Virginia police force withheld murder-suicide from public

October 5, 2018

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — A Virginia police department has issued news releases for every homicide this year, save for one involving a high-profile couple’s murder-suicide.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that Norfolk police found the bodies of 71-year-old Gene Beale and 71-year-old Katherine Beale on Sept. 11, but the department’s public information officers decided not to notify residents. Police provided basic information after news outlets inquired.

Norfolk police spokesman Cpl. Will Pickering called the Beales’ death “a sensitive matter” that represented no threat to public safety. Police determined Gene Beale killed his wife before shooting himself.

But Pickering acknowledged that the department sends out releases in other cases that don’t represent a threat to the public.

He said the department would “absolutely” consider sending out releases about murder-suicides in the future.


Information from: The Virginian-Pilot, http://pilotonline.com

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