William Spengler wanted to kill as many people as possible, as indicated by a typewritten note left behind. Spengler's killing did not start with the ambush killing of two firefighters, Lt. Michael Chiapperini, 43, and Tomasz Kaczowka, 19, on Christmas Eve. Two others were wounded, Joseph Hofstetter and Theodore Scardino, and are expected to recover.
In 1980, the twisted murderer killed his own paternal grandmother with a hammer. He served 17 years in prison on the reduced manslaughter charge, but clearly was not rehabilitated during his time behind bars. Why was he ever let out of prison after committing such a brutal murder? Why was the original murder charge reduced to manslaughter?
He also was not legally allowed to possess firearms. But Spengler did not seem too concerned about the law.
On Christmas Eve, Spengler most likely murdered his sister Cheryl, age 67, before he set his own house on fire. A neighbor stated that Spengler "hated" his sister, which makes one wonder how she could not have known that she was in grave danger? The ex-convict was already in prison for killing one family member; the tension between the siblings surely should have set off red flags.
Seven houses also went up in flames. Spengler's murderous spree was intended, according to his note, to burn down the neighborhood and kill people. While police chief Gerald Pickering did not divulge the full contents of the note, as reported by the Guardian, one line from Spengler read, "I still have to get ready to see how much of the neighborhood I can burn down and do what I like doing best, killing people." Spengler, clearly unstable, most likely would have killed even more people if he had not been chased by the first responding officer, with whom he exchanged shots, as reported by the Washington Post. Chief Pickering noted that his quick action "in all likelihood saved many lives." As the investigation unfolds, perhaps more insight will be given into the deranged mind of William Spengler. Hopefully the families and loved ones of the victims will eventually find peace. What a pointless and sickening waste of life.
Another grisly murder took place in the same neighborhood around the same time last year. This time, the murder weapon of choice was fire yet again, as a 15-year-old killed his father and two brothers after setting the family home ablaze.
Photo Source: Reuters via The Telegraph