had wronged him in the past. He is convicted, imprisoned and finally cloned to serve as a government assassin.

Swinyard features prominently in the book as business partner of McLeod’s.

In “Sanction,” the two operated medical marijuana grow houses and laundered the profits through a tattoo shop. McLeod believed Swinyard sold the tattoo shop and did not share the profits.

In the book, McLeod begins his night of murder with Swinyard. He reasons that since a felony murder charge carries a life sentence anyway, he may as well commit many in a single night.

“The mission was two-fold,” wrote McLeod in the chapter describing Swinyard’s killing. “Execute Michael for his betrayal and take everyone’s cash.”

In reality, Swinyard lived in a high-rise apartment at One Cheesman Place. In the book, McLeod describes parking his truck on the south side of Cheesman Park at 1300 Williams St., dressing in police gear complete with a loaded semiautomatic handgun and M4 rifle. He uses the ruse to get the building’s doorman to take him to Swinyard’s apartment, murders the doorman, then murders and robs Swinyard and the group of men playing poker with him in the building’s penthouse common room.

Following Monday night’s murders in Denver, Swinyard’s apartment complex distributed a letter to residents describing some of the same details.

The letter said McLeod was dressed in police tactical gear and let into the building by a security guard. He forced himself into Swinyard’s apartment and killed him. Unlike the book, McLeod did not kill the security guard, who was able to escape to a neighboring apartment to call 911.

Police and federal officials admit to having investigated McLeod in the years between the book’s publication in 2018 and the shooting spree, but no charges were filed against him.

In addition to the murder of Swinyard, McLeod wrote about many people and businesses that actually exist, including names that match other people who may have been targeted during his shooting spree.

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