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Paper Gets Letter From Dead Woman

November 12, 1998

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) _ A day after a mother and daughter were found shot to death, a newspaper received in the mail a letter and a diary apparently from the older woman in which she said: ``I am not a murderer, but I have been forced to become one.″

The woman also accused her former son-in-law of molesting her granddaughters and destroying the family.

Janis L. Custer, 50, was found shot to death Monday night along with her daughter, Christina Custer-Rock, 27, at Ms. Custer’s home. Ms. Custer-Rock’s daughters, ages 2 and 3, had been shot and wounded, and were hospitalized in undisclosed condition.

Police said they are investigating the deaths as a double-homicide. But the Quad City Times said the packet it received indicates Ms. Custer killed her daughter and tried to kill her granddaughters before shooting herself.

The letter and journal apparently had been mailed a few hours before the shootings.

The letter was signed ``Jan Custer″ and also said, ``Now we are all angels and with Jesus.″

Lt. Don Schaeffer said police were trying to verify that Ms. Custer wrote the letter and were still investigating other possible suspects.

The writings paint a picture of a woman obsessed with the belief that her former son-in-law, Trever Rock, had sexually abused her two granddaughters.

The state Human Services Department found no evidence that Rock abused his daughters, and the letter laments that nobody would pursue her allegations any further.

Schaeffer said Ms. Custer also had contacted police and hired a private investigator and attorney. He said her actions showed a ``mental disorder here, there’s no way of avoiding that issue.″

The journal said she tried to take the children in early 1998 but returned when her daughter and Rock threatened arrest.

Ms. Custer apparently had kept the journal to help caseworkers. She wrote that Rock ``has practically destroyed this family″ and that he had turned her daughter against her, even after the couple’s divorce in spring 1998.

Capt. Dave Heesch said Rock, 27, discovered the victims after trying to call his ex-wife about picking up the children. Rock went to the house and saw her body through a window, Heesch said.

Heesch said both children had been shot once in the upper torso, and the women had both died from a shot to the chest.

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