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Top VA Official Among Three Fatally Stabbed at Apartment Complex

April 8, 1988

CHICAGO (AP) _ A free-lance photographer being evicted from a high-rent apartment complex fatally stabbed the apartment manager and her assistant and a high-level Veterans Administration official waiting in an outer office with his daughter, police say.

Jerry Singer, 36, was arrested shortly after the rampage Thursday and charged with three counts of first-degree murder, said Police Cmdr. Gerald Keller. Singer had a hunting knife with a five-inch blade, Keller said.

Keller said the attack occurred after apartment manager Cynthia Graeber, 28, told Singer he was being evicted from his $798-a-month apartment for failing to pay his rent for several months.

Both Ms. Graeber and her assistant, Alice Wendt, 37, were slain, police said. Ms. Graeber was stabbed as many as 30 times, they said.

Dr. Francis E. ″Frank″ Conrad, 51, of Arlington, Va., who was helping his daughter find an apartment in the city, also was killed in the attack, police said. Conrad was national quality assurance director for the VA.

Singer was due to be evicted Monday, said Police Detective David Ryan, adding that there was no indication of exactly what provoked the attacks.

″He just snapped,″ said Police Lt. Terence McCue. ″It was totally unprovoked. He just brandished his knife and began stabbing them.″

Conrad was sitting with his daughter and an employee of the recently-built Old Town complex in an outer office when the assailant entered, went ″right by them″ to the inner office, Keller said.

″Immediately, they heard screams and shouts. At that point, Dr. Conrad’s daughter and the other complex employee ran out of the office onto the street to flag down a squad car,″ the commander said.

Conrad’s daughter, Dr. Lisa Conrad, was seeking an apartment in preparation for her medical residency here, Keller said.

All three victims were dead on arrival at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, said spokeswoman Sandra Mines.

Conrad was a former associate professor of clinical psychiatry and associate dean of veterans affairs at State University of New York, Stony Brook, said VA spokeswoman Donna St. John.

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