Posted Oct 19, 2011 07:32 pm CDT
A New York attorney in a troubled marriage reportedly beat his wife to death with a furniture leg and then fatally shot their two children in bed before committing suicide in the basement of their Westchester home.
Samuel Friedlander, 50, and his wife, Amy, 46, were in the process of divorcing and a court hearing in the case was scheduled this week, according to the New York Daily News and Reuters. Their children were Gregory, 8, and Molly, 10. It appears that all four died yesterday.
State Police Maj. Michael Kopy said police had been called to the family’s Cross River home in 2006 concerning an argument between the two over their children, but no one was arrested, the Associated Press reported.
Friedlander’s behavior had changed in recent weeks and months, and he had been “acting irrational,” Kopy said. However, no one had anticipated the violence.
At the time he and his wife married in 2000, she worked as a vice president at Chase Manhattan Bank, and he was an associate counsel at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in Manhattan, according to their New York Times wedding announcement.
Friedlander had his own law firm in Bedford Hills at the time of his death. His wife had founded a tutoring center with a business partner. When she didn’t show up there yesterday, the partner called police. They found the bodies in a scene described as resembling a movie set. The home was listed for sale at $799,000.
The Chappaqua-Mount Kisco Patch reports that Friedlander earned his law degree magna cum laude from Western New England College.
Attorney Mitchell Weingarden of White Plains occasionally worked with Friedlander on commercial litigation and had been in touch with him about a case on Monday, the Journal News reported. Kopy said Friedlander also handled minor criminal matters.
Those who knew Amy Friedlander said she was an outgoing, caring friend and a volunteered at her children’s school.
Both Friedlanders were good parents, neighbor Abid Hussain told the New York Post. “I used to see the mom and father putting them on the bus, they had beautiful kids. The father was always playing with the kids outside.”