Thompson's late husband,Terry , at the time of his death, owed almost $70,000 in unpaid taxes to the IRS and the county.
The wild animal enthusiast had two federal tax liens filed against him last year, according to the Associated Press, and other well-documented woes, including prison time, animal abuse charges and marital problems, offering new insight into what could have driven Thompson to commit suicide and send his beloved animals out to their deaths.
ABC News exclusively obtained images of Terry Thompson, trading kisses with a bear and caring for a camel on his farm just two years ago. The images of Thompson bonding with his animals stand in stark contrast to the chaos officials encountered when they arrived at Thompson's private preserve the evening of Oct. 18. Stalf, who saw the dead animals sprawled across the lawn of the preserve and the conditions the animals were kept in, said the scene was haunting.
"I grew up on a farm so I've been around animals all my life and I've never seen that and I don't ever want to see that again," he said. "That was bad."