Couple Found Slain, Son Reportedly Charged with Deaths
Oct. 01, 1996
ENGLEWOOD, N.J. (AP) _ Police responding to a 911 call from a screaming woman found a retired psychiatrist and his wife stabbed to death in their home. Their son was reportedly charged with killing them.
Police could hear only the woman's hysterical screaming during the call before the line went dead early Monday. Authorities tracked the call to the home of Dr. DeWitt Crandell and his wife, Marion.
A neighbor gave a description of a man she saw flee the house and jump the backyard fence. Police seized 30-year-old son, DeWitt Crandell Jr., in woods a mile away about two hours later. He was wearing a bloody shirt, The New York Times reported today.
Late Monday, after being questioned all day, Crandell was charged with murder, Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Sharyn Peiffer told The Record of Hackensack. He was expected to appear in state Superior Court in Hackensack today, she said.
Authorities at the Bergen County Jail in Hackensack refused to comment on whether Crandell had been arrested or charged. The county prosecutor's office also would not comment.
Mrs. Crandell, 63, was director of social services for Leak and Watts, a program in Yonkers, N.Y., for troubled youths.
Crandell, 66, had a private practice in Manhattan. From 1969 until retiring in July, he was an associate professor at Columbia University.
A computer sciences graduate of Rutgers University, the younger Crandell had been living in Las Vegas.
On Monday, police cars were parked outside the Crandells' two-story brick colonial home; their neatly landscaped lawn encircled with yellow police tape.
``I always thought it was a safe area,'' said Karen Sachs, who lives a few houses down the street from the Crandells. ``It's kind of scary. It certainly gives you a feeling of uneasiness.''