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Twin Children Bludgeoned to Death

June 4, 1998

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ A man bludgeoned his 5-year-old twins to death with a sledgehammer Thursday because they were slow in getting ready for day care, police said.

``I just lost it,″ police quoted Vincent Spik, 37, as saying. He was jailed on homicide charges.

Spik called police in suburban Findlay Township in the morning and said, ``I’ve just killed my children,″ according to police. Spik, cellular phone in hand, was waiting for investigators in front of his house.

His son, Robert, was found in a pool of blood on the couch, and his daughter, Emily, was found in front of the TV set. Both had suffered multiple blows.

The girl was dead at the house. The boy died later of head injuries at a hospital.

Spik’s 35-year-old wife, Susan, was at work as a bank clerk at the time. Spik, who works at a business that makes high-tech doors, told police he was in charge of getting the twins ready and was frustrated by how slow they were moving.

Allegheny County police Superintendent Thomas Sturgeon said: ``He thinks he just snapped. However, he had time enough after he snapped to go down to the cellar and get a hammer.″

``This is the kind of work that takes big, tough, strong police officers and brings them to their knees,″ Sturgeon said.

A neighbor said the family seemed happy and financially comfortable. The Spiks married in 1982 and added a second story to the house after the twins were born.

``They were just pleased to death because they hadn’t been able to have children. As far as I could tell, they were just an ideal family,″ said 70-year-old Mary Daniels, who lives next door.

Spik often played with his children outside, she said. The twins splashed around in a backyard pool, rode bikes and drove little electric cars around the trim neighborhood.

Police had never been called to the house before. The family had lived there for about eight years.

``It’s a total shock, like I can’t believe it,″ said Jim Spik, a brother.

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