Had this story been told as a piece of fiction, people would probably find it too fantastic to believe but here we have it in real life. James Hadley Chase anybody?
- Josephine Ruckinger, 43, and her husband Jeffrey, 43, plotted to kill Josephine’s family at their house in rural Pennsylvania
- Mrs Ruckinger shot dead her mother when she answered the door
- Jeffrey killed Mrs Ruckinger’s brother
- Father John Frew Sr shot Josephine in the head before realizing it was his own daughter
- He then killed Jeffrey
- Josephine’s aunt said family was furious after she ‘took everything’ from her ailing grandmother before she died in 2007
A long-running feud in a Pennsylvania family ended in violence after a woman and her husband broke into her parents’ home and killed her mother and brother – before the two were shot dead by the woman’s own father, police have revealed today.
The horrific violence Friday night that left four dead and only one survivor in the house in rural Ashville, Pennsylvania, may have been sparked over lingering resentment over inheritance, a family member revealed exclusively to MailOnline.
Josephine Ruckinger, 43, ‘hated’ her family and plotted with her husband Jeffrey Ruckinger, 43, to murder all of them in their house on Friday night.
Mrs Ruckinger, who had been estranged from her family for years, rang the doorbell at her her family home and ambushed her mother Roberta Frew, 64.
Roberta cried out, ‘Oh my God, they have guns!’ before Mrs Ruckinger opened fire at point-blank range with a sawed-off shotgun.
John Frew Jr., 47, tried to grab a gun, but Mr Ruckinger, a truck mechanic, shot him multiple times in the chest with a Derringer and a .22-caliber pistol.
Mrs Ruckinger’s father, John Frew Sr. retrieved a .22-caliber revolver, not realizing who the attackers were.
‘As he emerged into the room, he observed the female intruder down on one knee and at that point, he observed the 12-gauge shotgun pointing in his direction,’ State Trooper spokesman John Matchik. told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
That’s when Mr Frew shot his daughter in the head.
Police say Mr Frew then turned and saw Mr Ruckinger, who fired a shotgun at him from the trailer’s kitchen. Mr Frew returned fire. Ruckinger was shot dead in the head.
Mr Frew was not injured and called 911 when the shooting stopped.
Upon their arrival, police found Mrs Ruckinger still alive but with a gunshot wound in the head. She was rushed to Altoona UPMC Trauma Center where she was later pronounced dead.
‘He had no idea that was his daughter,’ said Trooper Matchik, ‘until everything had unfolded.’
Police say Josephine Ruckinger immediately shot her mother at point blank range after the door of the double wide trailer opened Friday night. She and her husband then entered the family home and Jeff Ruckinger shot and killed Josephine’s bother John Frew Junior, 47. John Frew Senior then shot and killed them both.
Officers searched the Ruckinger’s Suzuki Esteem station wagon and found a large amount of ammunition, a gas can, and a can of lighter fluid, reports the Post-Gazette.
Roberta Frew sister, Virginia Cruse, said the daughter and mother did not get along, but that she had no idea what spawned Friday’s tragedy. The daughter had ‘a hatred toward the family,’ she said.
When Josephine was about 20, she and a boyfriend trashed her parents’ home and stole items including a pistol, then fled to Pittsburgh, Cruse said. After that, she said, ‘more or less, they disowned her.’
Roberta’s other sister Carol Skinner told MailOnline that the family was angry after Mrs Ruckinger moved her grandmother – Roberta and Carol’s mother – in with her and her husband shortly before she died in 2007.
‘We’re all pretty mad at her for that little stunt. She took everything from my mom before she passed away,’ Mrs Skinner said.
Mrs Skinner said bonds, jewelry and thousands of dollars in cash disappeared while Josephine was taking care of her.
She added that Josephine’s feud with her family has been running for decades.
Jeff Ruckinger’s brother Brian Ruckinger told triblive.com that his brother and Josephine had been married a few years and had no children.
Some neighbors said that they did not even know the Frews had a daughter – they thought John Jr was the couple’s only child.
But the shootings quickly became the talk of Ashville, a town described as being very quiet with little or no industry.
‘It’s an older town,’ resident Joe Speranza told triblive. ‘We’re not used to this. It’s very unusual for this to happen over here. You would never think anything like this would happen.’
Ken Wills, neighbor of the Frews, couldn’t agree more:
‘People will be on their toes for a few years.’
Culled from dailymail.co.uk