Florida police are investigating the murder of a 61-year-old woman suffering from dementia, who they say was killed by her own husband.
The husband, 62-year-old Stephen Kruspe, reportedly claims that he murdered his wife Pamela because she asked him to, in order to save her from enduring the debilitating effects of dementia and Alzheimers.
The couple had been married for 42 years and had three children, but when Pamela's metal health began to decline they moved her into the Parkside Inn Assisted Living Facility.
Stephen claims that in a moment of lucidity Pamela asked him to end her life. He says he thought about it for several days before deciding to do it. Her condition had left him "broken hearted" and he "was willing to sacrifice anything to get her where she wanted to be."
After checking her out from Parkside one day for some time together, he reportedly checked her back in, walked to his car, retrieved a gun, and then walked back and shot Pamela in the chest.
He then called the police and reported his crime.
Reports showed the murder weapon was nearby: "On the back patio railing of the facility was a .45-caliber handgun. The gun was locked in the open position and a gun magazine was next to the gun with bullets inside it."
Jaclyn Tittsworth, a neighbor, and friend of the couple, says Stephen and Pamela were very close.
She stated, "I saw them always together. When you saw one, the other one was not far behind. They did everything together. They road their bikes together, and when she was training for the marathon he was with her. When she was in her right state of mind you could tell they truly loved each other."
She also said Stephen would visit Pamela at her nursing home "all day": "He was there every day. It is very sad."
She also said that she thinks Stephen really was doing as Pamela requested.
"I feel like it was a mercy killing. My husband and I knew them well and we knew it was for her. He did it for her. He was seeing his wife change before his eyes. He wasn't the same person either, because of the sadness he felt seeing her in that condition. He wasn't sleeping, knowing he would never know her again. Every time he spoke to us, he said she was getting worse."
Stephen Kruspe is facing a charge of "murder in the first degree."
Reportedly, he has not entered a plea as of yet and is being held in the Palm Beach County Jail. A hearing is currently scheduled for April 26th. It is unclear at this time if he has retained legal council.0comments
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