A tight-knit community was shocked today at the news of a shocking murder-suicide!
What a tragic story! A wealthy Westchester, New York man bludgeoned his wife to death before shooting his two young children and eventually shooting himself.
According to The Daily Mail, Sam Friedlander, a 50-year-old attorney, was going through a nasty divorce from his wife, Amy Friedlander, a 46-year-old former vice president of Chase Manhattan bank.
Neighbors described him as a “devoted father,” but he did the unthinkable when he shot his kids, 8-year-old Gregory and 10-year-old Molly, while they were asleep in their beds.
There was no sign of a struggle from the children — they were even covered up again with their blankets after being shot, according to The Daily Mail.
However, their mother was discovered in the master bedroom in a gruesome scene. Police said she was likely bludgeoned to death and a chair leg was broken off nearby. She had not been shot.
Sam was found in the basement, where he had shot himself.
Police were called to the scene when Sam didn’t show up for work. They said there were no reports of domestic violence from the home, but neighbors revealed that the couple was in the middle of a bitter divorce. In fact, they were supposed to be in court for a divorce hearing Oct. 20. Amy also allegedly told her rabbi that the family had financial problems.
Although their marriage was on the rocks, their neighbor Abid Hussain said they were devoted parents, according to The New York Post.
“I used to see the mom and father putting them on the bus, they had beautiful kids,” he said. “The father was always playing with the kids outside.”
State Police Maj. Michael Kopy said during a news conference that there were indications that Sam was “acting irrationally” in the past week, but he didn’t provide more detail. “Nobody said anything like this would happen,” he added.
Although there were no reports of domestic violence at the home before, cops did respond to a domestic incident “regarding the care of the kids,” according to The New York Post.
What drives a father to kill his wife and two children?
Dr. Jenn said the stress from things like divorce and financial problems — both of which Sam was experiencing — can cause somebody with mental illness to “reach a breaking point.” She says that if he had gotten mental health care, the tragedy could “absolutely” have been avoided.
Such a horrible event! Our thoughts are with the friends and family of the Friedlanders!