Is there anything more unfortunate than hearing about a family that can't get along? Sadly -- yes, there are worse things. One father in Pennsylvania is waking up this morning to the realization that he shot and killed his daughter and son-in-law in a bloody home invasion that also left his wife and son dead. So, what we have here is a 67-year-old man forced to come to terms with the senseless deaths of four loved ones, possibly because of hurt feelings and anger that went unresolved for many years.
We all have skeletons in our closets and stories about family members that are more like strangers to us than loved ones, but this is the most extreme and sad example of broken family ties I've seen in a long time.
John Crew, his wife Roberta, and their 47-year-old son John Jr. had just returned home from dinner at a restaurant and were relaxing on the couch watching television when there was a knock at their door. Roberta, 64, allegedly answered the door and was heard screaming, "Oh my God, they have guns!" The men heard shots, and John Jr. reportedly armed himself and ran to defend his mother. She had already been shot at close range -- allegedly by her own daughter, Josephine Ruckinger, who was armed with a 12-gauge shotgun. Before John Jr. could make a move, Josephine's husband, Jeffrey Ruckinger, allegedly shot him several times in the chest with either a Derringer pistol or a .22-caliber semi-automatic handgun -- both of which were in his possession.
John Sr. then reportedly grabbed his own .22-caliber revolver from the bedroom and fired at his daughter, hitting her in the head, before fatally shooting his son-in-law. He then called police. According to reports, dad says he didn't even recognize his daughter at first, which just goes to show how long it's probably been since these two have seen each other.
Adding to this crazy story, police found a can of gas and lighter fuel in Josephine and Jeffrey's car. A neighbor claims the woman was "disowned" by her family after she trashed their house when she was 20 and stole one of their pistols.
This story is sad and tragic on so many levels. Why are all of these gun-happy people so quick to end the lives of those who raised them and shared the same life experiences as they did? We are supposed to trust family members more than anyone in the world. I understand the people who are supposed to love you the most can do really terrible things to you and that many of us are emotionally better off when we cut ties with certain family members. But, at least in my experience, there's always the hope that things could get better. I can't imagine ending that person's life and forever killing that hope.
Have you ever been involved in a horrible feud with family members?
Image via WJAC